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Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?

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22 Oct 98 - 01:10 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 98 - 01:33 PM
Jennifer Burdoo 22 Oct 98 - 02:19 PM
Eric Lackford;Eric@Lackford20.Freeserve.Co.UK 22 Oct 98 - 05:50 PM
Bev lawton 22 Oct 98 - 06:56 PM
Moira Cameron 22 Oct 98 - 08:27 PM
Joe Offer 22 Oct 98 - 08:35 PM
Susan of DT 22 Oct 98 - 09:19 PM
Liam's Brother 22 Oct 98 - 11:51 PM
Pete M 23 Oct 98 - 12:34 AM
Peter T. 23 Oct 98 - 10:20 AM
Keith Beck 24 Oct 98 - 02:51 AM
Keith Beck 24 Oct 98 - 02:55 AM
Pete M 27 Oct 98 - 03:53 PM
Peter T. 27 Oct 98 - 04:05 PM
Eric lackford. 27 Oct 98 - 05:41 PM
Moira Cameron 27 Oct 98 - 10:17 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Oct 98 - 03:46 PM
Jon Bartlett 01 Nov 98 - 03:57 AM
Moira Cameron 04 Nov 98 - 01:19 AM
Liam's Brother 04 Nov 98 - 07:35 AM
Martin Ryan 04 Nov 98 - 07:54 AM
DonMeixner@aol.com 06 Nov 98 - 02:37 PM
Martin Ryan 06 Nov 98 - 06:42 PM
Peter T. 07 Nov 98 - 09:33 AM
Joe_F 23 Sep 02 - 07:00 PM
Sandy Paton 24 Sep 02 - 03:14 AM
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Subject: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From:
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 01:10 PM

I have been interested in Ewan MacColl for some time, and have of course heard some of his work over the years. Having come into a large inheritance (I found 20 dollars in the bottom of a pair of pants I never expected to see again), I was wondering if anyone out there could recommend a good selection of his recordings on CD. Someone told me that there was a recent one called Antiquities -- anyone know if that is a good coverage album (I appreciate that he did a vast amount of things)? Anyone have any general recommendations/favourites that would get me really going? I appreciate any help.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 01:33 PM

Hi, Peter - The best MacColl CD I've seen is a 20-cut collection called Black and White - Ewan MacColl, The Definitive Collection (click here). This is a collection of songs MacColl wrote himself. It doesn't seem to be available at the online stores like CDNOW, but Green Linnet still has it listed, and you can order direct if you follow the link.
Tradition has two excellent reissues (and at budget prices):
"Classic Scots Ballads," by MacColl & Peggy Seeger
"Blow Boys, Blow," by MacColl and A.L. Lloyd
There's also a "75th Birthday Symposium" CD with 11 songs and an interview, but most of the songs are on the "Black & White" CD (I haven't heard this 75th birthday CD, or the Topic CD called "Real MacColl.")
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Jennifer Burdoo
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 02:19 PM

I agree w/ Joe, 'Black & White' is excellent. It also comes with tons of commentary on the songs, and if you are interested in MacColl's life and times, it's a good introduction.
He also did at least two albums of modern folk/social commentary-type songs w/ Peggy Seeger which are worth a look. One is called 'Saturday Night at the Bull & Mouth.'
Cool to see the 'Scots Ballads' out again. Our LP is getting worn out from all the listening over the years.

Jennifer


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Eric Lackford;Eric@Lackford20.Freeserve.Co.UK
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 05:50 PM

There is a label called "COOKING VINYL". It runs a members club where for a £10.00 joining fee you get quite heavily discounted cd's. On their list are I think 3 Ewan Macoll cd's. Apart from Black and White,they also have the BBC sessions and one other. Well worth trying. Address is COOKING VINYL. PO BOX 1845. LONDON. W3 0ZA. UK.

