Friday, 11 September 2015

Musings on Kanye West and his role in preserving the English Folk Music Tradition

On our boisterous return journey from the all night garage we call out as one for the Southampton boiler-maker, turned Working Men's Club crooner, Joel Martin.

Play Permutations of Idle-Minded Whimsy!” we demand with raised voices.

Joel Martin does not hear us. He is resident in France and is retired from the music business.

Instead we turn our attentions to the contemporary guardian of the English folk music tradition, Dr Kanye West.

In particular we pay careful consideration of his 2010 long-player - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy which is a concept album about a young farmer's attempts to out-race a tractor in a ploughing contest.

Who Will Survive In America concerns a family of poor Irish immigrants fleeing the potato famine in their home country, while entertaining lingering doubts as to whether there will be enough potatoes in the nascent United States to meet all of their requirements.

Hell Of A Life is about growing up as the youngest child in an extended family of loom weavers in 16th century Newcastle.

The first time I played this track my hearth rug caught fire and the isolated one-room stone cottage that has sheltered sixteen generations of my family was reduced to naught but smouldering rubble.

In the year 2012 AD I asked an apparition of Dr Kanye West that had appeared in the vestry of my local church whether he would sign the turnip that I had purchased on Ebay.

When he kindly acquiesced I gave joyful thanks to our God in heaven in the highest. I made the turnip into a wholesome stew that kept my family nourished for three days.

It is in accordance with the diligent worldly labours of Dr Kanye West (now unanimously crowned Lord of the Summer Barleycorn by our grateful village) that folk music not only remains a viable music stream, but actively thrives upon this verdant isle that is Greater England.

God Save the Queen!