Kevin Adams’ latest CD, A Crossword War, is inspired by the stories of Bletchley Park people during the Second World War. To celebrate the release of his album, he told us more about how archives inspire his songwriting, looking at his song Sheltermore. This song is inspired by one of the many interviews with local people collected by the Living Archive. You can listen to Sheltermore here, and find out more about Kevin’s latest album on his website.
Based on David Bodley’s account of growing up on a farm in Loughton during the middle decades of the 20th century, the song Sheltermore revolves around the field names that David recalled.
In writing the song I broke a self-imposed rule of never embroidering with any detail or sentiment that was not present in the documentary evidence. David spoke without any recognisable trace of nostalgia, regret or loss. He may have felt it, but didn’t seem to express it. I expressed it.
I pictured him looking across from Loughton towards CMK and seeing in his mind’s eye the land as it had been, before all the roads and houses had been built, and all the thousands of new residents arrived.
Long Line, Rooksley, Second Ground, Little Hills and Sheltermore were some of the field names he mentioned. I fell in love with the name Sheltermore. It invokes a sense of enfolding security and tranquillity.