An old song came to mind: I don't know why. It's from the north east of England - even further north than Yorkshire.. Here is the tune played so beautifully by Sheku Kanneh-Mason:-
The song is called "Blow The Wind Southerly".
I vaguely remembered that it was once recorded by the famous English contralto - Kathleen Ferrier. And as you do nowadays, I went hunting around in The Great Google Library for more information, more signposts.
Imagine my gasp of surprise when I discovered that Kathleen Ferrier died on the very same day that I was born! Additionally, just like my father her dad was also the headmaster of a village school. She died young at 41 after a futile battle with breast cancer. She had no children and her marriage to a bank manager was by all accounts never consummated. Tragic - but in her short life she walked in the limelight, working with some of the finest musicians to emerge from World War II.
Now I am learning "Blow The Wind Southerly" to sing to Baby Phoebe as I rock her in my arms but my version will not be an exact replica of Kathleen Ferrier's haunting rendition...
Thank you for the spot of loveliness to my morning. Little Phoebe is such a blessed child. (That written without actually ever having heard your voice...)ReplyDelete
I sound like Gollum in "Lord of the Rings".Delete
Kathleen Ferrier was a Lancashire lass YP. Lesley Garrett sings a good version of it too. I know the song but can't remember where I heard it. Probably yonks ago on Stars On Sunday or some long lost forgotten programme.ReplyDelete
I am glad that the song rang some distant bells for you Heinz.Delete
What a beautiful rich voice she had, very nice and relaxing.ReplyDelete
A good contralto voice is pretty unusual. Glad you liked it Jo.Delete
Certain streets, squares, parks and theatres in London give me the impression that I have lived previous lives. As do the Salford paintings of LS Lowry.ReplyDelete
So do the recordings of Kathleen Ferrier such as Blow the Wind Southerly and What Is Life To Me Without Thee? The latter is from Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice.
Yet I reject reincarnation. The Letter to the Hebrews (9:27) persuades me:
*And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment*.
Gulp! The judgement! If only I hadn't drunk so much that night! Come on Godot - give a guy a break will ya?Delete
Godot never comes. CS Lewis said, 'How can Hamlet ever meet Shakespeare?'Delete
Only if the author of the play appears in person, in the drama of history.
Remember Rod Steiger as Pontius Pilate?
*Jesus of Nazareth - Complete Special Edition - Part 35.*
Gosh, there's a song from the past. I recall hearing them play it on Two-way Family Favourites on a Sunday. I thought it was sung by Joan Sutherland and had to google it to find out. It seems she sang a duet with Kathleen Ferrier, so we are both right.ReplyDelete
I could do a duet with you ADDY. I shall wear a penguin suit and you a diamante-studded ball gown... Do you know how to curtsey properly?Delete
Oh wow. Memories.ReplyDelete
When I was around 11 or 12 years old I was given for my birthday a plastic record player that played 33 rpm discs. One of these was a recording of Blow The Wind Southerly. Another one was Coming Through The Rye. The first songs I learned to sing - very badly!
Please record yourself singing these songs and post on "Diary of a Nobody".Delete
Please may we now have a recording of you blowing wind southerly?ReplyDelete
Thwarrp! Did you hear that bugle call?Delete
What a tragic story but a good song.ReplyDelete
Her life did indeed contain a lot of sorrow as well as the illumination of her singing voice.Delete
I remember singing it at school in some acapella choir I was in. Nice song.ReplyDelete
"Singing Together" and "Rhythm and Melody" introduced British kids to many lovely old songs.Delete
I will have to change the wind to Northerly as nobody in their right mind here would request a wind straight off the Antarctic. Love that cello.ReplyDelete
As per your instructions I have upped the knitting speed and am churning out booties, beanies and singlets at a rate of knots.
PS I won't forget your birthday as it's my wedding anniversary.
Well that's another fine co-incidence Adele! Now knit faster! Faster I say!Delete
When I was at school both these songs by Kathleen Ferrier were always included in my music teacher's end of term "concert" - her piano playing interspersed with her favourite records. So long ago, but rarely well received by young girls brought up on a "diet" of Top 20 hits! Your comments have brought back memories of the stultifying boredom of those seemingly endless recitals. So sad, because she had a beautiful voice, although not one that I could ever enjoy listening to, Philistine that I am, I don't appreciate a contralto.ReplyDelete
I seem to remember that there was a TV programme about her life, sometime late last year?
Oh! I wish that I had seen that programme. I will try to find it now. Thanks CG>Delete
I cannot think of any better reason to learn a song than to sing it to a child.ReplyDelete
It is certainly the perfect excuse and I have a captive audience. Six weeks old now. That is all.Delete