Our Song of the Day is from Northumberland-raised, Glasgow-based folk singer, musician and composer Sarah Hayes, better known as a multi-instrumentalist with the mighty Admiral Fallow. Sarah releases her début album Woven on 20 November, a vocal/instrumental suite exploring how our lives’ experiences create the fabric of who we are. It was first performed in Celtic Connections’ annual New Voices series on 19th January 2014, we’ll be bringing you more on the album very soon. This is the Jute Mill Song, a song many of you may be familiar with although Sarah has wrapped this, like many of the songs on the album, in newly composed melodies:
“There’s a weave of my own musical influences and experience running through the heart of this album. Having been so close to the music for the past couple of years I’ve found it’s taken on new life and depth of meaning that will continue to evolve.”
Sarah – singing, piano, keyboards
Fiona MacAskill – fiddle
Mairearad Green – accordion
Ali Hutton – guitar
James Lindsay – double bass
Phil Hague – drums, percussion
The words to Jute Mill Song were written by Mary Brooksbank, a worker in the jute mills of Dundee. In fact, if you head on over to the Tobar an Dualchais website you can hear Hamish Hendserson interviewing Mary. The song was essentially about poor pay and poverty, she explains in the interview that she put the words to a ditty sung by the workers and that she added the verses herself. She also tells of their struggle for better pay and adds that they managed to get half of their 10% pay rise but this was taken the following week to pay for National Health Insurance… “so we got nothing” she says before Hamish draws her back to the song.
Keep an eye on Folk Radio UK for more on the album. There is a full band performance of Woven at this year’s Celtic Connections (details below) and more live dates will soon be announced.
Live Dates: 22nd January 2016 (Celtic Connections) – Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow (full band performance of Woven) tickets