Extras: Four Angels, Jusqu’a la ceinture

Here’s some new stuff for you.

New Kipling, set to music by Martin Simpson: “Four Angels” (sung with concertina, one take)

Like a lot of Kipling’s poems, this one was made for setting to music. Unlike most of them, Peter Bellamy didn’t get round to it; this setting is by Martin Simpson. This is the first thing I’ve recorded with ‘live’ concertina accompaniment. I like the way the concertina’s come out – very chapel-harmonium. My voice sounds a bit wobbly, though – I don’t know if I was coming down with a cold or if it was from the effort of having to think about playing at the same time as singing.

New Pete Seeger in French, translated by Graeme Allwright: “Jusqu’à la ceinture” (with concertina and drums, overdubbed)

My French teacher played us “Jusqu’a la ceinture” in class once, leading into a big discussion of the political meaning of the song – although we never actually touched on Vietnam, oddly enough! I’ve always liked it. If you can’t understand the French, just think “Waist deep in the Big Muddy” and you’ll be more or less there. I like to think that Graeme Allwright wondered about translating it, got as far as the second line (“We were on manoeuvres in Louisana”) and thought “Well, this is easy…”

Both of these will feature on a downloadable album before too long. (In case anyone’s wondering, I finished the last of the 52 folk songs back in September, but I’m still a couple of extras short. Hopefully I’ll get it tied up by the end of the year.)

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