Recalling songs

I went to see Richard Thompson performing his 1000 Years of Popular Music last night in London. As the title suggests it's a little tour of songs from the 1200s (or perhaps before) to the present day (Nelly Furtado). Several songs required some mention of their original context – played in the court, in a... Continue Reading →

Unacknowledged legislators

Shelley once wrote that poets were the “unacknowledged legislators of mankind”. Well, he was young, but in the mood of the times he could probably be forgiven for thinking the liberal imagination was rising to a new pre-eminence. Where “society” once indicated a tiny elite it was beginning to embrace whole nations. Literacy was spreading... Continue Reading →

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