It’s All Right Ma, I Can Make It

Looking back trying to understand the way I am, I realize I was listening to things like this when I was 12. (And reading stuff like Howl.)

Please listen, study the lyrics, and read Howl.

Darkness at the break of noon

Shadows even the silver spoon

The handmade blade, the child’s balloon
Continue reading

A Place Called England

So I have relocated to the UK. I live in a village near Cambridge.

We have an allotment, which we are setting up with a rabbit fence and a shed. The roof of the shed will drain into water tanks. Mostly that is for next year and later years. For now we have started growing potatoes. When the fence is in we will plant a bit more, but it is late in the season.

I feel more at home here than I felt in California. This song seems to describe for me why that is. Trains, gardens, allotments, regular people looking at rich people with no souls…

From the site Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music

Maggie Holland sang her own song A Place Called England on her 1999 album Getting There. She re-recorded it in 2007 for her anthology Bones. She noted on the first album:

It took me a long time to finish this song—and I probably would never even have started it if I hadn’t emigrated to Scotland about six years ago. I tussled with it on long train journeys and hummed it to myself whilst grubbing about in the allotment. I could not have written it without the inspiration of Christopher Hill’s book The World Turned Upside Down, Leon Rosselson’s song of the same name, Naomi Mitchison’s Sea-Green Ribbons, William Cobbett’s Cottage Economy, Hamish Henderson’s Freedom Come-All-Ye, Jean Giono’s The Man Who Planted Trees, animated discussions with (rightly) proud and passionate Scots like Dick Gaughan (“The first place to be colonised in the British Empire was England”), and many a quiet and gentle gardener; Mr Harding, my aunt Amy Rawling, and my godfather Alan Wells, to name but three.

This YouTube video shows Maggie Holland in Antwerp, Belgium, at Folk in ’t Stad on 30 March 2012.

Click through for the lyrics.