Ian Campbell Folk Group – Songs Of Protest (EP) (1962)

FrontCover1.jpgIan Campbell (10 June 1933 – 24 November 2012) was a Scottish folksinger. As leader of the Ian Campbell Folk Group, he was one of the most important figures of the British folk revival during the 1960s.

Born in Aberdeen, Campbell moved to Birmingham as a teenager, where he subsequently worked as an engraver in the city’s Jewellery Quarter. His father, David Gunn Campbell, was a trade union leader who was originally from Shetland. He fell under the influence of the Birmingham Marxist writer George Thomson and joined the choir of the local branch of the Workers’ Music Association, which was run by Thomson’s wife. In 1957, he formed a skiffle group, initially called the Clarion Skiffle Group, which performed politically-charged material including Fenian and Jacobite songs, and songs of miners, industrial workers and farmworkers. In 1958, the group changed their name to the Ian Campbell Folk Group and in 1962 recorded Ceilidh At The Crown, at the Crown Inn in Station Street Birmingham, their regular venue. It was the first ever live folk recording to be released on vinyl.

After disbanding the group in 1978, Campbell worked as an editor and television presenter for TV-am and as a community arts worker in Dudley. His sons Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell and Duncan Campbell have all been members of the Birmingham reggae group UB40. (by wikipedia)


Released in 1962, this contains six short songs with acoustic instruments and a mix of male and female singing, including some very nice harmony. The first song derives from an Aragonese folk song. The second song is an American song from some kind of pre-20th century Christian hymn tradition. The third song is Gaelic. The fourth song is from Hitler-era Germany (“Moorsoldaten”). The fifth song is from Yugoslavia and is said to be a “synthesis of folk song and mass-song”. The sixth song is English and apparently dates from the 14th century or earlier. The common theme in these songs is political and military struggles and stuff like that. I’m taking this information from the sleeve notes of the album written by musicologist Albert Lancaster Lloyd. This release could be considered a scholarly exercise in the “folk revival” of the 1950s as it was conceived to extend beyond British/English culture. Very good performances of very good songs. (by herkyjerky


Ian Campbell /vocals, guitar)
Lorna Campbell (vocals)
John Dunkerley (guitar, banjo, mandolin)
Dave Phillips (guitar)
Dave “Swarb” Swarbrick (violin, mandolin)


01. Viva la Quince Brigada (Traditional) 1.55
02. We Will Overcome (Traditional) 2.09
03. The Boys Of Westford (Traditional) 2.39
04. The Peat-Bog Soldiers (Esser/Langhoff/Goguel) 1.44
05. Domovina (Traditional) 2.13
06. The Cutty Wren (Traditional) 2.33




Ian Campbell (10 June 1933 – 24 November 2012)