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Alex Campbell

I’ve been on the road, so long
Been tired and broke, so long
I’ve been to the south where the winds they were warm
Travelling the road of no return, so long

And I’ve seen what was war, so long
The ruins and scars, so long
The mansions of mud, the wounds and the blood
Seen the dying of all that was good, so long

This world’s in a shroud, so long
A mushrooming cloud, so long
The lies and the greed of the leaders of men
Those cheats who would take us to war again

Yet hope lives in me, so long
For it’s love that I see, so long
The courage and strength of the young man’s smile
The faith that’s in a little child, so long

Yes I’ve travelled this road, so long
Been tired and broke, so long
I’ve been to the south where the winds they were warm
Travelling the road of no return, so long

Footnote: Something really special for the 250th song in this feature – a great song by a byous singer – ‘Been on the Road so Long’ was composed by one of the greats of the Scottish Folk Revival Alex Campbell (1925-1987). The outstanding singer and songwriter Allan Taylor wrote in tribute –

‘Alex Campbell was the most important and influential folksinger of the folksong revival in Europe, admired, respected and loved by his fellow performers and his audiences. AN OUTRAGEOUS, HARD DRINKING, HARD TRAVELLING, HARD LIVING MAN,’

‘Hell Yeah’ as Alex himself would have said. He did indeed spend a long time on the road and away from his native land – he busked in Paris and Copenhagen with singers of the calibre of Derroll Adama and Rambling Jack Elliott. He was probably as well known, if not better kent, on the Continent as he was in Scotland. His trademark cry at concerts was ‘Hell Yeah’ and he contributed some 100 LPS for our continuing enjoyment He sang, and sang well, everything from traditional Scottish songs to the the most contemporary of material. I remember as clearly as if was yesterday seeing Alex Campbell performing for 1 ½ hours non-stop at the Aberdeen Folk Club in 1966 – what a night! What a performer!



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