Lockdown sounds,

Covid-19, Lombardy and the Corries: 'and we'll all go together'


At my main site, Salut!, I have been publishing the coronavirus-related thoughts and experiences of friends scattered far and wide.

The series has produced some outstanding pieces of writing and I urge those of my readers who come only here to browse them by clicking on this link.

Renata Baraldi is an Italian Facebook friend; we have never met but have a mutual acquaintance and a shared love of folk music. She has a particular fondness for the Dubliners. I make no apology for repeating at Salut! Live the poignant words she contributed to the series from her home in Lombardy, the disease's European epicentre ...

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Covid-19. Songs of endurance (2) Graham and Eileen Pratt: Ned of the Hill


In a recent post at Salut! Live, I invited readers to nominate the one piece of music they could listen to over and again during lockdown.

This is a near cousin of that little exercise and can be added to at will. I will present in each posting a single track, a song or tune that holds such strong appeal for me that it will never leave my mind as long as I have control of it. I shall merge it with the one-off isolation category and call it Songs of Endurance in the sense of helping us withstand hardship or stress, not a bad thing to have in this troubled time.

Ned of the Hill is a great old Irish song. I have heard it sung well by Kate Rusby and Kathryn Roberts and Ron Kavana and with gusto by the Pogues but never better than by Graham and Eileen Pratt (by which I mean Eileen since Graham's musical contribution, though important, is non-vocal).

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Covid-19. Songs of Endurance: (1) positively a bitter slice of Dylan

Dylan in 2010. Image: Alberto Cabello from Vitoria Gasteiz/CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Is there one piece of music, from a Beethoven symphony to a three-minute chart-topper, that you could listen to over and again? Something stirring or quirky enough to triumph over excessive familiarity and get you through coronavirus confinement? I suppose the truth is that there probably is not. But for most of us perhaps, there are recordings that at least bear frequent repetition. Here's one I chose. You may have other ideas ...

Stuck in the car on successive days, with a disinclination to listen to yet more depressing Covid-19 news and a limited choice of CDs, I ended up with Capital Gold and its diet of old hits.

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