FolkWorld #75 07/2021

German Letters

Letters to the Editors

  Thank You ...

Laura Flanagan "The Great Southern Ocean"

Sarah McQuaid

Steve Tallis

The Bonnymen

Hi. It was such a treat to wake up to your email this morning and such a lovely review of The Great Southern Ocean. Thank you so much! It had also been a real treat to read the other reviews and look forward to discovering lots of great music! Best wishes and good health to you, Laura Flanagan (

Anakronos "The Red Book of Ossory"

Hi. Thank you for sending the link to the nice review for Anakronos and The Red Book of Ossory. We are going to make a full length film of the Red Book, I'll keep you posted. Also will be releasing The Wexford Carols Vol. 2 in October with Ethan Johns, Caitriona O'Leary, Clara Sanabras, Olov Johannson, John Smith, Seth Lakeman, Alison Balsom and the choir Stile Antico. All the very best, Eric Fraad (

Sarah McQuaid "The St Buryan Sessions", Lawrence Illsley "Trees"

Huge thanks! Wonderful to see the coverage here - of Lawrence Illsley’s beautiful album too! I’ll post this on my website and social media now! Sarah McQuaid (

Steve Tallis "Where Many Rivers Meet"

I'm curious to know what "adam's costume" refers to? Thanks, Steve Tallis

Oh, I see there is no direct translation of 'Adamskostüm' ... referring to Adam before getting expelled from paradise ... in your birthday suit ... T:-)M

Sorry to bother you again tom but my French agent is having problems translating a certain part of the review... "the respective titles and their Wall of Sound are supposed to succeed or fail in their totality" Any chance of clarifying this? For me it's quite clear... They don't know what "wall of sound" means. She is confused that she thinks you are saying that I have "failed" in some way?

I meant to say: This it (i.e. every single song) what you get, no chance to alter or correct anything as having different audio tracks or whatever. I don't know if there is a French expression for Wall of Sound, there's no good translation into German either. :-)

Ok, mate, thanks. Take care. Always a pleasure to read your reviews. Best wishes from Paris, Steve Tallis (

Win Bonny Men CD

Hi. It arrived safe and sound, thanks very much. Its a treat to listen to, old tunes given a new interpretation. Regards, Michael Cunningham, Brisbane, Australia

  Vin Garbutt: Little Innocents

Dear Dai. A fantastic song which makes you think. Not that I'm prone to philosophise, There are 200 million potential human beings in every ejaculation...... well that's when you are twenty.

Vin Garbutt

»Little Innocents - by Vin Garbutt«

Artist Video Vin Garbutt @ FROG

In my case about 5, and they'd probably turn out to be cretins. Such a decision for a woman must be heart breaking because it's irreversible and whichever decision they make some will have regrets and some won't!! I was chatting to some young woman down the road who's living with a chap who's as dull as a brush. She has two children by her former husband. I asked her how her children were doing in school. She said "Terrible. They've got my husband's genes." I laughed and thought .... Hopefully the penny's dropped and she won't have one by this guy !

About the question "If you'd the right to choose would you do it to Jesus again?" The logical answer - if you are a Christian - is YES!

Anyway I enjoyed the song and your Daissecting. Better than watching the film on TV. Goodnight. Emlyn Hole

Ahoy Dai. Pat Garbutt sent me the link to your study of Vin Garbutt’s Little Innocents. Vin and I were close friends - we used to play tin whistle duets for nearly 40 years - and reading your thoughts brought back many difficult and painful ‘conversations’ we had at the time when he was writing and first performing this song. As I read your observations I found myself agreeing with much that you had to say on the cosy lefty consensus that the folk clubs afforded. Vin had no time for that museumy mind-set. He stayed within folk music conventions but broadened the vista to comment on so many contemporary issues.

I also came from a Catholic background but had strayed from the path. I argued against some of the language Vin employed in this masterpiece as you call it. But I would defend to the end Vin’s right to say it as he saw it. There is so much in the song that I do agree with. I think The Secret was the result of Vin synthesising the responses to Little Innocents and his other ‘pro-life’ stuff. An apologia of sorts.

I rang Pat to talk about your article. She doesn’t seem to remember much financially negative fallout from Vin’s stance. I believe there was some ‘no platforming’ by some clubs.....wasn’t he blacklisted by Cambridge Folk Festival? I know there were some London clubs that wouldn’t have him back. He may not have suffered materially in any significant way, but he lost so-called ‘friends’ along the way, and being Vin, had that indomitable moral core that saw him through. His appeal never ceased to widen.

Vin in his own unique way was a somewhat of a Little Innocent himself. Like Blake he was more inclined towards original innocence than original sin. I was privileged to be asked to deliver a tribute to Vin at his funeral.

