I had a thought chain yesterday.
You know those things? You see something which reminds you of something else which in turn sends your thoughts in a completely different direction.
It started yesterday where I read something about Wounded Knee [the American massacre]. This reminded me of a song I had heard called Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. I searched for it but YouTube came up with a version I had never heard of.
I then remembered that the version I was looking for was sung by Richard Digance. I did a search for that and found it.
But having found the song I got to thinking of where I had heard the song originally. I had seen Richard Digance sing at the Cambridge Folk Festival but that got me wondering when I had seen him there.
Back in the early Seventies my world consisted of music and drinking [and wimmin occasionally]. Countless nights were spent in Dublin pubs, like O’Donoghues or Slatterys with a couple of friends playing traditional Irish music. One night one of the group suggested we bring our instruments over to Cambridge. Naturally all the alcohol in us agreed so we set off.
I remember little about that trip. I discovered Newcastle Brown Ale and did my damnedest to double their sales for that year. I do remember playing a few gigs on a side stage which went very well and I remember trying to sleep under one of the stages while some bloke shagged his woman right over my head on the stage. That bloke had some fucking stamina. I saw his woman the following morning and she had a walk like John Wayne. I wasn’t surprised.
I do remember some of the acts I had seen. Richard Digance of course, but also Arlo Guthrie, Planxty, Loudon Wainright III , Martin Carthy and Alan Stivell all managed to pierce my alcoholic haze and stay in my memory. It was a brilliant weekend in Cherry Hinton Hall, but it has always bugged me as to what year it was. All I knew was that it was some time in the seventies.
So anyways, I did my bit of research into the history of the Folk Festival and there was only one year when all of the above were on together.
In 1974 I was 16 years old and getting my drivers license
Hah! By then I had gone through two motorbikes and was on my second car!
Buffy St Marie sang an excellent version
The reason I wanted the Richard Digance one was the memory of the concert. Several thousand voices all singing the chorus of his version was a spine tingling moment.
I saw Martin Carthy, in the early seventies, in our local pub folk night here in leafy Saddleworth. He was a favourite of mine then. I think it was after his break with Dave Swarbrick.
I used to try to sing his songs, Byker Hill an Walkers Shore defeated me, with its 5:4 (or something) rythm..
Long time ago, but very happy days.
Happy days indeed. I think it was the same summer I had tickets to see Steeleye Span and Tom Paxton on consecutive nights. The Steeleye concert had to be postponed to the following night because of an electrical fault . So I went to the Steeleye concert [brilliant!] and as soon as it ended I had to dash across Dublin just in time for the start of Tom Paxton. That was a vary memorable night!