The latest concert of the excellent Willoughby Symphony Choir featured a collection of popular and folk songs, rather than their usual classical performances. I was struck by the mixture of cultural influences in many of the songs, and have collected a few of my favourite performances with multi-cultural connections.
The first is a song usually associated with the African-American Roberta Flack, but written (I recently discovered) by the English folk singer, of Scottish ancestry, Ewan McColl. Here it is performed by the Irish folk musician Christy Moore, performed in Scotland:
The next is an English song of life at sea, “A Sailor’s Life”, performed by Sheila Chandra with a unique mixture of Indian and English musical influences:
Next up, the Arabic song “El Helwa Di”, sung by American Anais Mitchell:
Finally, the last performance from today’s concert was the Scottish Song “Blooming Heather”, jointly performed by choir and audience. Here is a performance from Yorkshire lass Kate Rushby, assisted by a (rather larger) audience at the 2007 Cambridge Folk festival: