Josh Macrae — A Tribute

JOSH MACRAE, one of the ‘Glasgow Eskimos’ (along with Morris Blythman [aka-Thurso Berwick], Nigel Denver, Jackie O’Connor and Jim McLean) of the anti-Polaris, Republican Socialist and radical folk-song movement  of the 1950s and 1960s,  was one of the great voices of Scottish folk-song of the time. Josh took his own life in 1977.

T For Texas—I learned this first from Rambling Jack Elliott and I’ve sung it just about everywhere I go.

Talking Union Blues—A classic and one of the many things for which we are indebted to Pete Seeger.

The Whisky Seller—This one I just learned from Tom Paley of the New Lost City Ramblers and it’s a bit of hypocrisy on my part because I like whisky.

The Klan—I learned this from Maurice Frankel who wrote the melody. It is now a folk club standard in any programme that relates to protest.

I Loved A Lass—A traditional Scottish ballad which I learned from Archie Fisher.

The Ballad Of Lee Oswald—It expresses the doubt all the people have about who actually killed Kennedy. I think this doubt should be expressed.

Dobie Bill—Some years ago I had the great privilege of meeting and singing with Cisco Houston from whom I learned this song which he made as a memento of his days in cowboy films.

The Castlereagh—Written I believe by Banjo Patterson. At least Hamish Imlach tells me this, so if I am wrong get in touch with him. He’s bigger than me anyway.

Wild Flying Dove—One of the most beautiful songs by Tom Paxton.

One Day Old—This was just a lyric in a book by John Greenway until Archie Fisher put the melody to it. The whole thing is now self explanatory.

Girl From The North Country—This, to my mind, is one of the best Bob Dylan songs I’ve heard. It’s simple and true.

Talking Atomic Blues—Is also known as “Old Man Atom”. This is a song I’ve known and sung for several years, having originally learned it from the record by Guy Carawan.