The Old Songs Podcast “The Cruel Mother” featuring Rosie Hood

The voice you hear at the beginning of this episode is the voice of the late, great traditional singer, Cecilia Costello, one of Birmingham’s finest, explaining how her father would present this week’s song back in her childhood in Victorian England. ‘The Cruel Mother’ is a huge song, and even that’s an understatement, but it’s also a song that really underlines exactly how an old song can remain relevant to a modern audience.

It’s one of my favourite songs, so I was delighted when my guest, Rosie Hood, chose it as her subject song for this episode. We had a really amazing conversation, taking in one of the darker songs in the traditional cannon, its origins and the various interpretations that it has been given, not to mention the sense of responsibility that one feels as a performer taking it on.


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