“Hide And Seekers” by The Seekers - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1964Album Chart of the Decade: 1960s

TJR says

The Seekers are usually too middle-of-the-road for my tastes but I don't deny for a minute they have decent folkie credentials, a way with harmonies, and a truly beautiful singer in Judith Durham. As a case in point, this album is ready to pass entirely without any incident of note until “The Eriskay Love Lilt” arrives on a one-song rescue mission. It's one of those marvellous pieces that makes you stop what you're doing, turn it up, and listen intently.

For a population of less than 150, Eriskay (Eric's Isle) in the Outer Hebrides has a fair degree of fame to commend it, being the island where Bonnie Prince Charlie landed in 1745 to plot the Jacobite Rising, the island which received the shipwrecked SS Politician and her 28,000 cases of malt whisky in 1941 and, of course, the island on which this delightful song is based. Gaelic being the most commonly spoken language there, the traditional song was sung, in Eriskay, in its original native tongue by a lass by the name of Mary MacInnes circa 1908. Collector Marjory Kennedy-Fraser was listening, and she modified the tune, as well as adding lyrics in English. It was published in 1909 by Boosey & Co in Volume 1 of “Songs of the Hebrides and Other Celtic Songs from the Highlands of Scotland” by Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Kenneth MacLeod.

The Seekers handling of the piece is exquisite, the orchestration tugging at the heart strings, and Judith's pristine vocal, sang in both Scots Gaelic and English, conveying the loneliness felt when something or someone is missing. She'd win a Mòd award with this performance. Fair play to the Seekers for this.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [02:14] 4.6.png The Seekers - This Little Light Of Mine (Traditional, Pete Seeger) Folk
A2 [02:38] 3.0.png The Seekers - Morning Town Ride (Malvina Reynolds) Country
A3 [03:51] 3.2.png The Seekers - The Water Is Wide (Traditional) Crooner / Cabaret
A4 [02:30] 4.7.png The Seekers - Well Well Well (Bob Gibson, Hamilton Camp) Folk
A5 [03:24] 4.1.png The Seekers - Lady Mary (Traditional) Crooner / Cabaret
A6 [02:04] 5.5.png The Seekers - We’re Moving On (Traditional) Folk
B1 [01:36] 5.5.png The Seekers - Ox Driving Song (Traditional) Folk
B2 [02:30] 3.4.png The Seekers - Kumbaya (Traditional) Folk
B3 [02:32] 4.9.png The Seekers - Blowin’ In The Wind (Robert Zimmerman) Folk
B4 [02:31] 8.7.png The Seekers - The Eriskay Love Lilt (Traditional, Marjory Kennedy-Fraser) Crooner / Cabaret
B5 [02:02] 5.4.png The Seekers - Chilly Winds (Keith Potger) Folk
B6 [02:23] 4.0.png The Seekers - What Have They Done To The Rain? (Malvina Reynolds) Folk

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