Mixed Cargo

Mixed Cargo

Borealis Records. BCD116 (1999)
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MIXED CARGO comprises glances backwards, forwards, and sideways — I've had several repertoires over the years. This venture has afforded me the much prized opportunity to actually record some of my most cherished memories - singing with my old mates Johnny Collins and Jim Mageean and the irrepressible (and irresponsible) LONG FELT WANT: Bernard Potter, Sooty Broughton and Pete Watkinson. I've greatly enjoyed all the singing on this album. I hope you will too - and I hope you'll sing along.

Click on listen to sample to listen to a sample of the song. Click on the song title to see the lyrics.

  1. listen to sample All the Good Times (3:22) Words: Bob Pegg, music: Traditional
    This old, Quaker song, re-written by the founder of the groundbreaking: MR. FOX might seem more akin to a 'closer' than an 'opener' - but sing along anyway and get in the mood.
  2. listen to sample Rolling Down to Rio (1:40) Words: Rudyard Kipling, music: Peter Bellamy
    Shortly long before his tragically early death, Peter Bellamy sent me a cassette of songs, suggesting that they might suit my style. Thanks Peter!
    The Old Grey Squirrel (3:34) Words: Alfred Noyes, music: Bob Zentz
    In addition to being one of the planet's nicest people, Bob Zentz is a great musician, songwriter and performer. This poem, by the author of THE HIGHWAYMAN, caught his eye and imagination.
  3. listen to sample Wreck of the Bayrupert (3:09) Words and music: Larry Kaplan
    A (mostly) true story with a Canadian connection.
  4. listen to sample H.M.C.S. Sackville (2:58) Words & music: Tom Lewis
    This one wrote itself (in just 23 minutes—my fastest ever) and the royalties go to The Sackville Trust so come on you DJs—give it a spin!
  5. listen to sample Peking (4:04) Words & music: Tom Lewis
    ...and here's the one which took longest—11 years! The movie PEKING BATTLES THE HORN is now available in video format. I can see it whenever I sing this.
  6. listen to sample A Sailor's Consolation (1:35) Words: Charles Dibdin, music: Bob Zentz
    The introduction for The Old Grey Squirrel above stands true for this rosy piece of Victoriana.
    An Ex-Sailor's Life (3:21) Words & music: Tom Lewis.
    and... I invoke my 'Right Of Reply'!
  7. listen to sample The East Indiaman (3:15) Words and music: Traditional
    A really 'singable' song with a bit in the chorus for those who believe they can't sing! Research by Chris Roache (of THE SHANTY CREW) shows the chorus, in it's oldest traceable form, as "Hilly, holly, hilly holly ho!"
  8. listen to sample Showers (3:20) Words & music: Tom Lewis
    A picture is worth a thousand words, odours - even more!
  9. listen to sample Miner's Life (3:07) Words and Music: Traditional
    HELL, YES! I'm a union member. Local 1000, the North American Travelling Musicians Union.
  10. listen to sample Some Mother's Son (3:51) Words and music: Tom Lewis; Guitar and Northumbrian smallpipes: Grit Laskin
    Based on the tragic story, from my birthplace, Belfast, of Mrs. Jean McConville.
  11. listen to sample Aye Sir, Aye (1:41) Words and music: Traditional
    In the late 70s, these particular 'four jolly lads' flew low and fast - by the seats of their pants.
  12. listen to sample Devoted to You (2:19) Words and music: Boudleaux Bryant
    Now here's a serious'blast from the past'!
  13. listen to sample Pull Down Lads (2:26) Words and music: John Tams
    LONG FELT WANT's signature farewell - the bar was closing, not a dry eye in the house!
  14. listen to sample F.I.R.E.- FIRE! (0:38) Words and music: Untraceable, arr.: Tom Lewis
    I never noticed the 'Peace Bonus' we were all promised, but we've had songs like these around for a long time to remind us that we can rise above conflict. The first is from John Prince's Mum. The others are from my very own 'oral tradition'.
    Keep the Homefires Burning (2:42) Words: Lena Guilbert Ford, music:Ivor Novello
    Goodbye Dolly Gray (2:01) Words: Will D. Cobb, music: Paul Barnes
  15. listen to sample The Writing of 'Tipperary' (7:44) Words & music: Bill Caddick
    Bill Caddick, from who's pen flowed UNICORNS, JOHN O' DREAMS and many others, wrote this saga about how this 'retro' hit came to be written.
  16. listen to sample Normandy Orchards (5:28) Words and music: Keith Marsden
    The late, great Keith Marsden produced many of the finest songs written in England during the past couple of decades. There is no 'typical' Keith Marsden song but check out his songbook, PICKING SOOTY BLACKBERRIES, and wear a poppy come November the eleventh.
  17. listen to sample Rolling Home (3:23) Words: Charles McKay, music: Traditional, arr.: Tom Lewis