“Lord Franklin”

Two Saturdays ago, I Posted a link to Stan Rogers singing about a ship named “Mary Ellen Carter”, which covers the demise of said vessel, and the results of perseverance and determination to get her afloat once again. The song, I believe, is pure fiction… but the attraction is not in the origins of the song, but in the message that comes out in the final verses. That song was one of my early introductions to Canada’s East Coast folk music.

Today, I am linking to Pentangle singing “Lord Franklin”. Unlike the Mary Ellen Carter, Lord Franklin is recorded in history, as a result of a disastrous attempt to find the North-West Passage. This song was one of my early introductions to English folk music.

It is an interesting song because it was not that long ago that Lord Franklin was deemed a hero who lost his life, and those of his crew, in this valiant quest. More recent studies of Lord Franklin have suggested that he was incompetent, and totally driven by his own ego, without giving any consideration to his lack of experience!

Enjoy the English folk group Pentangle, with their rendition of “Lord Franklin”.

15 thoughts on ““Lord Franklin”

    • That’s the beauty of folk (traditional and contemporary) songs. They often relate history, or provide life lessons, or simply recount the social issues of the time.
      Stan Rogers for example, sings “Tiny Fish for Japan” which is based on the demise of the Canadian fishing industry, and also “Lock-Keeper” which covers a dialogue comparing the stability of life as a Lock-Keeper, vs the adventures of a life aboard an ocean going freighter.
      Sandy Denny sings “Fotheringay” which is based around Mary, Queen of Scots internment in Fotheringay castle.
      Your own Peter Seeger recorded “Little Boxes” which is a statement of society at that time, and there are many songs of protest. Folk music can be really interesting and educational.
      Bert Jansch (of Pentangle) recorded “Needle of Death”, an anti-drug song.
      One just has to listen to it, rather than use it as a background for some other activity! πŸ™‚


      • Well you have sparked my curiosity, big surprise I know. πŸ™‚ You have me wondering what a “Lock-Keeper” is.

        I will have to listen to those songs you mentioned.
        Especially the one about Mary. Queen of Scots. I have read a book about the story of her life several months ago but never knew there was a song about her.

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      • I just listened to “Needle of Death”, a powerful, sad song. “Little Boxes” was interesting. Did a good job of making a statement. Fotheringay is a sad song too, but I did enjoy listening to it. Thanks!
        Still need to check out the other 2 songs later today. πŸ™‚

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