‘The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.’
L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between
Most queer people were edited out of history. This song and the two following are part of the efforts to write us back in.
We're in an era that was unthinkable when I was growing up. Britain was still demonising queer people with new laws, and newspapers like the Sun vilified us daily, magnifying the horrors of the AIDS epidemic with their very public cruelty. Sex between men was still criminalised until the age of twenty one.
Today people are choosing their own pronouns and there are public discussions about trans inclusivity. Growing numbers of stories are being told about people with different gender identities and sexualities. Gay people can marry in some countries, and, finally, queer people in fiction can can have happiness and love - we don't have to be sad, alone, outcast or tolerated only in the role of court jester.
Progress, which has made life more livable, still feels fragile however. If the past is a foreign country, it feels like it's not far to the border.
This song is the first in a trilogy about two people who couldn't be together. I imagine them in a late 1800s Norfolk village and I didn't want to rewrite history and pretend that everything worked out for them.
from Lost Songs,
released October 11, 2022
Mastered by William Bowden
Drums and percussion by Hamish Stuart
Hamish plays Gretsch Drums and Craig Lauritsen Cymbals
Jim Moginie recorded drums and percussion at Oceanic Studios