On 6 February 1918, a ground-breaking Act of Parliament allowed some women in the United Kingdom to vote for the first time.Although it would be another ten years before all UK women could vote on the same terms as men, it was a momentous step on the road to voting equality.
100 years later to the day, BBC Radio 3 is marking this important centenary of women’s suffrage with a special commission.We’ve joined forces with two descendants of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst to produce a new choral work that singers from around the country are invited to perform.
The Pankhurst Anthem Composer Lucy Pankhurst has written a beautiful choral setting for a text by the activist and writer Helen Pankhurst, based on a powerful address given by her famous great-grandmother, Emmeline.
The Pankhurst Anthem is comprised of two sections. The first, Echoes of Emmeline, adapts words by Emmeline Pankhurst to reflect on the suffragettes’ struggle to be enfranchised. The second section, Anthem, is more upbeat in tone and explores the modern repercussions of the suffrage movement [ . . . ]
Eliza Carthy is one of the most influential figures in the UK folk scene. With her exuberant stage presence, she re-interprets the folk tradition for a new generation. She inherited her love of English music from her famous parents. Her Dad Martin Carthy was a key figure in the first folk revival of the 1960s and 70s. He taught Paul Simon the traditional song “Scarborough Fair” and also influenced Bob Dylan. Eliza’s Mum, Norma Waterson, was part of the pioneering family harmony singing group The Watersons. Norma recently suffered a serious illness and Eliza moved back to the family home in the North Yorkshire fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay to look after her. In this episode of Folk on Foot, Eliza takes Matthew on a walk along the cliffs near her home, reflecting on her family heritage and taking him to the farm where the whole extended family used to live when she was a child. Martin, Norma and Eliza’s aunt Ann and cousin Marry gather at the kitchen table for a rousing and emotional sing.
Watch Eliza Carthy and The Wayward Band perform I Wish That The Wars Were All Over ft. Damien Dempsey.
Ten thousand of bluebells now welcome the spring
Oh when will the church bells of this victory ring
When do our soldiers return, when do we rejoice
And when do I wed to the love of my choice
How I wish that the wars were all over
I wish that the wars were all done.