How Evil Triumphs

‘To triumph fully, evil needs two victories, not one. The first victory happens when an evil deed is perpetrated; the second victory when evil is returned. After the first victory, evil would die if the second victory did not  infuse it with new life.’

– Miroslav Volf, The End of Memory.

Kate Rusby: ’20’

Yes! This is absolutely brilliant!

19 of the best songs Kate has recorded in her twenty year career, and one brand new one – all completely re-recorded with the help of some of the most brilliant musicians in the folk music world today, including Sarah Jarosz, Ron Block, Richard Thompson, Aoife O’Donovan (of ‘Crooked Still’), Jerry Douglas, Dick Gaughen and many others – including my hero (and Kate’s too), Nic Jones!

Get it here!

Good links for Friday morning

Thank God It’s Friday because that means a weekly blog post from my old friend Reed Fleming. This week he tells a tale about preaching on Luke 7:36-50 in a congregation where it was, well, particularly applicable! You can find it at Outside In.

Last year, in honour of the 400th anniversary of the Authorised (King James) Version of the Bible, Glen Scrivener blogged through its more memorable phrases. He’s repeating the posts this year, and today’s post, on ‘Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it…’, was particularly good.

Lastly, in a completely different vein, a new album from the (more than a little raucous) English band ‘Bellowhead’ is always good news for me! Jonathan Hagger let the cat out of the bag, and it looks like he’s got sample tracks. The album’s called ‘Broadside’, and you can find out more about it on this page.

The modern balladeers 2: Stan Rogers

The late great Stan Rogers wrote some wonderful ballads (=storytelling songs, remember?). Here is one of my favourites, a song that’s half a ballad, half a love song. When Marci and I were first married we spent five years in rural Saskatchewan and I had many cups of coffee in farm kitchens with a can of carnation on the table, so this song carries wonderful memories for me. It seems somehow appropriate for our wedding anniversary!

So here is Stan Rogers with ‘Lies’.

The modern balladeers: Ralph McTell

Having spent the summer posting traditional folk songs, I think I’m going to post a few examples of singer-songwriters who write contemporary songs in a traditional vein – that is to say, storytelling songs, which is what the word ‘ballad’ originally meant.

Let’s start with this lovely song from Ralph McTell. He is best known for ‘Streets of London’, but in fact has written dozens of wonderful ballads. This is ‘The Girl from the Hiring Fair’. By the way, this song meets one of my criteria for being a true folk song, which is that it has been sung by someone other than the author; Fairport Convention have been playing this song for years.