Really enjoyed seeing Martin Simpson last week, in St Andrew’s Church, Moretonhampstead, a small town - or maybe a large village - in Dartmoor. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a church with every pew filled. A high point was when he went seamlessly from one of my favourite songs - St James Infirmary - into another, Dylan’s classic song, Blind Willie McTell.
Despite the Nobel prize (now collected) Dylan’s not always on song with his lyrics, but Blind Willie McTell contains some of his best:
Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what's his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is.
I'm gazing out the window
Of the St James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell.
Martin Simpson pointed out that “power and greed and corruptible seed” seems to sum up the state of the world right now, and I can’t disagree…