Songs You May Have Missed #550

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Magna Carta: “The Fields of Eden” (2015)

Sit back in your most comfy chair with something seasonal in your mug (perhaps a pumpkin ale or an English tea?) and let piano, acoustic guitar and gentle strings take you on a journey back to the Yorkshire dales of songwriter Chris Simpson’s youth. If you’ve got some years on the clock this is the type of song that you’ll feel in your bones…

Times change with the tide, for such is the way of things

The old order can not stand forever, unmoving

All that goes around comes around, as indeed it must

…Look over your should, pilgrim, rest awhile

And consider on what ground you stand…

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Simpson’s spoken reflections and the song they frame elicit at turns nostalgia, sadness, defiance, resignation and reassurance as he conjures an image of an idyllic place standing in the looming shadow of fast-changing times.

Guitarist Elliot Randall (Steely Dan/Doobie Brothers), who played on this album, notes its “wonderful tune-smithing” and “sonic loveliness” and compares it to a good book–“the kind you can’t put down.”

Other superlatives heaped on Simpson and his senescent progressive folk band are here duplicated from the liner notes:

“Chris Simpson — the English Paul Simon.”–Fred Dellar (Mojo)

“The boy still writes a fair toon.”–Doug Morter (guitarist)

“One of the greatest singer/songwriters in the world.”–Roy Teysee (Universal Records, Holland)

“A master songwriter and natural born storyteller”–Graham Chalmers (Ackrill’s Newspapers)

“They are the whole story of contemporary acoustic music”–Colin Irwin (Melody Maker, Mojo, BBC Radio 2)

“Magna who?”–Bob Dylan

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