Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Wind is Getting Stronger

"She emigrated from Russia at nine months old. She's still got all her teeth but some are filled with gold. They hurt her now when she drinks something cold ..." One of the pleasures of this project has been people pointing out songs from artists who might otherwise have eluded me. I am particularly grateful to Paul Cowdell for suggesting the inclusion of The Wind is Getting Stronger by Rory McLeod. It's a lovely song about Rory's gran, a stubborn and strong lady who grew up in Stepney Green. There are some fantastic lines in there about translating Cockney to Yiddish, and having a gap in her teeth from working as a seamstress and biting the cotton and thread. That sort of detail is the mark of a great songwriter. Rory himself has been a circus clown, fire eater, story teller, traveller, troubadour, minstrel, one man band. It's been fun catching up on songs like Farewell Welfare, and characters like Rory are increasingly appealing for the way they survive and thrive outside the conventional musical mainstream. Here's Rory performing a live version ...

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