with Steven Polwart and Inge Thomson Laws of Motion
Karine Polwart is a Scottish songwriter, musician, storyteller, poet and performer, among her very long list of credits and skills. She delves into ancient folk music, modern popular song and pretty much everything in between. Her new album is both theater and song, a thematic look at refugees, immigrants, emigrants and other people on the move in the world, from both historical and modern perspectives. Laws of Motion (Hudson Records, UK) is a powerful piece of work: sympathetic, loving, angry, artistic, political and raw in equal measure.
This particular song has struck such a chord with my radio listeners that I felt I wanted to share it in the moment we most need it. Co-written with Martin Green, its musical setting is a tense bed of electronics and acoustic instruments, with multiple, layered voices singing of the grace and strength of displaced people.
Whispers in the desert storm
hollers from the delta
pilgrims from the burning plains
of righteousness and slaughter...
Strike that rod and build that wall
defy the laws of motion
but the radius of every blast
is wider than the ocean