Get Even More Visitors To Your Blog, Upgrade To A Business Listing >>

Dirty Old Town

Last November I was waiting for a scan at Charing Cross hospital and was whistling this tune when an elderly man waiting to find out whether his Lung Cancer treatment had worked or not, came up to me and told me it was his favourite song in the world.

I chose to go to university in London because that was where Punk was happening and it was where I wanted to be. But, at the same time, I was still open to other musical influences
 as well.

A friend persuaded me to join the 'Singers Club' which took place at 'The Bull and Mouth' pub in Holburn every Saturday night. It wasn't very expensive - there was a subsidy from the Political Committee of The London Co-Operative Society.

Those were the days.

The Club was really just a platform for Ewan Macoll and Peggy Seeger, who sang folk music.......not normally my kind of thing.

Except Ewan Macoll was an institiution in the Labour Movement. In 1920's Salford he was a firebrand Communist and set up a propaganda group called 'The Red Megaphones' which performed satirical views of the news outside labour Exchanges for the unemployed.

In the 1930's he was a militant Rambler and was press officer at 17 for the group that led The Mass Trespass of Kinder Scout, a privately owned, mountain outside Manchester. Many went to prison after the confrontation with the owners gamekeepers, but what limited access we now have to the countryside is due to them.

Macoll's first wife was Joan Littlewood and between them they established 'Theatre Workshop' which transformed British theatre and premiered some of the most notable plays of the 1950's.

But they split and Macoll specialised in music.

This song is product of a collaboration with his third wife Peggy Seeger, daughter of Pete Seeger the American folk singer and political activist.

It reflects his childhood in poverty stricken Salford and the post war Labour plans to transform it. I like The Pogues version too, but this has a great video and the music is better.

Here's the link;

Neil Harris
(a don't stop till you drop production)
Contact me: [email protected]

This post first appeared on Help Me Sort Out St Peter's!, please read the originial post: here

Share the post

Dirty Old Town


Subscribe to Help Me Sort Out St Peter's!

Get updates delivered right to your inbox!

Thank you for your subscription