Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger   •   Kilroy was Here (USA)

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  • Kilroy was Here
    • 1980 - Folkways FW 8562 LP (USA)
  • Side One
    1. Seven Days of The Week (Ewan MacColl)
    2. Miss Heroin (Anon./Ruthie Gorton)
    3. In Praise of Famous Men (and Women) (Ewan MacColl)
    4. Ladybird (Ted Edwards)
    5. Lullabye For a Very New Baby (Peggy Seeger)
    6. The Plutonium Factor (Peggy Seeger)
    7. The Vandals (Ewan MacColl)
    8. Kilroy Was Here (Ewan MacColl)
  • Side Two
    1. The Androids (Ewan MacColl)
    2. What The Poet Called Her (Ewan MacColl)
    3. Nobody Knew She Was There (Ewan MacColl)
    4. My Old Man (Ewan MacColl)
    5. Get Rid of It (Ewan MacColl)
    6. Swallow and Trout (Fred Rooke)
    7. Four-Minute Warning (Peggy Seeger)

  • Musicians
    • Ewan MacColl: Vocals
    • Peggy Seeger: Vocals, Guitar, Concertina, Banjo, Autoharp, Dulicmer
    • Calum MacColl: Guitar, Psaltery, Whistle
    • Neill MacColl: Mandolin, Guitar
    • Ted Edwards: Concertina
    • Ian Trimmer: Saxaphone
    • Jim Bray: Bass
    • Susan Davis, Kitty MacColl: Supporting Vocals
  • Credits
    • Production: Neill MacColl
    • Recorded at Pathway Studios, London
    • Sound Engineer: Nick Godwin
    • Cover Design and Photo: Ronald Clyne

Sleeve Notes

"Kilroy was here" was first a U.S. World War II catch phrase. It caught on in Britain and spread rapidly. By 1942 it was written on walls or other convenient places by British and U.S. troops, no matter where they were stationed or fighting.

(Partridge, Dictionary of Catch Phrases)

Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl, an American and a Scot, have been singing together since 1956. In addition to singing traditional songs, they have, in the course of their performing lives, written scores of new songs. They are accompanied on this disc by their sons Neill and Calum. Their home is in London but their profession has taken them all over the world and won them an international reputation.

The chip is here. the silicon transplant that is going to reinvigorate the body politic and usher in a new age of plenty! We stand on the threshold of the new society. We are about to enter a new era, an era of immense productivity …

The windy rhetoric of politicians, the eructations of flatulent pundits of both sexes. the gobbledygook that issues nightly from the talking heads which occupy ten million illuminated screens throughout this island … those pink smooth faces. cosmetised and barbered, each wearing its public mask of concern, enthusiasm. confidence, impartiality, honesty, love of truth. public spiritedness …

The new technology awaits but the throwing of a switch. We are at the beginning of a new and more efficient industrial revolution. The silicon chip is the key to the Twenty-First Century …

The voices … unctuous, avuncular, pompous and patronising, jolly and forth-right, brusque but ever-so-sincere, disapproving, blustering, neighing, whinnying, barking, down-to-earth and no nonsense, terribly terribly boyish (or girlish) or elder-statesmanish, or scarcely bothering to conceal the contempt they feel for clods like us …

With the chip on the one hand and nuclear energy on the other, the future is certain. We are about to witness technological changes the like of which the world …

And the words roll on, the magic phrases, the gilded cliches, the diamond-dusted patter, the con-talk, the endless rhapsodising about a world of a chip with everything. The chip and nuclear energy! And if the one don't get you, then the other one will, says the Widow Twankey as she pats her perm and prepares to lecture us kiddies on the benefits of mass unemployment, war and a larger police force.

And Kilroy, who has heard it all before and who is accustomed to getting the shitty end of the stick begins to wonder whether the world wouldn't be a safer place without allĀ· those talking heads and this shrill pantomime dame whose verbal diarrhoea threatens his world with imminent inundation.

Almost all the bands on this disc are about this or that aspect of Kilroy's condition: Kilroy old, Kilroy young, Kilroy male, Kilroy female, Kilroy hoping. Kilroy despairing. Above all it is about the terrifying dangers that confront Kilroy now, NOW, NOW!