With all this cold weather we seem to spend quite a bit of time in the car these days going form one place to another and as Little Miss C can be quite fussy about what we listen to whilst in the car I'm always on the look out for music that we all appreciate. We've had a fair bit of success with a mix-CD of Mummy and Daddy's music, but I'm convinced that there must be good music out there, aimed at children but which doesn't make their parents want to drive into a brick wall when the CD comes round for the third time. Luckily for us Megson's When I Was A Lad - A Collection Of Children's Folk Songs is exactly that!
Somehow Megson had completely passed me by until I received this CD to review which is a huge shame. They are husband and wife due Stu and Debbie Hanna and in their time together they have generated some fantastic reviews and a huge fan following. Three times they have been nominated as best duo in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. There's an obvious northern edge to their work and it was no surprise to therefore read that their roots are in Teeside and that this has a big influence on their work.
In 2011 the couple took a break from music to welcome their daughter into the world and after this they looked for a new project that would combine music with their new family roles. The obvious answer was When I Was a Lad and they've certainly done their daughter proud.
The album is a mix of original compositions and traditional songs. Some are very familiar (Five Little Ducks and Dance to Your Daddy) but Megson have given them their own unique twist. I thought that the original compositions were excellent (both musically and lyrically) and particularly liked one entitled All The Shops Have Fallen Down. The "blurb" in the CD booklet for this one reads as follows: This started life as an educational song - it was meant to list all the different shops on the high street and what could be bought there. But songs should reflect the times they are written in... What a true statement! The following verse perfectly captures exactly what is happening in so many towns and cities across the country right now:
When I went shopping for the local mayor
Well the local mayor he was not there
Cause he's got a big car so he needs to park it
So he's built us an out of town supermarket
This is quite simply a lovely CD. A great collection of folk music that appeals to children and adults. A nice touch is that the booklet inside the CD contains all the song lyrics too. Very useful when you're trying to sing along with the children and want to actually sing the correct lyrics. I'm also delighted to have discovered Megson and I'm now looking forward to listening to some of their other albums.
Disclaimer: I was sent a copy of Megson's When I Was a Lad to review. You can buy the album directly from their website for £10.