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Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger

Ewan MacColl may well have been the most influential person in the British folk song revival. From his early manhood until his death in 1989, he remained passionately committed to folk, though not exclusively; he was also a poet, playwright, organizer, activist, songwriter, husband, and father. MacColl was born James Henry Miller in Salford, England in 1915. His father was a lowland man who spoke Scots English, his mother a highlander who spoke Gaelic. Both of his parents were singers. MacColl left school at 14 to busk and act in the streets, and was quickly discovered by the BBC. Soon he was not only singing, but also writing programs for the radio. He founded the first folk club in England, the Ballads and Blues Club, as well as the Critic's Group, an influential early singing group that included such singers as Frankie Armstrong, Anne Briggs, and John Faulkner.

MacColl was one of the foremost interpreters of traditional songs ever recorded. The most ambitious project he undertook was to record a representative sampling of Professor Francis James Child's English and Scottish popular ballads. While his early repertoire was mainly of street songs and traditional material, he was also an important songwriter. Most impressive was his competence in producing expressions that had an appeal to all levels of society; his songs have been covered by performers as diverse as Dick Gaughan, the Pogues, Roberta Flack, and Elvis Presley, and many have been collected in several versions from the oral tradition. They range from savage political satire to tender love songs, and are supremely effective at producing the desired emotions.

Beyond his activities as a singer and songwriter, MacColl was an actor and a playwright. In 1947, George Bernard Shaw commented, "Apart from myself, MacColl is the only man of genius writing for the theater in England today." His playwriting and songwriting joined seamlessly in his "radio ballads," radio plays that bordered on ballad operas. Many of his most lovely and best-remembered songs were written for these plays, some of which have been released in album form.

MacColl was married to Peggy Seeger, herself a singer of folk songs (and half-sister to American icon Pete Seeger). Together MacColl and Seeger, sometimes accompanied by their children, also skilled musicians and singers, recorded quite a few albums as well. Many of MacColl's albums are out of print products of long-defunct record companies. Some, however, are readily available. All, like MacColl himself, are important factors in the history of the folk revival, to be cherished by all who encounter them. This great singer made many, many albums over many years. All of them are recommended for fans of great singing, though some may be a bit specialized (i.e., unaccompanied singing in broad Scots dialect) for some listeners. ~ Steve Winick, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Hot Blast: Contemporary Songs Written And Sung By Peggy Seeger And Ewan MacColl

