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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Wednesday, February 21, 2007
    The road home must start at the sea
     
    The road home must start at the sea. After all, it's probable that there wouldn't be an M62 were it not for the trade generated by the boatmen of Grimsby, Hull, and Goole. So my Lent discipline this year is to listen to one song per day from a two-tape compilation which Jim's put together of the songs of John Conolly and Bill Meek, with 19 pages of lyrics which Jim has painstakingly transcribed, and explanatory notes from the musicians themselves.

    It should be a real insight into the people whose lives were lived close to the elements, whose eighteen-hour days were spent traversing the waters between the Humber and Iceland, the White Sea and Faeroe and who enjoyed an abundant harvest between 1945 and 1960, the waters teeming with fish having being undisturbed during the war years. Jim's category headers describe the fulness of their experiences: Out to sea / Tough jobs on shore / Loss of family life / Disaster / A girl grieves for her lost lover / Protest at exploitation / Fisherman's dream of heaven / Where is God? / Changing times. There'll be little sentimentality here, plenty of authenticity and reflective learning. And that, I think, is a Lenten sort of thing.