“When we get to England, will it still be there?”
– Andy Partridge
My most recent Image of the Week is of a crowd at last Thursday’s Crowded House concert in Sydney, Australia. Aussies (and New Zealanders) love them and, if truth be known, so do millions of us around the world, thanks to the masterly song-writing of the Finn brothers.
However, I thought, have I got any music in my archives which reflect my ‘Englishness’? If I were to return, would I be able to fit in, protected by my passport?
The simple answer is “no”. I have, and have always had, an international outlook, so although I can still speak like wot me mates from Sarf Lunnon probly still do, I am not a ‘Little Englander’ facing an isolated ‘I’m all right’ life separated from the rest of Europe.
I have umpteen tracks from ‘home’ which stir my nostalgia, but having a topic word in the title narrows down my choices, so all I have to do is weave a narrative, to create a notional flow.
The first three tracks try to answer the question posed by Andy Partridge (of XTC fame) above. Why return? Would it be because of the rose-tinted rural scenes painted by folk musicians?
Not according to tracks 2 and 5. Nor can it be to retrace one’s youth. Although I recognise most of Max Wall’s ‘glory’ connections, few of you will.
And it seems that there isn’t much positivity in the other songs. Even the usually light-hearted and playful Penguin Café Orchestra have captured some of the pre-Brexit gloom.
Tracks (most @320)
01. Andy Partridge – When We Get To England
02. Jim Moray – Sweet England
03. Martin Ansell – Hardy’s England
04. Max Wall – England’s Glory
05. Etchingham Steam Band – Hard Times Of Old England
06. Alan Price – England My England
07. PJ Harvey – England
08. Kirsty MacColl – A New England
09. Massive Attack w. Sinead O’Connor – Prayer for England
10. Norma Winstone – A Song For England
11. Penguin Café Orchestra – Lie Back and Think of England