Des de Moor
"In the dark times will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing about the dark times" - Bertolt Brecht
And They All Sang Rosselsongs
Des and 14 others interpret songs by veteran English chansonnier Leon Rosselson.
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Cover: Bob Elliott
Nancy Kerr & James Fagan
2. Whoever invented the fish finger
3. Don't Get Married, Girls
4. Invisible Married Breakfast Blues
5. Who Reaps the Profits? Who Pays The Price?
6. Stand Up For Judas
7. Song of the Olive Tree
8. The Poet, the Wife and the Monkey
9. The Wall That Stands Between
10. Let Your Hair Hang Down
11. My Daughter My Son
13. The Man Who Puffs The Big Cigar
14. Jackboot Democrats
Des de Moor
15. The World Turned Upside Down
Words and music by Leon Rosselson.
Des de Moor has contributed to an outstanding compilation of new recordings celebrating the work of Leon Rosselson, veteran English chansonnier and one of Britain's foremost political songwriters. And They All Sang Rosselsongs, released on 5 September 2005 on Fuse Records, features Des's interpretation of 'Jackboot Democrats' alongside tracks from well-known folk performers like Martin Carthy and Frankie Armstrong as well as contributions from artists known for English chanson like Barb Jungr and Robb Johnson (see full listing left).
Des comments: "Leon has for many years been a lone representative of intelligent and incisive songwriting on the British music scene and I've long admired his work. I've been doing 'Jackboot Democrats' in live sets for some time now and I was proud to be asked for my version to appear in such distinguished company.
"The song came from his 1986 LP Bringing the News From Nowhere and as far as I'm aware Leon's original version hasn't been re-released on CD. He hardly ever does the song himself, I think because the references locate it firmly in the high Thatcherism of the mid-1980s. But it's a brilliant song, a great one to perform, and the bitterly humorous contempt and disgust for the ruling class expressed in the lyrics is vintage Rosselson. And let's face it, today's lot are no less militaristic, authoritarian, callous and awash with toadyism, dishonesty and hypocrisy than they were when Leon wrote the song 20 years ago."
Des's version was recorded with the help of long-term collaborators, pianist David Harrod, who also co-arranged based on the original arrangement by Fiz Shapur, and Julia Doyle who contributes some great bowed bass work.
The album is also well worth a listen for the 14 other distinguished interpreters tackling hand-picked jewels from Leon's long career, all of them, as he says in his sleeve notes, "singers who know how to sing words and who are not afraid to stamp their own personalities on the songs." Especially noteworthy are Barb Jungr and Adrian York's take on 'Invisible Married Breakfast Blues'; David Campbell's powerful reworking of 'Stand Up For Judas' with programming by Nick Garvey; Eliza Carthy's take on 'The Man Who Puffs The Big Cigar', one of Leon's most Brechtian songs; and Robb Johnson rising brilliantly to the unenviable task of reinterpreting Leon's possibly best-known song, 'The World Turned Upside Down'.
Julia Doyle double bass
David Harrod grand piano
Recorded by Richard Lee at the 100 Club, London W1, and by Des at Pirate Jenny's Studio, London SE14, July 2005, entirely on digital hard drive recorders. Mixed by Des at PJs. Mastered by Neil Thom at Running Frog, Windsor. DDD.
Words and music by Leon Rosselson
Fuse Records CFCD 012
Distributed by Proper Music Distribution