"Sing us the song about …" That's one of the most flattering things that can happen to a performer — a request, because it's assumed that we're all up there making it up as we go along. Well, over the past years I've been in the privileged position of having really good songs come my way, and it's been the purpose of this album to put the most requested ones all together. It also permits me to set the record straight regarding my new attitude to the songs themselves.
I'm so grateful to Andrew, and a chance remark he made to me at a recent folk festival, when he adroitly pointed out how when we're singing, the message so often is, "Listen to ME sing" whereas we should be saying, "Listen to the SONG I'm singing".
I think he got it right, you know, and I'm just sorry that I and so many of my colleagues (folky AND straight) seem to lose sight of that most significant difference.
So here you are then, from dancing centipedes, through historical bloodshed and romance, to wee ladies standing in a bus queue (and don't we know that could be anywhere?), let me present to you the stars of this album — The SONGS you so often ask me to sing — and thank you for the compliment.
Alastair McDonald, June 1983