Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Query re Alasdair Clayre

Stewie 21 Jun 03 - 11:05 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Jun 03 - 03:08 PM
harvey andrews 22 Jun 03 - 03:30 PM
Stewie 22 Jun 03 - 08:57 PM
rich-joy 23 Jun 03 - 05:46 AM
nutty 23 Jun 03 - 01:42 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jun 03 - 02:03 PM
RoyH 23 Jun 03 - 02:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Jun 03 - 06:53 PM
8_Pints 23 Jun 03 - 07:08 PM
Stewie 23 Jun 03 - 08:56 PM
RoyH 24 Jun 03 - 09:40 AM
RoyH 24 Jun 03 - 09:54 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Jun 03 - 07:23 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Jun 03 - 07:22 PM
GUEST,Gav Dav 26 Jun 03 - 08:56 AM
nutty 26 Jun 03 - 09:50 AM
GUEST,Rod Parkes 13 Nov 07 - 08:58 PM
Cattail 13 Nov 07 - 09:39 PM
GUEST,Jim Carroll 14 Nov 07 - 02:35 AM
GUEST,Fokeman 24 Jan 08 - 06:22 PM
Singing Referee 25 Jan 08 - 08:57 AM
GUEST,Glenn 24 Dec 08 - 08:10 AM
rich-joy 08 Jan 09 - 04:48 AM
GUEST,Alasdair Clayre (nephew) 25 Mar 10 - 05:56 AM
matt milton 25 Mar 10 - 06:23 AM
Don Day 07 Apr 10 - 07:19 AM
Dave Hanson 07 Apr 10 - 08:26 AM
McGrath of Harlow 07 Apr 10 - 09:31 AM
GUEST,Iain Clayre 19 Aug 10 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,James Arbuthnot 28 May 11 - 02:58 AM
GUEST 15 Feb 13 - 06:22 AM
greg stephens 15 Feb 13 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Claire 17 Aug 14 - 05:22 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:




Subject: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Stewie
Date: 21 Jun 03 - 11:05 PM

Alasdair Clayre wrote a song called 'Adam and the Beasts' which I have on a recording by the Dransfields. Clayre also had a Folkways album titled 'Adam and the Beasts' which I have not heard. Does anyone know whether this Alasdair Clayre is the same person as the Professor Alasdair Clayre who wrote novels, television documentaries and suicided by throwing himself under a train?

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 03:08 PM

I have a sad feeling he was. Incidentally, the early music singer Emma Kirkby also recorded this song on - I think - an LP of the same name (it had an orange cover) but I don't remember the label or any details. She did a very good job of it, and may have recorded some of Clayre's other songs as well.

I met him once, very briefly, at a party and was struck by his lively interest and enthusiasm in so many areas. The news of his death was a horrible shock.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: harvey andrews
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 03:30 PM

Yes, the same man. I remember him performing at the Jug O Punch and being very anxious and nervous as a performer, but as Bonnie says he was a man of many talents and interests.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Stewie
Date: 22 Jun 03 - 08:57 PM

Bonnie and Harvey, many thanks to you both. I want to use 'Adam and the Beasts' in a presentation that I am working on and could find nothing on Clayre as a songwriter or singer. What a sad story. I had found this snippet in a paper relating, inter alia, to the incidence of depression among high achievers: He wrote novels and produced award-winning television programs. Yet, the day a book he had worked on for years was to be published the young Alasdair Clayre ended his life by jumping into the path of a train at an underground station in north London. According to close friends, he had been mortally fearful of what the reviewers may say about the book.

Regards, Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: rich-joy
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 05:46 AM

Stewie, I still have the (now ragged) paperback "100 FolkSongs Old and New" compiled by Alasdair Clayre and published by Wolfe Pub. Ltd and World's End Music in 1968.
The "new" includes 10 of his own songs :
Two Evenings / Hawthorn Berries / Old Man's Song / The Tyre Fitter / A Cold Wind Blows / Break-up / Springtime Song / Ballad of London / Guerilla / Three Loves / + English words to Jacque Brel's The Dove (La Colombe).
However, there's nothing about HIM - apart from his songs, that is ...

