Beautifully sung songs in the English language, by a wonderful singer. Sung not only beautifully & with refined sensibility, but with the intense feeling for which Keenlyside is famous. Less about war and battle per se than about wistful longings about home, youth cut short, lost beauty, the drives and forces that send men far from home, and the irony and sadness surrounding war.
While there are songs directly about war (for example, the vivid scene of the Rebel soldier dying in "The Incident"), and some songs that are almost angry in their irony ("Think No More Lad"), most songs are reflective and personal, stirring you at a deep level. "Is My Team Ploughing?" will give you goose bumps; "The Lads in Their Hundreds" will bring tears to your eyes (especially those of you with sons or nephews).
The songs will make you wonder, in a way that transcends politics, "Why do men go to war, and keep doing so, despite the misery it causes?" Who knows, perhaps this recording could even change a mind or two. A gift. Thank you, Mr. Keenlyside.
I must add that the piano accompniment by Malcolm Martineau is (chracteristically) superb. I had the great pleasure of seeing Keenlyside and Martineau perform some of these pieces in San Francisco recently - a highly affecting evening.
My favorite tracks: "Into My Heart an Air That Kills" (gorgeous!), "Youth and Love," "Fear No More the Heat 'o the Sun," "White in the Moon," and the track 19 version of "The Vagabond"
P.S. This has officially become my favorite CD! Just wonderful.