COME ALL YE – 29 January 2023
Bruce Cameron January 29, 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.
Coalmining presented itself as a natural subject for a radio ballad since Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger had spent part of 1960 working as resident songwriters and music arrangers for the National Coal Board film department. The Big Hewer, released on August 18, 1961, was the fourth in the series and named after the mythically prodigious miner of coal legend who appears by a different name in each mining locality (a similar figure with superhuman work powers, John Henry, exists in American work gang mythology).