Cheers! R-J


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: nutty
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 01:42 PM

It seems as if a Folkways LP of Clayre's songs may still be available.

Firstly, here are the details of a folkways recording of Alasdair Clayre's songs
Adam and the Beasts

This site is offering that LP for sale (details on page 57)

Still Records

The Smithsonian also holds a full library if Folkways recordings


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:03 PM

I've got that book collection too - some great stuff in it. And that translation of La Colombe is superb.

When did the suicide happen?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: RoyH
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 02:44 PM

I knew Alasdair Clayre from working on the radio ballad 'The Factory' in the series 'Landmarks' produced by Charles Parker, music direction by Peggy Seeger, songs and script by Alasdair. He was a talented chap, and likeable, but had a very nervous quality about him. MacColl& Seeger rated him highly, and he worked with top people including Frankie Armstrong. Unfortunately his talent was at the mercy of his temperament. The news of his death was a terrible shock. A sad loss, he was quite young and would have gone on to great things I'm sure. 'Landmarks' went out in 1965. Musicians were Peggy Seeger, Jim Bray (bass) and Bobby Campbell(fiddle). Singers were Alasdair, Wymond Symes, and myself. There was some talk of Folkways doing an album of that broadcast but I don't know if it ever happened. Burl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 06:53 PM

That's really fascinating, burl - the Landmarks series has been virtually airbrushed from history for one reason or another. I think it'd be great to use the Mudcat as a way of bringing together information about it, and finding out what records or recordings might exist.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: 8_Pints
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 07:08 PM

I'll have a word with Terry Whelan to see if he knows anything of the 'Landmarks' production.

And yes I remember that paperback '100 FolkSongs Old and New". It had a blue, black and white horizontal striping on the cover. My copy too has disintegrated, unfortunately, but it did introduce me to many great songs.

He certainly left a fine legacy for us to savour.

Bob vG


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Stewie
Date: 23 Jun 03 - 08:56 PM

Thanks to all, particularly Burl, for the additional information.

--Stewie.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: RoyH
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 09:40 AM

I would imagine a search of the Charles Parker Archive at the Birmingham Central Library (Birmingham U.K. that is) might be useful. Burl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: RoyH
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 09:54 AM

I forgot to mention that Ewan MacColl wrote and sang the theme song for 'Landmarks', a great song called 'The Ballad of Accounting'. Burl.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Jun 03 - 07:23 PM

Here's a link to 'The Ballad of Accounting' on Dick Gaughan's site - and here's a German site with the tune in musical notation. It's been recorded a few times too.

And here is a link to The Fairfield Crane by Archie Fisher or rather "Archie Fisher / Norman Buchan / Bobby Campbell"), another song evidently included in the Landmarks series.

It makes me curious what other sogs there were, and whether there are any other relics of these programmes.

Maybe a separate thread about this might be worth setting up, to see what else can be traced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Jun 03 - 07:22 PM

Hunting around I found a list of the contents of the special collection Paisley University Library has of the papers of the late Norman Buchan, who was a great folk music enthusiast as well as an MP - here is a page on Dick Gaughan's website about him. (God, we could use him today!)

Anyway, one of the items listed is "File 13 - Landmarks - scripts for radio programme".

So if anyone's in a position to chase this up it could be worth doing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Gav Dav
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 08:56 AM

I have Alasdair's "Adam and The Beasts" book of his songs and music, never heard any of it sung, before my time, but if the book is of use to someone I can pass it on somehow.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: nutty
Date: 26 Jun 03 - 09:50 AM

That's a very generous offer Gav Dav ....... be careful you don't get trampled in the rush.

Rather than give the book away - why not ask for a donation to go towards supporting Mudcat or even put the book in the Mudcat Auction.

I would certainly be interested in obtaining the book.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Rod Parkes
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 08:58 PM

I started a Wikipedia entry on Clayre, which others have subsequently added to. I have the "Adam and the Beasts" LP and one of his books. I used to have his other LP on Elektra, which now goes for about 50 pounds on eBay, and would love to see it reissued on CD (can Rhino be persuaded? They have the rights to the WEA archives.) He also had several tracks on another Elektra folk compilation called "A Cold Wind Blows" which could be added as bonus tracks.