BY THE WAY- rumour has it from friend who organises the Cleckheaton (West Yorkshire) Folk Festival that Peggy Seegar is being approached for the 1999 July folk festival.Any further help contact me as above. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Bev lawton
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 06:56 PM

Have to agree with most here. "Black and White - The Definitive Collection" is the best bet. Find it on : COOKING VINYL LABEL : COOKCD 038


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 08:27 PM

"Black and White - The Definitive Collection" is very good. I want to point out that not all the songs on it are his own. There are a few that are traditional ballads. "Sheath and Knife", for example, is the best version I've heard of that chilling incest ballad.

I recently ordered (from CDNow--so I helped support the Mudcat at the same time!) another excellent MacColl CD entitled "The Real MacColl". It has 20 tracks of a wonderful mixture of traditional songs, some penned by himself, and some not. Like "Black and White", it is a compilation disc with selections from five MacColl recordings.

(PS. I'm a real MacColl fan too. I've been singing his songs since I was in grade school.)


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 08:35 PM

I misspoke, Moira - glad you caught my mistake. I meant to say "Black & White" was mostly songs written by MacColl. There is a rumor, er...rumour, around here that I was programmed by Max. Guess it goes to show you that even Max isn't perfect, if he can't design a perfect Joebot.
I wasn't able to find a listing of the songs on "Real MacColl" at any of the online CD stores. Might you be able to type up a list of the songs on the CD and post it here? Thanks.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Susan of DT
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 09:19 PM

I recommend Classic Scots Ballads. I found it in 1971 and fell in love with it and Ewan MacColl. I just picked up the CD as well.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 22 Oct 98 - 11:51 PM

My Ewan MacColl recommendation is once a day... after the kids are in bed and before you turn in yourself... perhaps with a short glass of something alcoholic.

Seriously, he was so prolific, it's tough to say. If you still have a turntable, some classic recordings are 'The Best of Ewan MacColl' on Prestige International or any of his sea music recordings with A.L. Lloyd (as noted above, 'Blow, Boys, Blow' is on a Tradition CD.

All the best, Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Pete M
Date: 23 Oct 98 - 12:34 AM

My suggestion would echo Dan's. I also have "The legend of Ewan MacColl" CD (Nectar), but there is a large overlap with Black and White.
Now if someone would only re-issue the radio ballads on CD! They are well worth hunting round libraries and second hand shops for. The ballad of John Axon is probably my favourite, but Singing the fishing is very close and should be required listening for all who favour the "free market" economy. And I still can't sit through The travelling people, it really makes we so angry.

Then we could get started on his recordings of traditional songs!

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Peter T.
Date: 23 Oct 98 - 10:20 AM

Thanks to all for your recommendations (and so swiftly too). I suppose I better start looking through my other pockets for more inheritance money.

Just a question or two about the radio ballads. Are they songs mixed with taped interviews or what? And how many are there?

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Keith Beck
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 02:51 AM

There is a wonderful album of Ewan and Peggy Seeger on Rounder (tape, not a CD, made 1983):

Freeborn Man (http://www.rounder.com/cgi-bin/SoftCart.exe/onlinestore/catalog/bylabel/roun/3/3080/3080.html?L+rounder+nule1090+909212437)

I believe that the songs on this tape were all from the BBC broadcast series. I have heard rumors that the BBC stuff was transcribed to video tape for purchase, but no confirmation of that.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Keith Beck
Date: 24 Oct 98 - 02:55 AM

PS: (hit the send button too fast....):

Would anyone know how I could get the chords (or even tablature or a score) of Sweet Thames Flow Softly (one of the wonderful songs of EMacColl)

Thanks.

