Saturday, 15 January 2011

Catch a Boat to England

The other night at the Co-Op on Walton Street, I heard two pretty girls singing this tune in harmony beside the lettuce and tomatoes. They were, I thought, too young, too effervescent in their fur coats to ever know such a song as this, first recorded by Jackson C. Frank in 1966, on an album produced by a very young Paul Simon. It was beautiful, a little shock to hear I song I know so very well being sung, shared among others. I wanted to ask these girls where they had heard it, but refrained. They were, I think, busy waiting for someone to buy them cigarettes. Then a few days later I found out that Laura Marling, also young, also from down the road (in Reading), had just released a version of Blues Run the Game on 7 inch vinyl.

Personally, I doubt anyone (other than girls beside the produce section in mini-markets) can do much better than Simon and Garfunkel's majesterial but unreleased version of the song. Nothing quite like hearing two voices sharing a sad but resilient melody together.

Jackson C. Frank

Laura Marling (clip)

Simon and Garfunkel

Nick Drake

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