John Clare - Songs from The Shepherd's Calendar (2021)

Robert Farmer

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Released Mar 21, 2021
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The songs in this album are licensed under: CC BY-NC Please check individual tracks for their respective licensing info.
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First published in 1827, John Clare's 'The Shepherd's Calendar' is a set of poems in which the story of the Northamptonshire countryside and its various inhabitants is told. Charting the course of the year, the poems take the reader from the first days of January though each month, ending at Christmas. The poems tell of the seasons, the plants and animals, and of the lives of those who live and labour in the countryside.
Throughout 2021, I will be adapting John's poems about each of the months and setting them to music.
The planned release schedule is as follows:
• January, February, and March - 21 March 2021;
• April, May, and June - 21 June 2021;
• July, August, and September - 21 September 2021;
• October, November, and December - 21 December 2021.
All the songs will be written and recorded by me at home, in Northampton, about two miles from Northampton General Lunatic Asylum (now St. Andrew's Hospital) where John spent the last twenty-two and a half years of his life.
Robert Farmer (Guitar, Vocal, Drum, Mandolin, Shruti Box).
Album cover, 'The company of a whole city' is by plochingen ( and is used here under the terms of a CC-BY-NC-ND licence.
Words by John Clare. Music by Robert Farmer.
(Note: In the first half of 2022 I recorded new versions of March, June, and November. The original versions of these songs which were released on 21st March, June, and December are included at the end of the album.)