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Sad news: Sydney Carter died on Saturday 13th March

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Mark Fry

Mar 15, 2004, 11:57:09 AM3/15/04
As announced, rather briefly, in,
Sydney Carter died on Saturday 13th March, aged 88. He suffered from
Alzheimer's for several years.

Although Lord Of the Dance is his most famous song, many who know his
work would not say it was his best. Think about Crow On The Cradle,
John Ball, One More Step, Down Below, George Fox, Silver In The
Stubble... He wrote hymns, carols, comic songs, protest songs... Then
again, how many of us know some of Sydney's songs without realising
they were written by him? I've come to his work relatively recently,
and have been surprised at how often my reaction has been "oh, is that
by him as well?" His place in the tradition is assured.

There are already many tributes to him on the Mudcat Cafe - see

Farewell Sydney - rest in peace.

Molly Mockford

Mar 15, 2004, 3:29:50 PM3/15/04
At 08:57:09 on Mon, 15 Mar 2004, Mark Fry <>
wrote in <>:

>Sydney Carter died on Saturday 13th March, aged 88. He suffered from
>Alzheimer's for several years.

I was privileged to meet him when I was 17, at a house party to which I
had gone as a friend of a friend of the daughter of the family. I had
no idea who he was (I was recently arrived in England, and knew mainly
only Scottish music), but the three of us sat on the carpet together and
drank wine and I found his conversation fascinating - so much so that I
remembered his name for two or three years, when I finally found out
that I had been talking to a very special man. I wondered at the time
why on earth a man of his age should be interested in talking to
ignorant young girls; of course, it was because he spotted our love of
folk music and wanted to nurture and encourage it.

We talked about children's street songs, and about She Moved Through The
Fair, which he said was incomplete, as it should have a verse in which
she dies of a fever; I don't know whether he knew it wasn't traditional
(I didn't, at the time), or whether he meant the author should have
included a penultimate verse to perfect the song's structure; I now
suspect the latter. He taught us a children's song about Nelson,
corrupted to Lord Lester, which was new to us both (and which I can't
now remember in full, but it was along the lines of "Lord Lester lost an
eye / Lord Lester lost an arm" etc.). The following morning, I was
still in the company of the friend who took me to the party, plus her
younger sister, to whom we were recounting the events; I mentioned
children's songs, and she instantly piped up with "Lord Lester", and
wondered why we were both staring at her in amazement!
Molly Mockford
I think I've been too long on my own, but the little green goblin that
lives under the sink says I'm OK - and he's never wrong, so I must be!
(My Reply-To address *is* valid, though may not remain so for ever.)

Julian Flood

Mar 16, 2004, 5:38:11 PM3/16/04

"Mark Fry" wrote

> Silver In The
> Stubble

Rest easy, old man. Thanks.


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