It’s a rainy Sunday and, searching for suitable musical accompaniment, my hand fell on a compilation I picked up cheap as chips in a sale, many years ago: Folk Heritage II. It’s been on repeat play ever since -I’d forgotten how brilliant it is.
There’s the obligatory Richard Thompson (the otherwise hard-to-get Time to Ring Some Changes) of course but the rest is a string of absorbing gems. For example, Dick Gaughan’s stirring rendition of English rebel song, World Turned Upside-Down, the fragile beauty of June Tabor’s solo vocal The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, Nic Jones’ Canadee-i-o and a marvellous folk version of Music for Found Harmonium. That’s a few examples – it’s *all* delightful. And available for 9p from an online emporium near you.
My favourite though – and the reappoint of this post – is the attached (if I’ve done this right) the Albion Band’s Rambleaway. I’m not really familiar with the Albion’s output but I do love this song. One of the reasons, I think, is that it uses a device that few songs do – it changes the perspective from which it is sung (I make it two first person perspectives and a third person narrative).
I find this quite compelling and I’ve been trying to think of other songs that do something similar. The Bobster’s Tangled Up In Blue is probably the single best example but I’m sure there’s a host of lesser works. One possibility that initially sprang to mind is Genesis’s Harold the Barrel, however I don’t think that this is quite the same thing – it’s essentially just using a first person voice like a quote in a newspaper article, which is not what I’m looking for.
Reader, do you have any examples of lyrics sung from different perspectives?