Thanks very much to everyone who bought the CD, the LP and the download so promptly in the last week. It looks like the album might now appear in the Official Folk Albums Chart for April announced next month. (Still three days left to get some more orders in, which may help the chart position). This is a good time to thank the very many people who have helped me along the way, the friends, the fans and the people I work with. I feel I have been very lucky.
Here is a new video I recorded in my local church two days ago. It is a simple live take of the old Canadian folk song Brave Wolfe. I have many mixed feelings about the song and the battle it commemorated in 1759 when the British army took Quebec city. For me it is a song of tragedy as well as high drama. Two armies lined up at dawn, like two mighty firing squads facing each other. ‘And youth in all it’s pride was torn asunder’. There is something terrible about victory.
A journalist reviewing the album commented ‘What about the French’? The battle is still remembered as a sad day by many French Canadians. But what about the Native Canadians? Quebec was not always French either. I visited the battle site once when I was on tour and I looked for a memorial to General Wolfe and the battle on the Plains of Abraham. I didn’t find one. Instead, I found a memorial to an earlier bloody battle between two Native nations. Quebec city straddles a very important strategic position, where the St Lawrence River first narrows. To control that position is to control movement and trade through a vast region. Yes, it was once under the political control of France, but what about the Algonquin? What about the Mohawks, and the other nations who fought and died there?
Quebec is the most beautiful city I have seen in the whole of North America and a fantastic place for culture of every sort, it is like a little piece of Europe that magically appears in the middle of the new world, a jewel. I very much hope to get back there one day.