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William Blake


Steve Ash has posted the text of his talk William Blake, Mystic, Madman or Revolutionary?


On Friday I attended an event in London in honour of William Blake's death day. The first part of the event was at his resting place, Bunhill Fields Cemetery. As soon as I arrived I spotted Niall McDevitt wearing his customary black cassock and tuning a guitar. I had always thought of Blake as a poet, not realising that he used to sing his stuff. Now "Songs of Experience" makes sense! As I understand it we do not know the melodies Blake used to sing so performers of his work have had to come up with their own arrangements. There were other people there who did readings but I specially enjoyed the songs. Niall was joined by a woman called Lisa Hayden and they harmonised wonderfully, particularly in their rendition of "Infant Joy". I had to leave after a while but I caught up with them again for the second part of the event at Blake's birthplace in Soho. Ian Gregory 2010