English Folk IV: Music that matters today and remembered tomorrow

If you think that folk music is about times gone by the Ironbath would like to dispel this myth with three totally contemporary songs from traditional English Folk performers.

Folk music is about the here and now. The Ironbath is convinced that it still has a place to reflect and record the society that we live in today so that in the future people will be able to recall the hopes and fears that we feel. In a post-apocalyptical world where there are no CD’s or computers, these songs will be handed down from generation to generation in the way that music always was.


Richard Thompson – ‘Dad’s Gonna Kill Me’

The ‘Dad’ in Richard Thompson’s song is Baghdad, and this song recalls the fears of young soldiers fighting in Iraq. By talking to the servicemen he has incorporated their language and slang into the song to produce a thoroughly modern piece of our culture that portrays the bravery and anxiety of the people who are fighting our wars.


The Imagined Village – My Son John

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have shaped our society and will continue to do so for at least a generation and this song is about a father whose son lost his legs in the army. The Imagined Village is a collective of English folk artists including Martin Carthy, Eliza Carthy, Chris Wood,  together with Andy Gangadeen & Sheema Mukherjee who are English-born but have Indian heritage. Contemporary English Folk has to represent multicultural society that we live and the sitar is absorbed beautifully into the more familiar instruments.


Show Of Hands – Arrogance, Ignorance & Greed (AIG)

Show Of Hands – Steve Knightley & Phil Beer – have been plying the folk circuit for 20 years or more with their powerful ballads from their base in Devon. Their 2009 album tackled a number of contemporary topics including IED’s and the looting of the wreck of the MSC Napoli, but it was their song about the foolishness of the banks that briefly gave them mainstream exposure that led to an uncharacteristically commercial video being produced.

When the Ironbath heard Show Of Hands play this song, Steve Knightley said that after he wrote it he was worried that it would soon be forgotten but as the banking crisis deepened he continued to write more verses. The live version is longer and considerably more angry. A couple of years on and with the financial situation worsening the Ironbath suspects that there are even more bilious verses to be added.


About Ironbath

The Ironbath is a passionate music lover.
This entry was posted in Andy Gangadeen, Chris Wood, Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy, Richard Thompson, Sheema Mukherjee, Show Of Hands, The Imagined Village. Bookmark the permalink.

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