Keith Beck kbeck@jps.net


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Pete M
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 03:53 PM

Peter, sorry for the delay, I've been away from the PC for a few days.
The "Radio ballads" were produced in the late fifties early sixties by Ewan, Charles Parker of the BBC, and Peggy Seeger. They were a completely new form of story telling for radio, combining as you say, recordings of the people involved (speech and song), traditional songs and new songs in the folk idiom. From Memory there were seven in all:
The ballad of John Axon. - The story of the John Axon GC and the train crash in which he was killed.
Singing the fishing. - The story of East coast herring fishing from the 1890's to the (then) present day. This won the Italia prize for best radio program, and of course contains what is probably MacColl's second best known song "Shoals of herring"
The Travelling people - story of the life and persecution of the Romanies.
The big Hewer - about mining
The fight game - boxing

The names of the other two escape me but they were about long distance lorry drivers, and the current youth culture.
The first three listed were re-broadcast by the BBC in the early eighties, and by all accounts had as profound an effect on audiences then as they did originally. I remember hearing one teenager ask why they didn't make programs as good as that these days!!

Some at least were issued on record - Argo I believe. But I remember asking Ewan about re-issuing them and being told that whoever had the (record) rights was sitting on them and would neither re-issue nor sell the rights back to him. That was a long time ago of course, and I have no idea who currently owns the rights or what their status is. (Presumably the BBC still owns the rights to broadcast)

Best of luck in your hunt.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Peter T.
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 04:05 PM

Thanks Keith and Pete M. Much appreciated.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Eric lackford.
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 05:41 PM

Hi Kieth. The lyrics for sweet Thames flow etc.. Can be got from; http:/ltk.hut.fi/~zaphod/irish/lyrics They have a goodly number of MacColl lyrics. Chords are as follows; D11?(intro) That is D 1st position with open 2nd string. A7 D G A7 and basically thats it. A 3 chord trick with embelishments for guitar-mostly extending little finger up to 5th fret and back. Someone clever can tell you more. But I play it mostly around the D shape.You can 'cap it up to 3rd fet for that "tinkly" sound.You can e-mail me for more if you like.Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 27 Oct 98 - 10:17 PM

Sorry, Joe, for the delay in responding. Here's the info on the album "The Real MacColl". There are 20 tracks in all:

1. Ye Jacobites by Name, 2. Johnny Cope, 3. Cam Ye O'er Fra France, 4. Houghs O'Cromdale, 5. Such a Parcel O'Rogues in a Nation, 6. Farewell to Sicily, 7. Derek Bently, 8. Johnny O'Breadiesley, 9. Go Down Ye Murderers, 10.Van Dieman's Land, 11.Minorie, 12.Sheep Crook and Black Dog, 13.The Bramble Briar, 14.One Night as I Lay on my Bed, 15.The Grey Cock, 16.The Blantyre Explosion, 17.The Gresford Disaster, 18.Four Loom Weaver, 19.Song of the Iron Road, 20.Dirty Old Town.

This album is released by Topic Records, #TSCD463, 1993.

Like I said earlier. I just clicked on the "Help Support the Mudcat" button above and followed my musical nose to the CDNow section. When I searched under the name 'Ewan MacColl' only a couple of items turned up, including this gem.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Oct 98 - 03:46 PM

Re: Zaphod They do, indeed have a lot of MacColl. You can save some time (and maybe get some tunes) by searching our database: that's where they came from.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 03:57 AM

I'm looking to get hold of a copy (vinyl or tape) of "The Long Harvest" which was a 12 album set of US and British variants of Child Ballads he made I think in the early 60's with Peggy (excellent notes, of course). We had one in the VFSS Archives but it disappeared. I don't remember on what label it was issued, but Ewan told me that all the unsold copies got trashed.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BROWNED OFF (Ewan MacColl)
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 01:19 AM

Another Ewan MacColl album I really like, and it just happens to be appropriate for this time of year (Remembrance Day in Canada, that is), is one he did of songs of the first and second World Wars. Unfortunately I don't have the album myself. When I was taking a history course in University, one of our professors did a rather different sort of lecture when we came to the period of the World Wars. He got up in front of the lecture hall, began playing his guitar and sang about 30 minutes of war songs, most of which he learned from this MacColl album.

