A Song from my Childhood

Listen with Liv: where I share my musical choice of the month.

December is traditionally a time of year for many families to get together and for me that means reminiscing about a time when we had large gatherings with lots of great-aunts and uncles and two sittings for dinner. Looking back, we (my siblings and cousins) were often asked to perform for the grown ups – sing a song or play the piano. I was happy to play for my grandma who always gave me a shilling afterwards but most of us were a bit too shy in front of all the relatives and preferred when they sang or played for us. One of the songs the grown ups sang for us to dance to, when we were little, was Dance to your Daddy. Why this song I am not sure, as we have no connection with fishing, as far as I know, though my maternal grandmother’s family did come from Whitby, a fishing town on the north east coast of England. 

I love this brilliant version of the song, with fiddle and guitar, by award winning duo: Nancy Kerr and James Fagan. It was recorded at Bath Folk Festival in 2013 and is my choice this month for Listen with Liv.

Kaushiki Chakraborty

Listen with Liv: where I share a track that has lifted my spirits.

I published this on a separate page last month but have decided to move it to this page to simplify this site.

My choice for October 2021, is from an Indian classical singer I was lucky enough to hear performing live, in London, a few years ago. I could listen to Kaushiki Chakraborty’s clear and expressive voice all day long. There’s a surprising mix of Indian and Western instrumentals, which I think compliment her singing, in this arrangement of Niyat e Shauq (a ghazal – a devotional or romantic love poem) originally popularised by legendary Bollywood singers: Ashe Bhosle and Noor Jahan.

Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté

Listen with Liv: each month I’ll share some music that has lifted my spirits. I hope you enjoy it too.

Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté (signed album cover).

This month, my choice is from father and son, Toumani and Sidiki Diabaté, master kora players from Mali. I love the sound of the kora, an instrument that has been played in West Africa by generations of traditional musicians (griots) such as the Diabaté family, for centuries. It’s not only the sound that I love, it’s the way Toumani and Sidiki weave in more notes than you’d think possible and it all fits seamlessly into the melody. I was lucky enough to hear them in 2014, when they performed in Edinburgh. Here they are at Glastonbury, as part of that same tour, playing Rachid Ouiguini from their album ‘Toumani and Sidiki’.

Music starts at 00.26

And here they are playing a gentle and poignant love song: Jarabi.