Folk singer Nancy Kerr’s new Tolpuddle Martyrs song

This music video from England says about itself:

Nancy KerrGingerbread

Nancy Kerr and The Sweet Visitor Band live at Colston Hall, Bristol on 21st November 2014


Nancy Kerr (vocals, violin, viola)
James Fagan (vocals, bouzouki, acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
Rowan Rheingans (vocals, violin, viola, banjo, triangle, temple bells)
Tom Wright (vocals, drums, percussion, acoustic guitar, electric guitar)
Tim Yates (vocals, bass, melodeon)

By Luke James in Britain:

Folk singer in new Tolpuddle tribute

Tuesday 24th November 2015

ONE of the Britain’s most famous folk singers has penned a new tribute to the Tolpuddle Martyrs as part of a music project to celebrate the history of British democracy.

Nancy Kerr, who holds the prestigious BBC folk singer of the year title, is one of six artists taking part in the Sweet Liberties tour, part of Parliament’s cultural programme to mark the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta.

Speaking to the Morning Star ahead of the first concert in Cambridge tonight, Ms Kerr revealed her highly personal interest in the martyrs’ story.

She said: “I’ve written the Tolpuddle piece because my husband is Australian and his ancestor was transported for swearing an illegal oath.

“We think that was almost certainly to a trade union.

“You wonder if we need another song about Tolpuddle, but there’s always a new way to tell that story. I’ve gone for something quite personal.”

The six farm workers now known as the Tolpuddle Martyrs were transported to Australia for the same “crime” — effectively joining a trade union — in 1834, before their return was secured by huge demonstrations.

Ms Kerr added: “People used to hide their convict ancestry, but this is a lot of people’s heritage. That’s a massive piece of working-class history and it’s still very close in people’s ancestral memory.”

Ms Kerr will also perform a new song about a Suffragette who hired a hot-air balloon to drop leaflets over Westminster in 1909.

Describing her new songs as “serious, sometimes quite dark and tragic,” she hopes they will have a “galvanising effect and make people want to get involved in politics.

“I’m a kind of fledgling as a overtly political artist, but I think the time is right for this,” she added.

10 thoughts on “Folk singer Nancy Kerr’s new Tolpuddle Martyrs song

  1. As the article suggests democracy had been instigated by the working class and authority were the oppressors as is still the situation today, those who are working class or from this class are the enlightened of today, as opposed to the professional or middle classes? the educated become radicalized at the universities such as Eaton, Oxford and so on, the ritualization at these universities stunts spirituality? not to say within the working classes are a lot dunderheads and some individuals who go through the system of higher education do escape the vagaries of brain dysfunction.


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