Week 46: The holland handkerchief, The lady gay

Week 46 and we’re into the home stretch: the Red album which will bring 52fs to a close.

After the Violet album (starting up) and Indigo (getting going), we’ve had Blue (Child ballads), white (winter songs), Green (love songs – nobody dies), Yellow (war songs – everyone dies) and Orange (Kipling/Bellamy). The theme for this set of songs is simpler: these are songs I like too much to leave out.

We begin with two songs about ghostly – but curiously substantial – apparitions. The holland handkerchief is a strange and wonderful song with a heartbreaking story. It may be the only Child ballad with a punchline.

The lady gay is an American variant of The wife of Usher’s Well; this text comes from a performance by Peter Blegvad.

Both songs are sung with English concertina, recorded separately (and later). Ukulele next week, with any luck.

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