Desert Island Discs
I was listening to Desert Island Discs the other day and my mind went back to the time I did the programme in London with the most affable Roy Plumley, who of course devised the programme. (It was Roy by the way who got the great jazz fiddler Stéphane Grappelli out of Paris in a BBC helicopter as the Germans were stamping down the Champs-Elysées - but for that Grappelli could well have ended up in Auschwitz.)
My first choice of record was Dick Gaughan singing The John MacLean March, and I wondered, as I heard Kirsty Young's guest, whether my choice would be the same today. I think it would, the reason being that there is something timeless and majestic about that song, as there is about all true folk songs, and that is why I love the music. Made for no other reason than that the maker simply has to do it, the great songs of the Common People are true works of folk.
Some modern songs, I believe, will make it into the canon. In another hundred years people will still be singing songs like Blackwaterside, I Live Not Where I Love, The Cruel Ship's Carpenter and The Bitter Withy alongside songs like Deportees, Tunnel Tigers, Never Any Good, The Sun's Coming Over The Hill and other great contemporary songs.
I wonder if someone a hundred years hence will pick one of those for their Desert Island Disc?