Dr Ian Mortimer's Comedies, Histories & Tragedies
by Ian Mortimer
2018. CTP001. 9 tracks. Total playing time: 43mins 18secs
Dr Ian Mortimer is an English historian and novelist - and occasional songwriter. For the last thirty years or so he has been writing songs to play on guitar. In a sudden burst of creative enthusiasm in 2009, he formed a band and wrote a dozen more. Then, after playing a number of gigs, and starting to record an album, things fell apart and he went back to playing guitar by himself. Renewed interest in 2014 saw a few tracks recorded anew - the last track on this album reached the final of the UK Songwriting competition that year (for its lyrics) - but then deadlines for history books took priority. Finally, he and his eldest son Alexander recorded sixteen more songs in 2017-18. Here are nine of them - seven of the sixteen recordings from 2017/18 and two remixed from the 2014 sessions.
Click on the controls below to hear 'The Guilty Party' (track 7)
The songs themselves are mostly upbeat and funny. At least, they're meant to be funny, even the one entitled 'Suicide Note'. The best-known original song here is 'The Guilty Party', which Ian and Alexander have played twice on BBC Radio Devon and at numerous venues across the Dartmoor area (click on sample above). 'It Doesn't Matter to Me' was on the Hawk and Hares compilation of original Dartmoor music: here is a remixed version. The only song not by Ian is 'The Diggers' Song', which was written by Gerrard Winstanley (1609-1676), leader of the revolutionary movement, The Diggers, before 1649. That one isn't funny. Seventeenth-century social revolutionaries weren't known for their sense of humour.
The CD is a limited edition of 500 copies, produced by Cross Tree Press. Via this website you can buy copies for £10.00, with free inland (UK) postage. Postage to Europe is £3.95; USA & Canada £5.00; Australia & New Zealand £5.30. Email to arrange overseas delivery (Paypal preferred).