Ewan MacColl

Chorus from the Gallows

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A beautifully remastered CD edition of this bleak MacColl release, which opens with the tale of Craig and Derek Bentley and closes with "Go Down Ye Murderers," which relates the story of Timothy John Evans, convicted and executed for murders he did not commit, both true and awful stories from the annals of 20th century British justice. While MacColl, in collaboration with partner Peggy Seeger, visits a number of traditional ballads of criminal misfortune, the underlying theme here is one of protest against the vagaries of the justice system in both England and America. Despite the odd attempt of levity, the unremitting darkness of the material is likely to put some listeners off. For all that, this is a vital piece of work from the British folk movement of the 1950s-1960s.

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