Vdeo Saturday – Kate Rusby

Kate Rusby comes from, still lives in, a Yorkshire ex-mining area, you don’t have to be too old to still be able to recall the mining areas of this country before The Thatcher arrived – drive through those areas now and they are not as they were in the 1980s for now they are cloned towns and villages with new industrial estates, new housing estates, commuting towns for people who live in one place but work many miles away, there is no such thing as a small town community any more and for that one thing The Thatcher was correct, other than the fact that when it spoke those words they were not yet true.

The song is inspired by Kate Rusby’s own grandparents, her grandfather being a miner all of his life his retirement was blighted, like many miners, by emphysema, a progressive disease caused in their case by decades of working in enclosed dusty mines with no regard given to the employee for protective masks, her grandfather went from a physically fit working man to a physical wreck who’s wife had to support him through his final years and watch the man become a reliant child again, ” Man and wife we used to be, Now he’s like a child upon my knee, And in my arms I help my young man through the day”.

The brass band is the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, its a Yorkshire thing, every pit worth its salt had a brass band and now its the only thing left of those communities, its a beautiful end to a beautiful song, perfection in songwriting, it doesn’t get any better than this.


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