Malcolm Guite | Dancing Through the Fire

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UK - England - East Midlands

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Folk: British Folk Rock: Folk Rock Moods: Solo Male Artist
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Dancing Through the Fire

by Malcolm Guite

Blues, Rock and Country fuse with Poetry to make something resonant, mysterious and new.
Genre: Folk: British Folk
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Dancing Through the Fire
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6:01 $0.99
2. Love in the Red
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4:18 $0.99
3. A Song for Ruth
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4:49 $0.99
4. They Don't Make Movies (Out of Love Like This)
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4:32 $0.99
5. Numbers
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4:30 $0.99
6. Lente Lente
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7:16 $0.99
7. Fade Away
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3:14 $0.99
8. Bridegroom Blues
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4:04 $0.99
9. The Messenger
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3:01 $0.99
10. Moonlight
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3:01 $0.99
11. Recipe for Love
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3:26 $0.99
12. Rolling In the Hedgerows/Old Tom of Oxford
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6:10 $0.99
13. Tiger Love
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6:44 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
This CD is a collection of 13 new songs, my first 'release' since 2007's The Green Man, and is out on the same label, Cambridge Riffs. The CD's eponymous opening track sets the theme for the rest of the album. 'Dancing through the fire' alludes to some lines in TS Eliot's Little Gidding;

From wrong to wrong the exasperated sprit
proceeds unless restored by that refining fire,
where you must move in measure, like a dancer'

Those lines in turn refer to the great moment in Dante's Divine Comedy, when having been through Hell, and climbed mount Purgatory, Dante comes to the last circle of fire which will purify his love and allow him to return to the garden of Eden and be reunited with his beloved Beatrice, so that they can make a further journey together into Heaven. Dante's whole poem is about the intimate interlinking of earthly and heavenly Love, and its own smaller way, that is also the subject of this album. After the opening song, which sets the story of Dante's pilgrimage and ours, to a driving, danceable rocking blues rythm, all the tracks are in one way or another songs of earthly and heavenly love.

Love in the Red tells the story of a couple's love for each other surviving the present financial crisis, a crisis which is itself the wreckage of failed love in the earthly city.

A song for Ruth tells the story of the welcoming love for the stranger, and the solidarity in grief that brought Ruth and Naomi together, in an economic crisis in biblical times.

They dont Make Movies (Out Of Love Like This) is a song of Married Love and a personal tribute to my wife Maggie

Numbers, comes to grips, as Dante did in the inferno, with the sheer wastefulness of casual violence and the wreckage it makes, so easily and so quickly, of all that Love builds over the years.

Lente Lente, is about the need for peace, rest and playfulness, the slow, beautiful times and places an friendships where Love can be healed and renewed.

Fade Away is a little blast of vintage stonesy rock on the perrenial theme of lost love

Bridegroom Blues; in this song the Bridegroom sings to the Bride he wooed and won and gave his life for. He loves her in all her colours, He knows she's in trouble, but He is going to pull her through and bring her to her to the Marriage Feast.

The Messenger. I've taken another leaf out of Dante's book for this one.

Moonlight. This is a poem I wrote when I was 17, and set to music when I was 53. The seventeen year old who wrote this romantic, moonlit lament is still in me somewhere, and still needs to voice that mingled sense of love and loss. It seemed only fair for the fifty three year old to give him a chance.

Recipe for Love. a little lightening of the tone here. I sat down to write 'a song of great social and political import' but instead this cheeky little song popped out. Love and good cooking always go together.

Rolling in the Hedgerows/Old Tom of Oxford. Now here's a love song to language and landscape. A poet's song to his muse who is always a mixture of language and landscape, though in her mystery she is so much more besides. In some ways this is a companion song to The Green Man, with its love of the fields and hedgerows of the English countryside, the place of my earthly pilgrimage. It leads into the birdsong from the hedgerows and Ferdia Stone-Davis's beautiful rendition of the English Folk Tune Old Tom of Oxford, on her Hurdy Gurdy

Tiger Love; I close with another poem-turned-song. I wrote the poem late in 1978, when the most powerful love I knew, the tiger in my poem, was intimate human passion, the overmastering passion Dante knew and wrote about in the Vita Nuova. But, like Dante, I didn't know what was coming next, or who would meet me in the woods, in the middle of my way, the following spring. As Old Tom said :'In the Juvescence of the year came Christ the tiger'!


Reviews


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Holly Ordway

Not to be missed!
I love poetry, and I love great music; Malcolm Guite’s Dancing Through the Fire hits both targets directly. Guite’s gifts as a poet shine in the lyrics to these songs (all are written by Guite), which are full of evocative, rich imagery. The title track, “Dancing Through the Fire,” is worth the price of the whole CD by itself: it is a catchy tune with a lively country-rock beat... and lyrics that, drawing on images from Dante’s Divine Comedy, give the listener a powerful and moving way to think through the difficult, often painful pilgrimage that this life is. “Dancing Through the Fire” is a song not just to be listened to, but to be reflected on - it has so much to say about our human condition. Other songs pick up the theme of love in fresh ways: “They Don’t Make Movies (Out of Love Like This)” is a beautiful evocation of married, faithful love; “Tiger Love” captures the dark and light of passion; the heartbreaking “Numbers” attests to the fragility of life and love; “Rolling in the Hedgerows” is a playful love song to the poet’s muse. Really all the songs are worth pointing out, but I’ll just add that “Lente Lente” is a marvelous call to slow down and take life gently... “close your eyes and count to twenty”. This is a CD that will get played and played again: marvelous music, a joy and a gift.