At 4pm on July 4th I am leading a song walk through Borough regions to Bermondsey regions. I do this every year. Local history & songs sung at the locations that inspired them. I must have been doing this for 5 years now, but who’s counting?
One of the songs I perform is about the Salter statues by the river in Bermondsey/Rotherhithe regions.
This year I have timed the walk so when we finish we can stroll into Southwark Park & watch Steve Harley & The Cockney Rebel play at the carnival. Nice
On Saturday myself & Vanessa Woolf performed as “London Dreamtime” in an empty carpark in Walworth. I sang country folk interpretations of famous science fiction movies. Vanessa told the story of the Terminator. You could quite reasonably say that this was catering for a very specific market: science fiction enthusiasts with a penchant for eccentric reinterpretations of classic works who also have a penchant for mild trespass.
It goes without saying that the evening was a modest success.
One of the songs I performed was “Mr Christopher” based on the popular movie, “District 9″
As you know today is May the 4th. I grew up on Star Wars. I saw “A New Hope” when it came out in 1977 at The Tivoli with my dad. We pretended that our Austin Allegro was an X-Wing Fighter on our way home.
Empire was sold out when we went to see it in Bournemouth so we went to see Superman 2 instead. I saw Empire on VHS after Jedi. I saw Jedi in the Bournemouth Odeon. I was so excited I was sick on my chair in the cinema and moved a few rows back.
I’m notionally an adult now, but I still have a space in my heart for these three films. So much so that I wrote a song about an aspect of each of them. If I was to assign a genre to them it would be space country music from a galaxy far far away.
Burning Under Desert Suns is a song from Uncle Owen’s point of view when he discovers that Luke has left early one morning with C3P0 & R2D2. Uncle Owen tried to bring Luke up as a farmer but that was not to be.
Now Is Not The Time is a song about Han & Leia’s kiss on Bespin prior to his carbon freezing. What a moment.
With My Own Eyes is about Vader & his relationship with Luke. It was pretty complicated & Vader was not the best dad in the galaxy but he made up with Luke in the end.
I recorded these songs on Tatooine, Bespin & the Death Star respectively & they were kindly mixed by Ian Carter on Hoth.
On Southwark Park Road there is a pawn shop called ‘Captain Pawn’
There is a guardian at the threshold.
A T800. My my; Cyberdyne systems do get around. I was unaware that shops on Southwark Park Road needed this degree of security.
Terminator & Terminator 2 are a couple of my favourite films. In the 80s cinema trailers on VHS rentals would be watched & rewatched sometimes more than the films themselves & T1 was one of those.
A fantastic example of tech-noir, T1 stands up to watching even now. I saw T2 when it came out in a cinema in Leicester Square regions & it is one of those sequels which may possibly be better than the original.
I have a copy of the directors cut of T2 on DVD which is a compelling argument for not giving directors everything they want.
T3 & Terminator-Salvation are passable, but not in the same league as the James Cameron directed films. I await Genysis with interest….
I wrote a country song from the point of view of the T1000. As you do…
I love folklore & have a goodly library on the subject.
A book I have been perusing recently is called “The Chime Child” by Ruth L. Tongue
This little gem is a collection of songs collected by the author in the 19th & early 20th century in her native Somerset. Ruth was a Chime Child, born in the Chime Hours between Friday midnight & Saturday daybreak.
As the old verse goes:
“They that be born on a Friday’s chime
Be masters of musick & finders of rhyme,
& every beast will do what they say
& every herb that do grow in the clay,
They do see what they see & they hear what they hear,
But they never do tell in a hundred year.”
I was captivated by the story & wrote a song about this particular brand of cunning folk.
I plan to record this with my band, GentleFolk, later on this year as part of a piece about magic & cunning journeys through England.
I probably shouldn’t mention this, but I was born in the Chime Hours….