COME ALL YE – 19 February 2023
Bruce Cameron February 19, 2023
The programs in January and February feature the eight Radio Ballads produced for the BBC in the late 1950s and early 1960s by Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger and Charles Parker. Each Radio Ballad of approximately 60 minutes makes up most of the second half of each program.
The Fight Game, released July 3, 1963, was the seventh radio ballad and tackled the world of the professional boxer. It proved to be not the lighthearted escape “from the huge canvas of industry and the intensely private world of the sick and the adolescent” that the team had expected, but an ironic allegory in which the world of prizefighting represented the larger world in which we all live.
Sixty hours of interviews were taped in gymnasia above London pubs, boxing rings, dressing rooms and on the streets in early-morning training sessions. The regular references by the fighters to themselves as latter-day gladiators prompted Peggy Seeger to score the music for brass, the trumpets and trombones reminiscent of Roman circuses and matching perfectly the sudden and brutal violence of the ring.