Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Jim Radford

I'm back from Wales, it was fun, I'll write about it later. I came across this when I was doing my 'back in the 21st century' celebratory internet surfing. He's someone I've seen and heard many times in various folk clubs around south east london. Have a listen, he's got an amazing voice and a seemingly infinite repertoire of shanties, songs of the sea, and folk ballads.

This is a good example of the sort of song he performs - songs that describe recent history with the timelessness of really old folk songs. This particular one is about the Battle of Gallipoli, one of the bigger bloodbaths of the first world war. It isn't very well known in the UK because the losses were mostly Australians, Kiwis, Canadians, and Indians* -- soldiers from the colonies always seem to get left out of popular conceptions of 20th century warfare.


*As well as the Turks, of course, whose losses were no less horrific for the fact that they were the nominal victors