Monday, 21 July 2008

"Won't You Spare Me Over For Another Year...?"

There is a new 2-cd anthology of Shirley and Dolly Collins’ Harvest recordings out shortly. I'm reviewing it for Word magazine and it’s absolutely brilliant. It contains all of Love, Death & The Lady, one of the all time great folk albums, and I was struck listening to it again by the extent to which the title track resembles O Death, the great Appalachian dirge made famous by Ralph Stanley a few years back via the soundtrack of O Brother Where Art Thou.

Both songs try to use their wiles, their riches and their youth to bribe Death to return some other day. Alas, death ain’t cutting a deal. Which, when you think about it, is how it will be....

This live version of O Death is even better than the recorded one. I find the fact that this song now resides in some 10 million homes worldwide strangely comforting.

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