From the recording The Fruitful Fells
For Pete & Dooley
Jez - Voice/Guitar
Nye Parsons - Double-bass
Piotr Jordan - Viola
James Patrick Gavin - Violin
Recorded by Mike West at Ninth Ward Pickin Parlor
Mastered by Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering
Ewan MacColl wrote this song at the age of 89 after trying and failing to summit Suilven, in Wester Ross with his wife, Peggy Seeger and their kids. He sat on a wall while they continued on to the peak, contemplated the notion that he’d climbed his last mountain and felt mightily depressed. Then he wrote this song, which he said made him feel “slightly less depressed”.
I first heard it sung by Rory Mcleod, who coupled it with this 15th century Italian tune whose name escapes me. James Gavin asked me to record a version for his album Chewing the Fat, and features another gorgeous version on the forthcoming More Than You Can Chew - Live at Union Chapel. Here it’s stripped back to the most sparing of Djukella arrangements, giving the tune, and indeed the incredible lyrics a chance to breathe. For all those loved one’s who’ve come before us, and all those to come.