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Baker's Dozen

Songs Are Powerful Things: Marry Waterson's Baker's Dozen
Jude Rogers , October 18th, 2017 07:10

Marry Waterson might have been born into a folk dynasty but that didn't stop her becoming a biker. With a new LP out and her mother and uncle's Bright Phoebus LP recently reissued, she guides Jude Rogers through 13 favourite LPs from The Beatles to The Band and Billie Holiday


The Watersons – For Pence & Spicy Ale
The words of these songs are etched deep inside me like the letters inside a stick of Scarborough rock. I grew up hearing and singing these songs – I used to sit at the top of the stairs at night and listen, my mam downstairs with her guitar. Sometimes Annie Briggs would come round to write. The way I sing comes from my family.

My family also used to sing unaccompanied, which is a way of singing that teaches you a lot – about how blend in with other people, although my family always could, of course, having the same accent, as well as that familiarity with each other. Singing with someone with a very different accent, like an American accent isn't the same – there's not the same pace between the notes. With family, you naturally know how to sing in and against those voices. My mother and I used to sing together in the car all the time – and even in that ordinary place, the fact that you you could inhabit the whole range of emotion in these songs, everyday emotions of those people's lives…that's something that's always meant so much to me.