The William Morris Songbook is a collection of songs dating from the fourteenth century to modern times and is a tribute to the 19th Century designer, poet and political activist William Morris. Some are recent songs, but others ('The Cutty Wren', 'Dirty Old Town', 'What Have They Done To The Rain?') are among those he used to sing (along with alumni Sue Veale Milton and Dave Pierce) during the early days of the University Folk Club, which he founded and which met in the Shakespeare within a couple of weeks of the university opening in 1964.
During his time at Lancaster, politics and environment were separate issues, but as Morris showed in his political lectures and in his novel News from Nowhere (1891), they were really one and the same – who owns the land and what were they allowed to do with it? Patrick was introduced to this tradition of ‘English Radicalism’ by Dr David Craig, his English lecturer whom he helped put on various ‘poetry and music’ sessions, including an exciting one at the New Universities Festival at Sussex in 1965, at which Ted Hughes also appeared. David also sang at the club and introduced them to the ancient ‘Big Ballad’, one example of which (Clerk Saunders) is featured on Patrick's CD.
Patrick was a university lecturer himself for thirty-five years, but when he retired in 2005 he decided to realise his first ambition to be a folk-singer. The band is named ‘Farrell Family’ after his Irish grandmother Katie Farrell and other members include his eldest son and daughter. He is as pleased with this CD as any of his research or publishing! http://www.farrellfamilyband.co.uk/