Song of the Day, January 25: Dirty Old Town by Ewan MacColl

Today’s song is Dirty Old Town by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. MacColl originally wrote the song as an interlude for his play Landscape with Chimneys. It is a highly evocative portrait of his hometown, Salford, Lancashire in England. Painting a bitter picture of northern industrial blight and working-class woes, MacColl constructs one of his finest lyrics. Sung here with his wife, Peggy Seeger, the duo move from quiet reflection to clear spite in beautiful harmony. The song has become something of a folk standard and one of MacColl’s best-known tunes, covered by dozens of artists ranging from Roger Whittaker to the Pogues. Folk legend Ewan MacColl, who died in 1989, was born on this day in 1915. Enjoy this mixed tribute to the place of his birth and celebrate his enormous contributions to music today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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