Transcript from an Interview with Anne McMenamin.
Anne McMenamin from Rosewater, SA, AUSTRALIA.. Right?
I'm 60, live in Adelaide, work as a gymnastics coach, and have been a political activist since I was 18 - most recently involved in opposition to the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan, and in the need to take urgent action re climate change, water shortage and global injustice. I've always loved singing, especially folk music, and most especially political folk-music. For the first time, during the activity in opposition to the invasion of Iraq, I discovered that I could write songs - not brilliant, but not dreadful either.
PLEASE give feedback on songs. You are welcome to use or modify them. The notated melody is available for most of them, some with chords.
No band - just me singing. The songs have mostly been written to tell a story, or for political purposes, e.g. crowd singing at a rally - a lot of the old ones weren't quite so relevant. I don't play an instrument, so I've just recorded the songs very simply, just in case anyone is interested in using them. I don't care if they get altered.
Do you play live?
Yes I sing live, usually unaccompanied. I'm comfortable doing it, because I seem to be able to get the intent of the song across, which is what my kind of music is all about. It's great when people listen completely absorbed. The best experience was singing Eric Bogle's "No Man's Land" to a school assembly of several hundred girls who were absolutely rapt!
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
Let's lots of people like me put our songs up, and listen to other people who we would probably otherwise never get to hear - some of whom do great songs. (I have heard some great songs via the various Phil Ochs sites.) Also allows rediscovery of some of the old greats like Tom Paxton. It's amazing how many young people have discovered Phil in this way.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
Grew up in a musical family, with classical music, musical comedy, operetta, and Noel Coward. Came to love folk music, especially political or topical. Love Phil Ochs most of all - so much of his stuff is still painfully relevant - and wish he was still here. Also Tom Paxton, Peggy Seeger, Margret Roadknight, David Rovics, Ewan MacColl, Judy Small, Holly Near, etc.
No favourite - everything is beautiful in its own way. However, having stayed or lived in most cities in Austrlia, I do prefer Adelaide.
Just voice. Record songs in a local community radio, although my sister has got all the relevant stuff for her computer, so may be able to do more things with her - she's a professional pianist/singer/songwriter.
Love to hear from any like-minded people!!