In a way I suppose songs to me mean people, that is to say, it's from people that I learn.
The title song No Regrets I first heard sung by its composer Tom Rush on a two man concert we did in Birmingham Town Hall round about 1967.
The Buffalo Skinners I learnt a decade earlier from Ramblin' Jack Elliot when he was working with me at the Contrescarpe in Paris.
I got Gypsy Song Man from my friend Neils Hansen in Copenhagen in 1969.
I am learning all the time however. In 1975 for instance, I was given the words of Cunlah dear by Seán Cannon, who had turned up by mistake at a club in the North which I was doing.
I decided that I wanted to sing The Trimdon Grange Explosion, after hearing the club members of the Whitby folk club, led by James and Alan, in an evening I will always remember.
Lady Gay. I learned this version of the wife of Ushers Well from the fine American singer Tom Luke at the Tonder Multi Music Festival in Denmark.
The Auld Balena I first heard in Canada in 1965. It was listening to Rod Sinclair's group singing it in Denmark in 1975 that made me feel I wanted to sing it too.
Many years ago I remember seeing Old Joe when I was touring down in the West Country and I was pleased that Spud Taylor had made such a fine song about him. I first heard it sung at the opening of the Rose and Crown in Wolverhampton in October, by the resident group Dock Leaf.
Bill Caddick has been a friend of mine for many years, during which time I have followed his development as a writer with keen interest and when I first heard him sing his The Writing of Tipperary I knew it was a song that I would sing myself, and I am glad I have had this opportunity to record it.
As to my own songs on this record, I have never considered myself a song maker and over the years have not produced many. However, sometimes they just develop inside me and have to come out. No writer is capable of really assessing what he has written, the only criteria being perhaps, the acceptance of his work by other singers and time.
This is the first time I have ever written any notes for an LP of my own and I find myself stuck for words. Let the songs speak for me.
Alex Campbell, on the road in England, January 1976.