A Poem for Sunday

November 28, 2010

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

W. B. Yeats


I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.


And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.


I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.




A Poem for Saturday

November 20, 2010

Referenced last night at a prize giving…


by John Donne
AS virtuous men pass mildly away,

And whisper to their souls to go,

Whilst some of their sad friends do say,

“Now his breath goes,” and some say, “No.”


So let us melt, and make no noise,

No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move ;

‘Twere profanation of our joys

To tell the laity our love.

Moving of th’ earth brings harms and fears ;

Men reckon what it did, and meant;

But trepidation of the spheres,

Though greater far, is innocent.


Dull sublunary lovers’ love

—Whose soul is sense—cannot admit

Of absence, ’cause it doth remove

The thing which elemented it.


But we by a love so much refined,

That ourselves know not what it is,

Inter-assurèd of the mind,

Care less, eyes, lips and hands to miss.

Our two souls therefore, which are one,

Though I must go, endure not yet

A breach, but an expansion,

Like gold to aery thinness beat.

If they be two, they are two so

As stiff twin compasses are two ;

Thy soul, the fix’d foot, makes no show

To move, but doth, if th’ other do.

And though it in the centre sit,

Yet, when the other far doth roam,

It leans, and hearkens after it,

And grows erect, as that comes home.

Such wilt thou be to me, who must,

Like th’ other foot, obliquely run ;

Thy firmness makes my circle just,

And makes me end where I begun.

Interview with Jonny and Lucy

November 17, 2010

Following my previous post about Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell, I asked them if they wouldn’t mind doing an interview.  They very kindly agreed, and here it is:

How did you meet?

Studying folk music at Newcastle university.

Which one of you would win in a fight?

Lucy says Lucy, Jonny says Jonny. The debate is causing disagreement, it may result in a fight.

You have a rather unique, haunting sound. Was this something you’ve worked to develop, or did it just appear naturally?

It happened naturally, we simply played together and a ‘sound’ emerged.

Would you describe yourself as folk performers?  Why?

Well in the sense we sing folk songs to folk audiences, yes. We also compose songs so I guess it’s really down to how you would define ‘folk’.

What next for the pair of you?

Well, we are embarking on a 3 week UK tour with Bellowhead starting today. Then we are recording an album over Christmas, which we will be touring in spring.

The majority of readers of this blog are here for the SF. What would recommend if someone wanted to start listening to folk?

There’s lots of great folk music around at the moment. The Unthanks are great. Chris Wood is great, Emily Portman, Phil & Cath Tyler, Alisdair Roberts, bellowhead, lau….

Lastly, which are better:  Robots or Accordions?

Difficult one.  Jonny says accordions, Lucy says robots.

Jonny: accordions have probably brought more joy to peoples lives.

Lucy: you can get a robot to do anything.

Jonny: I suppose, also you could get a robot to play an accordion, but you couldn’t get an accordion to play a robot.

Lucy agrees. Argument resolved.

Views from my Window

November 10, 2010

A new picture blog I’ve been adding to:  http://saddleworthwindow.wordpress.com/

The rules are quite simple:

  • I take a photograph each morning
  • I point the camera out of the same window

I thought it might be quite interesting to watch the seasons change.  See what you think.


Jackie Oates, Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell

November 3, 2010

Shaw Playhouse, Sunday 31st October.

It seems a little rude to spend most of an entry talking about the support act, but Jackie Oates has won the BBC Folk awards twice and is increasingly well known so she can perhaps share the attention for this entry at least.  Mind you, it would be churlish not to mention the variety of her set, the effortless way in which she would switch from singing to fiddle, and the confident tone that she coaxes from her instrument.  Such practised musicianship can pass easily pass unnoticed.  It’s also worth noting, for the sake of those who like to check that this blog’s integrity is maintained, that her backing band contained an accordionist.

But what about Jonny Kearney and Lucy Farrell, her support act?  I must admit, there was something about this duo that I took a dislike to when they first walked on. I don’t know what it was, maybe it was the fact that all the folk musicians look so young nowadays, but any doubts were quickly forgotten when they began to perform.  There is a haunting quality about their harmonies, the steady pace to their songs which is really quite unusual.  Even more unusually for a support act, they kept my attention all the way through their set.  If I have one criticism of this pair it was the unvarying nature of the tempo and feel of the pieces, but then again, if all the songs must be similar, let them be this good.

I’m going to keep an eye out for this pair.  I suggest you do, too.