His translation of "La Colombe" has been recorded by both Joan Baez and Judy Collins. His own version appears on the Elektra LP.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Cattail
Date: 13 Nov 07 - 09:39 PM

Hi

The tracks which appear on "A Cold Wind Blows" Elektra LP No: EUK-253
are as follows:-

Side one

Five foot flirt ...............Cyril Tawney
Hawthorne berries .............Alasdair Clayre, + Peggy Seeger and
                                                    Martin Carthy
Get up, get out ................Matt McGinn + David Spiers
Dust ...........................Johnny Handle
Tiny Newman.....................Alasdair Clayre, + Peggy Seeger
The champagne flows ............Matt McGinn + David Spiers
The trepanner song .............Johnny Handle
Monday morning .................Cyril Tawney
Mr Rising price ................Matt McGinn + David Spiers


Side two

Fill up the pints again ........Johnny Handle
Old man's song .................Alasdair Clayre, + Peggy Seeger
I've packed up my bags .........Matt McGinn + David Spiers
Sammy's bar ....................Cyril Tawney
The old pubs ...................Johnny Handle + Ellis Holliday
A cold wind blows ..............Alasdair Clayre, + Peggy Seeger
Jeanie Gallacher ...............Matt McGinn
Because it wouldn't pay ........Johnny Handle
The oggie man ..................Cyril Tawney

Hope this may be of interest to somebody.

Cheers

Cattail !


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Jim Carroll
Date: 14 Nov 07 - 02:35 AM

Alasdair Clayre was one of the founder members of The Critics Group. There are recordings of him singing at group sessions housed in The Charles Parker collection at Birmingham Central Library and at Ruskin College as part of the MacColl/Seeger collection.
Birmingham also has transcripts, and probably recordings of 'Landmarks' - I have a number of transcripts.
Jim Carroll


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Fokeman
Date: 24 Jan 08 - 06:22 PM

Just a little addendum. Alasdair released two solo LPs. The first was issued on Elektra and the second was issued on the small oxfordshire label - Acorn. When he went to the states after having completed the Acorn album he went to see Moe Asch and organised the deal to have it issued in the USA on Folkways. So there are two issues in existence - the American and English issues. The Folkways issue is really not that difficult to find and I have seen it often in dealers hands with multiple copies.
A sad loss to music and art in general....

this is an interesting article on his life and death...

http://leftword.blogdig.net/archives/articles/January2008/13/Alasdair_Clayre___Manic_Depression.html


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Singing Referee
Date: 25 Jan 08 - 08:57 AM

I've just started singing 'Adam and the Beasts' again. Learned it from the Dransfields. Great song, gets a great reception.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Glenn
Date: 24 Dec 08 - 08:10 AM

I've only recently found out that Leon Rosselson played guitar on that first Elektra LP-I've neither heard it nor ever seen a copy of it.
I was reminded of this by Adrian Mitchell's death earlier this week, as I used to love that LP he made with Leon, though sadly I lost it.

I do have a marvellous version of "Adam and the Beasts" by Shusha who also died earlier this year. In olden days Maurice Rosenbaum used to love her LP of Persian Love Songs- world music before its time....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: rich-joy
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 04:48 AM

http://time-has-told-me.blogspot.com/2008/04/by.html

FYI - some info on Alasdair Clayre on this webpage (plus LP download?)

Cheers, R-J

(hmmm ..... I think I may have lost the gentle art of blicky-making .....)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Alasdair Clayre (nephew)
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 05:56 AM

Just curious to stumble on this thread.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: matt milton
Date: 25 Mar 10 - 06:23 AM

well you're very welcome here.

do you make music yourself by any chance?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Don Day
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 07:19 AM

With reference to Alasdair Clayre's song "Guerilla" does anyone know who the subject was? Some of the lyrics and the copyright date makes me think it was Che Guevara (difficulty breathing- Che had asthma, and "shot in a school" - Che was. Also captured wounded and the song has a definite theme about Che. Does anyone have any views? How about you Dave.


