Unknown African Boy (d.1830), directed by Marry Waterson.
This video by Marry Waterson accompanies the first single release from The Sorrow Songs : Folk Songs of Black British Experience album (2022). It commemorates the life of an ‘Unknown African Boy, estimated age 8’ whose body was washed ashore on St Martin’s, Isles of Scilly, after a shipwreck in 1830. Also washed ashore were luxury items destined for trading, including elephant tusks, gold dust, silver dollars. The song features string arrangements by producer Eliza Carthy, whose voice here represents the collective voice of the grieving mothers of the village, mourning as one for their stolen children.
The Brown Girl (Roud 180, Child 295), directed by Nick Duffy.
I first learned The Brown Girl from the singing of Martin Carthy, though this version is from the singing of Frankie Armstrong.
I used to dream and wonder about whether the girl in this song might be my sort of brown (i.e., a person of colour). So this song was a sort of talisman for me, leaving a small space of possibility that I might find people like me in these songs. This song contains elements of ballads such as Barbara Allen, Lord Thomas & Fair Eleanor / Ellender...
In this video the Brown Girl is wasting time, playing with leaves and flowers, daydreaming... basically taking as long as possible to reach the sickbed of her false love.
"Abundant with meaning and feeling" - The Guardian, 4 / 5 stars (Folk Album of the Month, May 2022)
Clouds Never Move, directed by Angeline Morrison & Nick Duffy.This song was my personal response to the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and so many others... Systemic racism and inequalities are pervasive, and the speaking of our own truth is more important than ever. 'Clouds Never Move’, a
fragment of memory, is all about how important it is to give voice to your truth.
I hope you find the slow nature of the video peaceful in troubled times…
"Angeline Morrison's gorgeous new single is one of the softest and most succinct statements on speaking your truth possibly ever recorded. 2020 needed a song like this one badly, in more ways than one" - Record Crates United