Fin Alfred - Songs of my Travels - CD
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cd cover Fin Alfred
Sange fra min vandring (Go Danish Music)

'Songs from my Travels: 60 years of singing traditional Danish songs and ballads' is a wonderful presentation of classic folk songs from Denmark. In 2009 Fin Alfred is celebrating his 60th anniversary as a traditional singer by releasing his 20th album, and by touring in Denmark with his son, guitarist Morten Alfred Høirup. They are accompanied on the CD by Anders Hofset (bass), Claus Fossing (drums).

Listen: "Gor det noget"


More info:
In 1949 the young Danish cleaning lady, Julie Larsen, gave her 10 year old son, Fin, an old banjo, and promised him one Danish kroner if he could learn how to sing a song while accompanying himself. In 2009 Fin Alfred is celebrating his 60 years anniversary as a traditional singer, by releasing his 20th album, and by touring in Denmark with his son, guitarist Morten Alfred Høirup.

22 songs that Fin Alfred has collected and learned from troubadours and travelling friends throughout the 60 years that he has been playing and singing. Many of the songs originally came from the country and were brought to the city, others were born in the city, typically Copenhagen where Fin Alfred himself were born and lived most of his life.

Being a traveller it was normal to carry a banjo, mandolin or guitar

"The young generation who grew up right after 1945 needed to get out and see the world, and if you came from a home, like I did, where there were five people in three rooms, youth hostels and shelters around in Europe became a kind of refuge where young people met and played music and sang together. Being a traveller it was normal to carry a banjo, mandolin or guitar, and where ever we came we sang Danish, German and American folk songs. The songs still live around in the country, even they, with only a few exceptions, never is to be found in the acknowledged song books Maybe they survive because they in a simple way expresses something basic about sorrow, happiness, hope and longing, indignation and doubt." - Fin Alfred Larsen, Dragør 2009

Fin Alfred Larsen (accordion, banjo, mandolin & vocals) introduces us to yet another collection of mostly traditional songs about common people and their actually pretty entertaining lives. Here we meet the wisdom of a long life in the song "Hej du gamle borger" (Listen now, old Citizen), a song that Fin has from some old retired fire-fighters in Copenhagen. They sing about keeping up the spirit even as you age: "But if you get old and bitter and forget about the good times that you enjoyed, then it's time to go and hang yourself, ´cause life is so short and you will be dead for such a long time". In the next song, "Gør det noget" (Does it really matter"), we are laughing with - not of - the love couple who have built themselves a primitive hideout just outside Copenhagen. They are, just like the people who are right now living in the alternative settlement, Christiania, in Copenhagen, about to be kicked out by the police. Just the same situation, except this song is from late in the18th century. Or what about the old song "Du lille fisker" (Thou little Fisherman) about a young man who is allured down to bottom of the sea to hot love-making with a very sexy mermaid, but is having second thoughts (Not until after 14 years and lots of kids though). "Bonden og kragen" (The peasant and the crow) is a very old song about a poor peasant who becomes a poacher in order to feed his hungry family. The almighty bishop sends a messenger to ask about the crow. What did he do with it? Provoked this way, the peasant explains to the messenger in his own sarcastic way, all the fantastic things you can make out of such a dead crow. The feathers he used to thatch his roof, from the carcass he made a nice boat that goes on the sea, and "from the birds behind I made a barrow of delicious salted meat, come my good bishop and have a taste!". In another old song "Krykk'Marie Hus" (Kryk Marie's House) from the beginning of the last century, we hear about a small and it seems rather primitive gang of criminals and their party at Marie's place. "We had pigs ears with long black hairs, and the soup was served in old potsherd. In the corner Karl Bay was sitting with his young bride, and they belched so loudly that the candles blew out!" - and it gets much, much worse!

The musicians on Songs from my Travel are well-known on the Danish folk music scene:
Morten Alfred Høirup (Haugaard & Høirup, American Cafe Orchestra): acc. Guitars, Anders Hofset (Krølle Eriks Blues Band): Bass, Claus Fossing (Krølle Eriks Blues Band, The Original Polcalypso Orchestra): Trommer. They have all played with Fin Alfred for many, many years.


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