Global Hit – The Imagined Village

The World
The World

We conclude today with a Global Hit from the British Isles. We travel to a village you’ve never heard of. That’s because this is The Imagined Village.

You can take that figuratively. Also take it literally, because The Imagined Village is the name of this ensemble. And as you might expect, The Imagined Village gets to make up its own form of British folk music.

Yeah, that’s right, I said it: British folk music. And you’ll like it. The Imagined Village is a British folk super group for the new century. Imagine a British village where there are rebellious kids and new immigrants, and they all gravitate around traditional songs of yore.

You’ll find players like Billy Bragg, singer-songwriter Martin Carthy and his fiddler daughter Eliza Carthy. But then up pop folk lovers like Paul Weller formerly of the Jam and the Style Council.

And the dance band Transglobal Underground and one-time synth pop singer Sheila Chandra and her treatment of an old tune, “The Welcome Sailor.”

What’s remarkable about The Imagined Village is that the treatments these artists give to traditional songs are not as complex and modernized as you might expect.

So although many of these musicians think of themselves as a new generation of folk players, there’s an innate respect for the music. We leave you with a song that the band Traffic covered some years ago.

The Imagined Village reminds us that John Barleycorn Must Die has much deeper roots than the 1970s.
Vocals here from Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy and Paul Weller.

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