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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Mick Woods No man's land protest (276* d) RE: No man's land protest 10 Nov 14

Yesterday a friend emailed Jim Radford a copy of Eric Bogle's response to Joss Stone's rendition of "No Man's Land" at the Royal Albert Hall. Jim is a friend of mine and a veteran of Normandy landings. He was invited to sing at the event. Here is Jim's reply

I thought it a worthwhile addition to the discussion here on mudcat
Here is Jim's reply to my friend:

"No - I had not seen Eric's response, but I share his obvious disdain and had in fact predicted it when I first Heard Joss Stone rehearsing her version at the Royal Albert Hall, on Friday. Like him, I do not usually criticise other peoples musical styles and preferences, but in this case I was so appalled by her mutilation of a powerful anti war song, that I sought her out to tell her so. It is perhaps unfair to blame the British Legion for the emasculation since she confessed that she was personally responsible for the arrangement and for deleting most of the verses. Her excuse was that she had to condense it to fit the time allowed for the recording, which of course does not explain why she wasted some of that time by repeating the first verse and chorus. I concluded my criticism by telling her that if I were Eric Bogle, I would probably sue her! (I note he is more tolerant)
I also talked to the gospel singers who were her backing group. Who, I discovered, had never heard Eric's words! So I sang these for them and suggested - that they learn those words and sing them so that people could hear and understand them -(" because it is a folk song and that is what you do with folk songs".) I am afraid I was in lecture mode and although I tried not to offend them I left them in no doubt that in spite of the guitar skills of the legendary Jeff Beck, I did not like the meaningless musical noise that was being substituted for Eric's passionate and effective anti war diatribe. From my conversations with others involved in the Festival of Remembrance, and especially the musicians, the general view was that the song had been butchered and I noted that most of the free single discs that had been left out for performers in their dressing rooms, remained uncollected".

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