Needless to say, as a financially strapped student, I begged him for a dubbed copy of his recording, which he, thankfully, provided me. I would love to get the original some day. It's vintage MacColl. My favourite selection from the album is one that he wrote called Browned Off. I seem to recall from the liner notes, which I had borrowed at the time, this was a song he wrote during the second World War. It spread like wild-fire throughout the front lines and almost instantly became "traditional". Years later, so the story goes, MacColl came across someone singing the song and was said to remark: "That sounds like a great song; I'll have to learn it."

Browned Off
(Ewan MacColl)
I used to be a civvy chum, as decent as can be.
I used to think a working lad had a man's right to be free,
And then one day they made a lousy soldier out of me,
And told me I had got to save Democracy.

CHORUS: Oh, I was browned off, browned off, browned off as can be,
Browned off, browned off, an easy mark, that's me,
But when this war is over and again I'm free,
There'll be no more trips around the world for me.

They stuck me in a convict suit; they made me cut me hair.
They took me civvy shoes away; they gave me another pair.
Instead of grub they give me slush and plenty of fresh air,
And this was all to help to save democracy.

Now every day I'm on parade long before the dawn;
And every day I curse the bloody day that I was born,
For I am just a browned-off soldier, anyone can see.
They browned me off to help to save democracy.

The Colonel kicks the Major, then the Major has a go.
He kicks the poor old captain, who then kicks the NCO;
And as the kicks get harder, the poor private you can see,
Gets kicked to bloody Hell to save democracy!


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 07:35 AM

Hi Moira!

In case you don't already know, 'British Army Songs' was issued as an lp on the Washington label (division of the old Riverside label). It could have been available on Riverside or Topic as well.

In my life in the wonderful world of business, I often thought of that line about the Colonel kicking the Major, etc. How true it is!

All the best.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 07:54 AM

In the mid-eighties there was a long-drawn strike involving an Irish supermarket group, over selling South African produce. McCOll sang at a benefit concert in Dublin - and introduced a song he'd written for the occasion: "Ten Young Women and one Young man" (or "The Girls of Dublin City", as I tend to call it). Its in the DT. He also sang it on an Irish radio program, some time later, which is how I got it

Its a fine song but was never published or recorded, according to Peggy Seeger. Well, it soon will be! Our local singers circle is about to issue a CD - and I've sneaked it on!

His contribution was enormous, in so many ways.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: DonMeixner@aol.com
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 02:37 PM

Paddy Reilly did a fine recording of about 20 E. Macoll songs. With Paddy's voice there is never a wonder of what the words are. I recc. it highly


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 06 Nov 98 - 06:42 PM

The Voice Squad did harmonies on a few tracks on that Paddy Reilly album, if I remember rightly. I agree about his diction.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Peter T.
Date: 07 Nov 98 - 09:33 AM

Continuing thanks to all on this thread. I found the "Classic Scots Ballads" (now playing), but have had trouble with all the rest -- time to hit the libraries I guess.

Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Sep 02 - 07:00 PM

All of them, in or out of print, say I.

One of my favorites is _British Industrial Ballads_ (Vanguard VRS-9090). I don't know if it's been reissued.


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Subject: RE: Ewan MacColl - Recommendations?
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 24 Sep 02 - 03:14 AM

You all had better get in touch with Dick Greenhaus at Camsco. Most of the Radio Ballads are available on CD now, and Dick either has them or can get them for you.

I think I have more MacColl albums in my collection than those of any other singer. The Prestige "Best Of" is one of the rare occasions in which a "best of" might truly live up to its name, although I am particularly fond of his Folkways "Songs of Twa Rebellions" (Jacobite Songs), many of which seem to have been included on "The Real MacColl," which I don't have. "Black and White" is a good sampling of his music, recommended for those who have, somehow, overlooked this superb singer, writer, collector, scholar, and political activist, and are unfamiliar with his work. He was a giant among the few.

Sandy


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