Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Chapter 6: Come away, O human child!

W.B Yeats is usually seen as a early 20th century poet but my favourite of his poems The Stolen Child was published in 1889. I love it's beautiful and heartbreaking tale of the taking of a child by faeries, the final stanza in particular brings me to tears. And much like my experiences disovering Tennyson, I first discovered the poem by way of music.

There have been many musical versions of the poem, however the first one that I heard and fell in love with was recorded by The Waterboys (which spoken word sections by Tomás Mac Eoin) for their 1988 record album Fisherman's Blues. I really think it captures the heartbreaking otherworldliness of the poem with Mike Scott's haunting vocals matching up perfectly to Mac Eoin's reading of the text.

I also love Loreena McKennitt's version from her 1985 album Elemental

More recently my brother played me a version by British folk act Merrymouth from their 2012 debut album witch is also extremely good.

I know that there are other song versions of the poem but these are the three I'm most familiar with so sorry if I missed out anything.

The Waterboys - Fisherman Blues Amazon US | Amazon UK
Loreena McKennitt - Elemental Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Merrymouth -  Simon Fowler's Merrymouth Amazon US | Amazon UK

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