Telling stories of folk who do the worst jobs: folk music and justice

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Yesterday, Nancy Kerr won the prestigious singer of the year title at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards 2015.

Already a respected interpreter of traditional material, Nancy’s emergence as a writer of rare style has drawn comparisons to William Blake in her reawakening of a radical folk mythology as a backdrop for contemporary narratives about love and conflict, motherhood, migration, hardship and jubilation, and the tensions between rural and urban life. 1.

In her introduction to her Bristol gig last November she spoke of the deep disconnect we have with those who provide the goods we consume and the sense of alienation that creates in society. Here are some lyrics from Hard Songs 

Some kind stranger sews my clothes

Back bent low on the sweatshop row

Black is the flag and the smoke of coal

Mothers tears running in your soul

Mothers tears running in your soul

Cold seas running in your heart

Hard songs running in your blood.

1. http://nancykerr.co.uk/?page_id=10

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4 Responses to Telling stories of folk who do the worst jobs: folk music and justice

  1. Love this! For me, this is what music is for…..and what a beautiful soulful voice, eh?!

  2. As we come marching, marching, unnumbered women dead
    Go crying through our singing their ancient cry for bread.
    Small art and love and beauty their drudging spirits knew.
    Yes, it is bread we fight for—but we fight for roses, too!

  3. Yes…the bread and roses challenge goes on…thanks for reminding of that powerful poem…have you seen the film?

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