Category Archives: Folk

Do People Not Love Their Hometowns Anymore?

Book: Skagboys

Author: Irvine Welsh

Music: I Belong to Glasgow

Artist: Andy Stewart

More Andy Stewart – this is not one I’ve ever heard before. He sounds like he’s had a few scoops before recording this one. A wee bit slurred, but that’s OK. Do people write slightly maudlin songs like this anymore about their hometown or home country? Seems like it’s gone out of fashion.

 


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They Fuck You(r Musical Tastes) Up, Your Mum and Dad (with apologies to Philip Larkin)

Book: Skagboys

Author: Irvine Welsh

Music: The Northern Lights of Old Aberdeen

Artist: Andy Stewart

Although no version of the song is referred to in Skagboys, my internal jukebox immediately began to play the version by the famous (in certain circles) Scottish balladeer, Andy Stewart. I suppose that’s because I must have heard it so often on the radio programmes my mother and father used to enjoy because I don’t believe we ever had it on a record. But it’s remarkable that when I hear the song title, 45 years later, I can hear the voice and remember at least the first couple of lines of Stewart’s rendition.

Just a couple of months ago my daughter was horrified when I pointed out that she was singing along with Fleetwood Mac’s “Go You Own Way,” a song she professes (along with the band’s entire catalogue) to despise.

Nothing changes.

 


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Playlist: Black Swan Green

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell


This is missing John Lennon’s ‘#9 Dream’ since it doesn’t appear on Spotify.

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I Was Gruntled (At These Gigs)

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell

Music: Words (Between the Lines of Age)

Composer/Artist: Neil Young

Neil Young played Carnegie Hall in January, 2014. I went. I was prepared for a set list as varied as his albums so was surprised when he played essentially a greatest hits set. I’d seen him at the Point Depot (as it was then called) in Dublin a couple of decades previously with Crazy Horse on the Broken Arrow tour. That was one rockin’ gig. Lots of feedback and fuzz. There were more than a few people in that crowd who were there for Harvest. They were left somewhat disgruntled. ‘Disgruntled’ is a word you hear a lot. It’s just the opposite to ‘gruntled’ – that’s not a word you hear very much at all. Even as I type this ‘gruntled’ is underlined in that jagged red style indicating a misspelling. In any case, that disgruntled Dublin crown would’ve loved the Carnegie Hall gigs – he did four that week – since it was very much a retrospective of his early solo career. I loved the Broken Arrow gig and I loved the Carnegie Hall gig. He parked his vintage-looking tour bus on Seventh Avenue at the corner of 56th Street – the license place is ‘Zuma.’


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