Tuesday, September 11, 2012

At risk of turning this Blog into the Tom Paxton fan site, today would be an excellent day to listen to this song again.

I think it must be one of the four or five genuinely great "authored" folk-songs of all time. (*)

There is absolutely no excuse for The Marvellous Toy.


(*) Grand Coulee Dam, Masters of War, The World Turned Upside Down, Hollow Point, maybe?


Anonymous said...

To be fair, Marvellous Toy was practically the first song he wrote - and is ace if you're a child.

I'm assuming that today's link is to The Bravest, so I'm not going to follow it because sobbing at my desk in front of my colleagues would be undignified.

Francis S said...

Zero relevance to Tom Paxton, but I can't work out how else to contact you and say: I'd be utterly delighted if you wrote about Unapologetic, whether it maddens you or not. In fact you're high on the list of people I've urged Faber to stick a copy in the hands of, *Where Dawkins Went Wrong* having been a definite influence on the writing of U, and sourcebook for Good Rhetorical Moves.

Jacob said...

No Stan Rogers? No Stephen Foster? Dibdin? McColl? Fie upon you, sir.

Jacob said...

No Stan Rogers? No Stephen Foster? Dibdin? McColl? Fie upon you, sir.

Andrew Rilstone said...

@Francis Thank you very much for the comments. Flattered to know you enjoyed my Dawkins book. I don't know if you read this blog regularly, but if so you'll know I'm a big admirer of your "Child That Books Built". (One of the most perceptive things I've read about Narnia.) I'm certainly intending to read Unapologetic; I found the essay in the Guardian the other week very intriguing. (It was interesting how many of the comments below the line just didn't get it.)

You (or anyone else) should be able to contact me at andrewrilstone@google.co.uk if you need to.

Andrew Rilstone said...


But apart from Stan Rogers, Stephen Foster, Dibdin and McColl what have the Romans ever done for us.

Foster I probably wouldn't call a folkie (more music hall and parlour music) much as I like his Bobness version of Hard Times. But Stan Rogers is a shocking omission after we've established that Mary Ellen Carter is the Best Song Ever Written About Anything. I will go and add it to the play list forthwith.

Er...what did Dibdin write?

Andrew Rilstone said...

Yeah. I've made Marvellous Toy a bit of a Hobby Horse. I heard him live for the first time a year or three back, and I really didn't respond to the Whimsy (the Rabbit is survivable but My Kathy Little Lady should be consigned to oblivion.) But when he gets onto the straight protest and folk songs he's great. I take the point that he's much more the carried of Woody Guthrie's torch than Dylan was. And anyone who sings an internet parody of his most famous song has got to be a nice guy.

Andrew Rilstone said...

I meant "andrewrilstone@google.com, obviously.

Jacob said...

Dibdin wrote a bunch of arguably-folk songs - Tom Bowling, Jolly Young Waterman, Lass that Loves a Sailor, and "Then Farewell My Tridonotuse-Built Wherry" (no, I don't know either...)