Hard Times of Old England

from by Marc Block

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Marc's new album, Brisk & Breezy, sees him revisit the “jaunty acoustipop” of his former band, Marc Block and the Breezes, overdubbing his own voice, guitar, bouzouki, harmonicas and percussion, with further backing vocals by Rachel Delicata and double bass by Martin Bentley. It’s an exuberant collection of mostly original songs, including new recordings of some of Marc’s old favourites from his younger days.

    CD artwork by Frank Duffy (www.frankduffy.co.uk), photography by James Fagan.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Brisk & Breezy via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

I first heard this well-known traditional song done by Steeleye Span, and my version has new verses by Corinne Male ("We go to the polls...") and Roy Bailey ("freedom is turning the world upside down"), which make it more contemporary, and call for action, not merely hope.

lyrics

Hard Times of Old England Trad/*Corinne Male/**Roy Bailey arr. Marc Block

Oh the hard times of old England...

Come all working people who travel along
And pray, come and tell me where the work has all gone
Long time I have travelled, and I can find none
and it’s Oh the hard times of old England, in old England, very hard times

Provisions you buy at a shop, it is true
But if you’ve no money, there’s none there for you
So what are the poor folk and their families to do
and it’s Oh the hard times of old England, in old England, very hard times

You go to a shop and you ask for a job
But they answer you there with a shake and a nod
It’s enough to make poor folk to turn out and rob
and it’s Oh the hard times of old England, in old England, very hard times

You see working people out walking the streets
From morning till night for employment to seek
And scarce do they have any shoes to their feet
and it’s Oh the hard times of old England, in old England, very hard times

*We go to the polls and they’re asking us to vote
And they’re telling us we’re all in the same boat
But how many sink while they stay afloat?
and it’s Oh the hard times of old England, in old England, very hard times

**So come all working people and stand to your ground
If we all join together we can turn it around
Freedom is turning the world upside down
Sing Oh! Good times in old England, in old England very good times

credits

from Brisk & Breezy, released October 7, 2016
Marc Block: Lead and backing vocals, bouzouki, harmonica, bodhrán, cowbell.
Martin Bentley: Double bass
Rachel Delicata: Backing vocals

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about

Marc Block Nottingham, UK

"one of the most exciting singers I've heard in a long, long time" - Mike Harding

"passionate and careful in his treatment of traditional material" – Rob Bartlett

“..a great voice” – James Fagan

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