Can We Get Subtitles On This?

Voices of the British Isles

Somewheres down there (Google Earth)

Sometimes we have to travel in the conventional way, to places, and over distance. Some of the places we travel to are represented here: our ancestral homes, if you will.

When you travel a long distance, you may find that people where you’re heading for talk differently from those where you came from. It can be useful to know which is which.

Here are a few interesting voices.

1 Bert Jansch, “The January Man

Bert was from Glasgow, in Scotland. The song is by Dave Goulder, from Derbyshire in northern England.

The definitive (to our ears) version of this song is by Martin Carthy. We advise you to seek it out.

Glasgow to Derbyshire is about 230 miles.

2 Dick Gaughan, “The Scarecrow

Dick is also from Glasgow. The song is by Lal and Mike Waterson, from Hull in north-eastern England.

Lal and Mike’s version of this one includes guitar work by the aforementioned Martin Carthy and the soontobementioned Richard Thompson.

Glasgow to Hull is about 180 miles.

3 The High Kings, “Galway To Graceland

The High Kings are from Ireland. The song is by Richard Thompson, from London. Elvis Presley was from Tennessee.

The definitive version of this song is by Plainsong, and was on public sale only briefly, in aid of a charity. Good luck with finding it. If you succeed, it will be well worth whatever effort it cost you. Meanwhile, there is this.

Galway to Graceland is about 3975 miles.

4 Shirley Collins and the Albion Country Band, “Van Diemen’s Land

Shirley is from Hastings in Sussex in south-east England. Hastings is where the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. The song is traditional, anonymous, handed down through generations. Van Diemen’s Land is now known as Tasmania.

Like the guitar work? Richard Thompson again.

Hastings to Van Diemen’s Land is about 11,000 miles, a long way to be sent for stealing a sheep.

5 Matching Mole, “O Caroline

Robert Wyatt is from Canterbury, where the pilgrims were going. When not telling tales, some of them could have been singing.

A pilgrimage to Canterbury is as many miles as you need it to take.

6 Alison Krauss with Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain, “Dimming Of The Day

Alison is from Illinois, which is not in the British Isles. The song is another by Richard Thompson.

Here to there is some distance.


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