Saturday, 7 July 2012

'Anthology of American Folk Music' - Edited by Harry Smith (1952)

"The girl you have in that merry green land,
Still waits for your return."

Crank calls. Twice a week. For three years. No, I wasn’t making them. I was the innocent victim. Well, not really a victim as such. I could have changed my number a lot earlier to stop them. But it was always intriguing to see who it was going to be on the other end and I quite enjoyed the banter.

It seemed everyone had my number. There was the man who wanted me to donate to a charity he had very clearly just invented. And the children who wanted to sell me a sports car that was also a boat. And the most memorable was from an irate middle-aged sounding woman. It went something like this…

"Hey, you promised me you‘d call and we could get together. Don’t pretend you don’t know who I am. You gave me this number on Friday night in the club. Stop messing me around. I’m going to get my husband on the phone…"       

Yep, that's right: her husband!??! Well, she was quite obviously deluded if she thinks I’ve ever spent any time hanging out in a club. I can only imagine that the old woman who lived here before me must have fallen out with someone and they had cruelly plastered her number in phone boxes around town.

Somewhat inevitably, Mr Heavy Breather finally made an appearance very late one night. Thought he’d be disappointed to have got me, but he sounded excited enough. Hanging up didn't do the trick this time. He kept on ringing in to the early hours. They say blow a whistle down the line. But who has a whistle these days? "Referees, Michael." Except referees. So I eventually had to pull the plug out. And the next day I changed my number, as I had a feeling he’d be back. Since that day it’s just been autobots telling me I must press 5 immediately to make a PPI claim. The modern world really is rubbish.

Nick and PJ's 1996 cover ...

1 comment:

  1. Highly recommend this box set. Field recordings from 1927 to 1932 of american folk songs you'll have heard covered by many others since - Nick Cave, Kristin Hersh, Be Good Tanyas, et al.

    Contains six themed CDs. And two highly detailed and insightful booklets on the history of each song and performer. A further later volume is available separately.