Sunday, May 9, 2010

British Elections and Looking For Music

The British election and its maddening stalemate found me wondering about some of the splinter parties. There is a Scottish nationalist party that actually seeks to make Scotland an independent nation. The party is known as the Scottish National Party. They have joined a bloc known as Plaid Cymru, which is a Welsh nationalist party with corresponding goals of Welsh independence. They have agreed to form a Celtic bloc to strike the best deal possible for themselves.

The survival of Welsh and Scottish Gaelic never ceases to amaze me. I grew up outside of Boston. Despite no known Irish ancestry, the Irish historical narrative resonates with me. When I was a child, there were still veterans of the struggle for Irish independence and still elderly people who had grandparents in the potato famine. There are universal notes in the history of each and every nation. Ireland is no exception.

After the British elections, I set out to find Welsh and Scottish folk rock. Sometimes, life is what happens when you were expecting something else. So I did not find a Celtic folk rock band. But I did find an English rock band from Oldham, England known as "Dare". They have been around since 1985. So some of you all can roll your eyes at my having just discovered a band that is 25 years old. That's fine by me. Music isn't like a jar of mayonnaise. It doesn't go bad when it's old. So I just discovered it. And if it weren't for the British elections and my unsuccessful search for some Celtic rock, I never would have known what I am missing.

What never ceases to puzzle me is that an English rock band sings in an American accent. It doesn't particularly bother me, except that I like to hear local accents, which is one of the reasons I enjoy listening to Melanie, who sings with a New York accent.

If you want to hear an English accent in English music, there is always Fairport Convention. The earliest albums have Sandy Denny as the lead vocalist.

So I didn't find quite what I wanted when I set out to find Celtic music. Sometimes it's like that when you go out looking for new music. You can't always get what you want. Elections are like that too,

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