Don Day


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 08:26 AM

It's in the book 100 Folk Songs and New Songs but there are no notes to any of the songs in it, it cost £0.60 when I bought it.

Dave H


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Apr 10 - 09:31 AM

I've always understood it as being about Che. And looking at it again now it seems as certain as can be.

These lines from Guerrilla take on a poignant extra meaning in the light of the circumstances of Alisdair Clayre's death ("Yet, the day a book he had worked on for years was to be published the young Alasdair Clayre ended his life by jumping into the path of a train at an underground station in north London. According to close friends, he had been mortally fearful of what the reviewers may say about the book"):

Or here in the easy West,
Here he could have lived at least
Writing books in peace
Paid, well-fed, well dressed,
Where those who live by the word
Are afraid of the word.
And their bodies are constricted alive or dead
By the dread they won't be read, or won't
be fit to be read......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Iain Clayre
Date: 19 Aug 10 - 07:06 PM

I'm sorry I didn't stumble over this before. I am his brother. Yes, the writer of Adam and the Beasts and a whole lot of other songs, including the Professor's Holiday and the Backwards looking Grocer was indeed the brilliant professor at All Souls who also wrote songs for Joan Baez, an astonishing book on China. stuff about the BBC and Work and Play and so on and on and on. I named my son Alasdair in his honourable memory, and he hasn't done too badly so far: MPhil in Anthropology, Boxing Blue for Cambridge, knows the interior of Sarawak like the back of his hand, and will take carefully selected people on the adventure of their life into places no real tour company's Insurance would let them go ...

If I can be of any further assistance to anyone interested in his life and work, I now live in Western Canada at e.mail


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,James Arbuthnot
Date: 28 May 11 - 02:58 AM

This thread is a real find! What very sad news (well, to me) of Alasdair Clayre's death. I still remember a performance he gave at Eton in the 1960s which inspired me to buy his book 100 Folk Songs and New Songs which I still have. And there was another great singer with him, who sang "The Nun's Song" (starting "It's out of frying pan and into the fire / I've had me lot of sexual desire"). Does anybody have any idea who that might have been?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 06:22 AM

Tustain, Tony

Stumbled across this site by accident. I am sitting here with the Elektra LP in front of me. I purchased it, new, in 1967 and it has been a constant inspiration since. I still find myself singing 'The invisible backwards-facing Grocer', 'The Gormless Maid' and 'The professor and the Girl' This last song contains the priceless line "A treatise comparing the vague female mind with the razor-sharp reason of man"! Its a great quote to get the female gender bristling and the light of battle spark in their eyes. (I have to admit that most of the women I know have minds that put mine to shame.) Within the (added)plastic cover of the album I have some scruffy notes relating to a time when I wished to contact Alasdair to tell him just how much his record has meant to me. The notes include references to Antelope Films, book on China etc. It looks as though I telephoned Antelope but he had left and they had no idea where he was at that time. I hope he knew how much he was respected and loved. It was also lovely to see the reference to Leon Rosselson. I think I can claim to being a life-long lover of his music since the time I heard the 'Songs for Sceptical Circles' LP at the home of a girl-friend (the LP was owned by her father, an independent thinker). This would have been circa 1967-1968. Happy days!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: greg stephens
Date: 15 Feb 13 - 06:45 AM

There are references in this thread to as book of his songs. I remember he published his songs also in a box format, a flat cardboard box containing loose individual sheets for each song(with illustrations.My copy must be in some cardboard box on my shelves, haven't seen it for years.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Query re Alasdair Clayre
From: GUEST,Claire
Date: 17 Aug 14 - 05:22 AM

Alasdair taught philosophy at my very weird and wonderful Alevel college in the mid late '60 s .I loved his songs and to this day my children sing Gormless maid and the invisible BFGrocer AS FOR ME I would like old couple walking sung at my funeral (a long time away I hope


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 20 December 5:57 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.