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Matthew Crampton: Human Cargo


2016 history book by London-based singer and writer


Stories and Songs of Emigration, Slavery and Transportation

P&P: £2.50 UK/Isle of Man/Channel Islands; £5.50 Europe; £8.50 RotW

“An elegant, vital insight into human suffering and survival” – Cerys Matthews

How can history help us understand today’s refugee crisis? This rich, timely book gives voice to emigrants, the enslaved, convicts and other human cargo from the 18th and 19th centuries. Its striking mix of story and folk song sets these past voices beside testimony from today – so shedding new light on a defining disaster of our time.

Featuring the words of 25 folk songs: some well-known, many obscure. Each song is a survivor, because people kept choosing to sing it. Together, they provide distinct windows into collective experience.

Matthew Crampton is a writer, storyteller and folk singer. He performs a show based on the book Human Cargo. He is also known for adapting and presenting two successful tours of Peter Bellamy’s The Transports. More at matthewcrampton.com

Watch Matthew introduce Human Cargo here.

“Well-researched … fascinating … a great read” – Living Tradition Magazine

“A timely history of the tide of human cargo … if you get a chance to see the story-and-song show Human Cargo, don’t miss it” – Songlines Magazine

Songs include: Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still, The Press Gang, The Slave Ship Ballad, All Around My Hat, Dean Cadalan Samhach, Jim Jones at Botany Bay, Mamma Mia Dammi Cento Lire, Carrying Nelson Home, The Flying Cloud, Matroos Af-Scheyt, The Bristol Bridegroom, Mr Tapscott, The White Cockade