Thank you and Well Done, Sir. Paddy McEvoy

Vin Garbutt

Goodday, compadres... I am very touched that the three of you should have taken the trouble to have written such nice letters to me. But I am not surprised: after all, Vin once wrote to me out of the blue, thanking me for a CD review I once wrote in The Living Tradition, even though it was not a totally glowing review. Vin knew that I do not write puff jobs: too many reviewers want (usually subconsciously, to be fair) to befriend the artiste, but whilst I never ever made cheap jokes at an artiste's expense, and always tried to find the glass half full rather than half empty, I have always felt a duty to the potential CD purchaser, to call it as I see it... (with it always being "a given" that I might be completely up the pole...!!)... and figured that if an artiste or Folk impresario like Malcolm Storey declared me persona non grata because of my written words, then that was his/her loss. But Vin's sending of that note, told me a lot about him. It told me that his family upbringing was such that as a little boy, he took "good grace" in with his mother's milk.

I would now though just like to clarify a couple of points that Pat raises. First... let me deal with the easiest. My reference to "blasphemy". Of course I was not suggesting for one moment that the line "Would you terminate Jesus again?" was blasphemous. Au contraire: there is nothing remotely sacrilegious in that brilliant line... for there is no "violation of the sacred". But I saw my words through the prism of an upbringing in the Rhondda Valley exactly contemporaneous with Vin's boyhood on Teesside... for I too was born in the second half of 1947. And whereas Vin went to church on a Sunday, I went three times a Sunday to... chapel. And my earliest memories of those Sundays in the mid 1950s, was seeing the frowning and strict chapel deacons. I always think of them when I re-read Larkin's most celebrated verse and encounter the lines "By fools in old style hats and coats/Who half the time were soppy stern/And half at one another's throats". I promise you, were those deacons from my childhood to encounter that line of Vin's, they would have had a fit of the vapours...!!

But maybe the Roman Catholic Church are more enlightened? It certainly is, if this priest - played by the late brilliant Philip Seymour Hoffman - in Doubt, is anything to go by...

I just love this sermon on "gossip"... Meryl Streep's character take note..

OMG... what a loss to humanity was that wonderful man. Just 46, and such an avoidable death to boot.

Vin Garbutt

My reference to blasphemy hopefully now explained... let me deal with Pat's question re cancellations. And I believe that Pat may well have a point here... but first let me explain why I stand by my words... and that I think that I have a point too. It all goes back to a one-to-one with Vin, that I had with him at a festival in the late 1980s. I remember it because it was the only conversation I ever had with him in private... although I had several with him with others present... including a brief one at Cleethorpes Festival where it was just Vin, Pat and me.

For the life of me I cannot recall where the festival was... I used to attend a whole lot of festivals until I got married in 1992. My hunch though re the conversation was that it was at Stainsby Folk Festival in July 1988. Unfortunately, I did not record the conversation, because it was not an interview, so most of what we talked about over our six or seven minute chat, is now lost in the mists of time. But I do recall one question and answer, just about close to verbatim... and it was this...

I asked Vin why he wasn't singing Little Innocents. His reply was "Oh that song got me into trouble. I lost festival and club bookings, and was told I would lose a good deal more of my regular bookings if I kept singing it." Now Pat may well be right... for when I used the word "cancelled" I was really taking a little bit of a liberty, but it was my honest understanding of his word "lost". He did not stipulate how many... I suppose it could theoretically have just been one of each. And indeed those bookings that he did lose, could well have been "pencilled-in" bookings, rather than "inked-in" ones... hence him not mentioning them to you, Pat.

But any doubts I may have re my use of the words "cancelled/cancellation", are quickly allayed by his comment that he would have lost a lot more had he not pulled the song from his playlist. That is what vindicates my use of the word "pathetic" at folk club organisers who attempted to muzzle him... and in a way succeeded in censoring him and making him remove the song from his set... under the threat of "no platforming" him. Cancellation by stealth, I'd call that.

That Vin never had any gaps in his diary is something of which I never doubted. Hugely popular, I am sure if he had hired the RAH he would have filled it. If Show Of Hands could, then so certainly could Vin. I shall close now - before my eyes do (my sleep apnoea is biting) - but want to finally add that I loved Paddy your linking of William Blake to Vin, and liked your poetic tribute written for the funeral, but loved your ad libbed, from the heart, "words to camera" even more.

Hoping you can click the links at the top of the page of my Daissecting The Song article and seek out the previous 8 songs in the series... TTFN, David "Dai" Woosnam

  Support for Black-Owned Businesses During COVID-19


Hi there, I saw your page, and I wanted to thank you for supporting the Black community.

The events of last summer (BLM protests and COVID-19) saw many people rally to support Black-owned businesses. Sadly, since summer ended, people forgot to keep sharing and supporting these businesses.

I just found a new article with links to more than 150 Black-owned businesses. I was so happy to see that people still care about helping these companies thrive! The link is here:

I think sharing this link on your page would be a great way to help your readers keep supporting Black-owned sites and stores. I think it will be a great addition to your site and that your audience will love this new resource!

Thank you in advance for your support, Emma Carey

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