30. Mar, 2017

Farewell to the Gold

What a great night at the Woodman Folk Club Singers Night last Friday! So many good musicians and singers, as well as the usual camaraderie and supportive atmosphere. There were also some truly memorable moments for me - notably John Hoare's poignant, newly-penned song about an empty family home and hearing the wonderful Julia Disney again for the first time in ... years!

I'd learnt Paul Mesters' excellent song 'Farewell to the Gold' in time for the evening and everyone sang along! Although popularised by Nic Jones in British folk circles (Penguin Eggs) and recorded by umpteen others, I first heard it performed by Nancy Kerr & James Fagan when I supported them at the Newhampton a few years ago. I loved it then but decided to actually learn it after going to New Zealand with Jill earlier this year.

The song is set in the 19th Century New Zealand 'gold rush' and we went to some of the places mentioned. It's a beautiful song and for me strangely moving. Having listened to Paul's original version (CD - Caution to the Wind), his You Tube rendition (a lot!), as well as Nancy & James + Nic, I hope my rendering did the song justice.