Saturday 21 January 2012: Far, Far From Ypres
Well, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall to be exact. The reason for Bad Granny and Prickly Grandad's visit is to partake of their Christmas present - tickets for Celtic Connections.
This was a performance of songs and poetry from and inspired by the First World War, with an excellent cast; you might recognise some names. It wasn't exactly a 'gig', so I didn't think I'd get away with leaping up and taking a candid photo in the middle. The ensemble was superb: several groups of singers joined together for the performance, with some solo spots.
I did learn that Barbara Dixon's uncle was killed at the Somme aged 16. She sang Roses of Picardy, a song my gran particularly hated. My gran remembered quite a bit about the First World War; her dad, Dickie, was in a support battalion, and her favourite uncle Billy, Meg's dad, was also in the army. Billy used to sing Roses of Picardy to her. Later, he abandoned his family and my gran was extremely upset; she hated the song ever after.
I may have mentioned that it was my gran and Meg's stories that really interested me in history. We studied the WWI poets when I was 13 and half my bookshelf is now filled with memoirs and novels about the time. My mum and I went on a battlefield tour about 15 years ago; we went to Vimy Ridge, saw the last post at the Menin Gate (coincidentally accompanied by a pipe band that night) as well as the memorials at the Somme and the Commonwealth memorials. I'd really recommend it.
Anyway, it was a great evening and they ended with a standing ovation to a song that I think I'm going to sing a bit more... altogether now
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile!
P.S. if you're interested in the CD you can read about it here