1. Blast Against Blackguards

2. The Tenant Farmer

3. The Pay-Up Song

4. Emily

5. Cut-Price Hero

6. You And I

7. Legal Illegal

8. The Invader

9. Father's Song

10. White Wind

x

Track List: Kilroy Was Here

1. Seven Days Of The Week

2. Miss Heroin

3. In Praise Of Famous Men And Women

4. Ladybird

5. Lullabye For A Very New Baby

6. The Plutonium Factor

7. The Vandals

8. Kilroy Was Here

9. The Androids

10. What The Poet Called Her

11. Nobody Knew She Was There

12. My Old Man

13. Get Rid Of It

14. Swallow And Trout

15. Four Minute Warning

x

Track List: Folkways Record Of Contemporary Songs

1. The Ballad Of Accounting

2. We Don't Want To Live Like That!

3. Black And White

4. Cut-Price Hero

5. Lament For The Death Of A Nobody

6. Nightshift

7. Jimmy Gray

8. The Children

9. Nightmare

10. The Shellback Song

11. The Companeros

12. Buffalo Holler

13. Song Of Myself

14. Yankee Doodle

15. Look Ay You!

16. Darling Annie

x

Track List: Traditional Songs And Ballads

1. As I Came By Fisherrow

2. Spinning Wheel

3. My Apron Now

4. Tibbie Fowler

5. The Beggar Laddie (Child No. 280)

6. The Weary Pund O'Tow

7. The Baron O'Leys (Child No. 241)

8. Earl Of Errol

9. The Shepherd And His Wife

10. Fare Ye Well

11. Johnny Lad

12. Blythesome Bridal

13. The Braes O'Balquither

x

Track List: New Briton Gazette, Vol. 2

1. The Banks They Are Rosy

2. Rosalie

3. March With Us Today

4. Lullabye For The Times

5. No Agents Need Apply

6. The Printer's Trade

7. The Ballad Of Jimmy Wilson

8. The Big Hewer

9. The Shoals Of Herring

10. The Young Birds

11. Needle And Thread

12. Hey Ho! Cook And Rowe!

13. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

14. Come Live With Me

15. When I Was Young

x

Track List: Bothy Ballads Of Scotland

1. The Keach In The Creel (Child #281)

2. I'm A Rover

3. The Scranky Black Farmer

4. The Band Of Shearers

5. Jock Hawk's Adventure In Glasgow

6. The Brewer Laddie

7. The Wind Blew The Bonnie Lassie's Plaidie Awa'

8. The Monymusk Lads

9. The Muckin' O' Geordie's Byre

10. Bogie's Bonny Belle

11. Lamachree And Megrum

12. The Road And The Miles To Dundee

13. The Lothian Hairst

14. It Happened On A Day

15. I'm A Working Chap

16. Johnny Sangster

17. Drumdelgie

18. She Was A Rum One

x

Track List: Songs Of Two Rebellions: The Jacobite Wars Of 1715 And 1745 In Scotland

1. Ye Jacobites By Name

2. Such A Parcel Of Rogues In A Nation

3. Will Ye Go To Sheriffmuir

4. Wae's Me For Prince Charlie

5. Charlie He's My Darling

6. The Haughs Of Cromdale

7. The Bonnie Moorhen

8. Johnnie Cope

9. Came Ye O'er Frae France?

10. There's Three Brave, Loyal Fellows

11. This Is No' My Ain House

12. The Piper O' Dundee

13. Donald MacGillavry

14. Will Ye No' Come Back Again

15. The Wee, Wee German Lairdie

x

Track List: New Briton Gazette, Vol. 1

1. Come Fill Up Your Glasses

2. Ballad Of The Carpenter

3. The Ballad Of Springhill

4. The Lifeboat Mona

5. The Trafford Road Ballad

6. The Fireman's Not For Me

7. When I Was A Young Lad

8. The Crooked Cross

9. There's Better Things To Do

10. Brother, Won't You Join In The Line

11. The Space Girl's Song

12. Come All You Gallant Colliers

13. Come Me Little Son

14. The Fitter's Song

15. The Exile Song

x

Track List: Popular Scottish Songs

1. The Barnyards Of Delgaty

2. The Highland Muster Roll

3. Wee, Wee German Lairdee

4. Friendless Mary

5. The Bonnie Lass Of Fyvie

6. Roy's Wife

7. Charlie O Charlie

8. Tail Toddle

9. Lassie Wi' The Yellow Coatie

10. Kissin's No Sin

11. Bonnie Annie (Child 24)

12. Johnnie Cope

13. The Wars Of Germany

14. Maggie Lauder

15. Nicky Tams

16. Johnny Lad

17. Eppie Morrie (Child 223)

18. The Reel Of Stumpie

x

Track List: Classic Scots Ballads

1. Johnny Lad

2. The False Lover Won Back

3. Aiken Drum

4. The Gairdener Chyld

5. The Maid Gaed To The Mill

6. The Elfin Knight

7. The Banks Of The Nile

8. Hughie Grame

9. Mormond Braes

10. Glasgow Peggy

11. The Monymusk Lads

12. The Trooper And The Maid

13. I Loved A Lass

14. Lord Thomas And Fair Annie

Comments

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Thank u for my babies heritage��, so happy
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blva65
Excellent
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Terrific protest song.
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The BEST--great voice, great songwriter, creative genius. Could listen to Sweet Thames Flow Softly every day without tiring of it. Highly recommend the radio ballads (below)--mos t are back out on CD and are brilliantly conceived and performed:

The Ballad of John Axon (1957),The Body Blow (1961), Song of A Road (1958), On the Edge (1962), Singing the Fishing (1959), The Fight Game (1963), The Big Hewer (1960), The Travelling People (1964)
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Ewan MacColl's music endlessly pleases this Donnachaidh
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Why would it need to be gender neutral? HE is a man.
Report as inappropriate
aquasheep
Revision for biography: "From his early manhood until his death" should be "From his adolescence until his death" because the latter is gender neutral.
Report as inappropriate
SUCKS, SUCKS HARD AND SUCKS LOUD

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