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I drew my ship into the harbour Collected by John Stokoe in 1899 in Songs and ballads of northern England. No source given.
La Llorona (the weeping woman)* is about a woman searching for the children she drowned. She causes misfortune to anyone who comes near or hears her weeping.
Barefoot in the desert is about things like wonderful conversations and experiences, those ‘moments in time’ that make us happier.
Harriet Tubman* (1822 – 1913) was a young North Carolina slave who escaped to the north and then returned, with great courage, thirteen times to help other slaves to freedom. She used ‘the underground railroad’ – a system of ‘stations’ (safe houses) and ’conductors’ (guides) to help them to freedom.
Black Shuck was a fearsome East Anglia devil invented, perhaps, to explain the inexplicable. What would he look like today?
Burning tyres references photographs of child refugees fleeing from wars we made for them. We have been much luckier in our lives, but how do we change things for them? Can we?
The Doom Bar mermaid is a version of one legend told to explain the notorious sandbank where the River Camel in North Cornwall meets the North Atlantic.
The flowers in the marketplace is for the victims of terror attacks. They are us, wherever they are from or why they were targeted.
The way back home – ‘Time present and time past are both perhaps present in time future…’
The captain’s apprentice is a broadside ballad, collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams in Kings Lynn in 1905. It tells the tale of a notoriously cruel sea captain who was hanged in Kings Lynn in the early 19th century.
Windrush summer was written when abroad, waiting to go home. It is about the shameful treatment of some of the ‘Windrush’ generation of West Indians in the UK, told to go home after they had served the country that invited them so enthusiastically.
Berceuse, a winter carol, is the fourth in a series of songs for Christmas.
All songs written by Jeremy Harmer except I drew my ship and The captain’s apprentice (traditonal English), La llorona (traditional Mexican) and Harriet Tubman (Walter Robinson)
Phil Toms wrote the string arrangement for Berceuse
Josh plays on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 10 & 12.
Mark Fawcett sings backing vocals on tracks 1,4,7,& 11.
Steve Bingham plays violin on tracks 9 & 12.
Kate Clow (violin), Brenda Stewart & Jo Holland (violas) and Stuart Clow (double bass) play on track 12.
All tracks recorded by Mark Fawcett of Fish Need Snorkels The Barn, Thornage, and Stud Cottage, Melton Constable except*. Additional recording for Berceuse by Steve Bingham at the Rectory, Wells-next-the-sea.
CD mastered by Mark Fawcett.
Cover design and photography by Steve Bingham
*Recorded live at The Great Bardfield Folk Club on March 14, 2019 (with thanks to Anna Bass and Ray Taylor)