Thursday, September 24, 2009

The South Country

Another good source for free access soundscape recordings: the British Library Sound Archive.  They have various atmospheric recordings of the English countryside and some specific soundscapes from East Poland, Hungary, and locations further afield, like 'An Afternoon at Mayam Lake'.

But in addition to soundscapes the archive also has recordings taken from a series of old Linguaphone 78s called 'English Landscape Through Poets' Eyes'.  This was 'compiled by Stephen Usherwood, MA, Oxford, July 1958'.  Here are the poems and links:

And finally, 'Lines from 'The South Country' by Hilaire Belloc - from which the following three verses are taken:

The men that live in North England
I saw them for a day;
Their hearts are set upon the waste fells,
Their skies are fast and grey;
From their castle-walls a man may see
The mountains far away.

The men that live in West England
They see the Severn strong,
A-rolling on rough water brown
Light aspen leaves along.
They have the secret of the rocks
And the oldest kind of song.

But the men that live in the South Country
Are the kindest and most wise,
They get their laughter from the loud surf,
And the faith in their happy eyes
Comes surely from our sister the Spring
When over the sea she flies;
The violets suddenly bloom at her feet,
She blesses us with surprise.

Source: British Library


colin sackett said...

Thanks Andrew, i enjoyed the Belloc very much, like being chastised at 78rpm.

Plinius said...

Thanks Colin. I'll try to get along to Red Lion Square for the Small Publisher's Fair on 14/15 Nov - I assume you'll be there...