In 2011 Fife poet and songwriter William Hershaw obtained permission from Morag Corrie to record the poems of her father, the famous 20th century playwright, Joe Corrie. These would be set to traditional and contemporary folk and acoustic arrangements written specially for the CD. Respected producer and musician Erik Knussen was commissioned as Musical Director and funding was obtained from Fife Council. The talented pool of Musicians involved included The Hershaws, legendary Folk singers Davey Stewart and Fiona Forbes, clarsach player Jenn Knussen and Fife’s freshest acoustic music phenomenon, The Dandylions.
The aim of the project was to celebrate the work of a Fife writer who had exerted a major influence on British/Scottish drama and literary culture and to re acquaint a modern audience with Corrie’s poems and songs.
Featuring sixteen songs, the CD encompasses a range of musical styles from driving blues and country/gospel to unaccompanied traditional singing – all celebrating the timeless words of a great writer who was considered the finest Scottish poet of his day by TS Eliot. Corrie wrote graphically of the harsh physical and economic conditions for the coal miner in the twenties and thirties (Image O God & The Common Man & It’s Fine to Keep In Wi The Gaffer)) but Cage Load of Men also reveals his ability as a writer of memorable love lyrics ( The Lea Licht O The Muin & In Hunter’s Bar) as well as inspiring poems about the human condition (The Pedlar & I Took My Way To Chapel). His poems remain of universal significance.
Cage Load of Men is a CD that celebrates The Joe Corrie Story – a Fife local hero who went on from Cardenden to inspire and influence thousands through his plays and poems. That influence has continued in music that compliments Joe Corrie’s socialist message perfectly.
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