Sonny’s Dream: Jean Redpath

Jean Redpath, an esteemed Scottish folk singer whose arresting repertoire of ancient ballads, Robert Burns poems and contemporary tunes helped energize a genre she described as a “brew of pure flavor and pure emotion,” died on Thursday at a hospice in Arizona. She was 77. You’ll find the rest of her most interesting life described here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/24/arts/music/jean-redpath-prolific-scottish-folk-singer-dies-at-77.html

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11 Comments on “Sonny’s Dream: Jean Redpath”

  1. Cuidado Says:

    I like her very much. Thanks for this and the notice of her death.

    • katry Says:

      Cuidado,
      You are welcome. It is sad how many traditional folk artists are passing away. None left are like Jean Redpath.

  2. Ted Says:

    Thanks for posting Jean Redpath. What a loss.

    I first heard Jean about 30 years ago when WGBH’s Robert J. Lurtsema had a classical music program 7 mornings a week and Maine Public Broadcasting subscribed to it. Robert J hosted Jean several times.

    And the last time I heard Robert J (before MPBN canned him for local programming!) he had with him, in studio, live, not merely Jean Redpath (with whom I think Robert J was in love, but have no hard evidence), but also Gordon Bok. Can’t remember what they sang or talked about but I know I was listening. A great match of voices and I don’t know if the two of them ever got recorded. From google I see that they performed together in New Hampshire in 2005, so maybe there is something out there.

    Side note: Jean has recorded several songs of one of my old favorites, Eric Bogle. Eric is also a Scot but has spent most of his life in Australia and writes the sort of ballad that Jean did so well.

    • katry Says:

      Ted,
      I knew her passing needed noting as did her music.

      Gordon Bok has long been a favorite of mine. I haven’t posted him in a while but I’ve posted his music several times. Perhaps it is again time.

      Eric’s song “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda” is a favorite of mine. I play it on Veteran’s Day as I consider it a reminder of the pain and often the futility of war.

      I didn’t know he had recorded songs with Jean. Now I think I’l do some hunting. I want to hear the melding of the two voices.

      • Ted Says:

        I don’t know if Jean had recorded anything with Eric Bogle, but I’ve been listening to her singing Eric’s songs Leaving the Land and Now I’m Easy.

        Can’t find anything of Jean and Gordon together on youtube or anywhere else, but I’m right now listening to Gordon Bok, Ann Mayo Muir and Ed Trickett singing Eric’s song No Man’s Land (Green Fields of France).

      • katry Says:

        Ted,
        I did go hunting and also couldn’t find any recordings of Jean with either Eric or Gordon. We probably crossed paths on youtube.

        Gordon Bok’s songs about Maine and the sea are my favorites of his. I last saw him just after Apples in the Basket was released. He sang a couple of songs from it and I bought the album. I particularly like the title song and The Old Figurehead Carver

      • Ted Says:

        Another link in the chain is Kate Wolf as a friend of Eric Bogle. He recorded her song Cornflower Blue, and wrote Katie and the Dreamtime Land after she died. I think that’s the one that has the lyrics “Ah, you would have loved it, Kate, beneath these southern stars.”

        I also discovered recently (maybe from you) that Eric Bogle wrote Safe in the Harbour as a tribute to Stan Rogers.

    • katry Says:

      Ted,
      You keep naming singers I really like and now you’ve added another, Kate Wolfe, to the conversation. Cornflower Blue is so lovely.

      It could have been me as Stan Rogers has been posted here many times. He too was a horrific loss.


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