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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 to listen to a sample of the song. Click on the song title to see the lyrics.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wreck of the Bayrupert
(3:09) Words and music: Larry Kaplan
A (mostly) true story with a Canadian connection.
- 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!
(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.
- 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'!
- 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!"
- Showers (3:20)
Words & music: Tom Lewis
A picture is worth a thousand words, odours - even more!
- Miner's Life
(3:07) Words and Music: Traditional
HELL, YES! I'm a union member. Local 1000, the North American Travelling Musicians Union.
- 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.
- 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.
- Devoted to You
(2:19) Words and music: Boudleaux Bryant
Now here's a serious'blast from the past'!
- 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!
- 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
- The Writing of
'Tipperary' (7:44) Words & music: Bill
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.
- 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.
- Rolling Home (3:23) Words: Charles McKay, music: Traditional, arr.: Tom Lewis