…just another life to live

Here’s Vashti Bunyan, born in London in 1945 and purportedly a descendent of (“Pilgrims Progress”) John Bunyan.  Expelled from The Ruskin School, Oxford for failing to show up to class, she travelled to New York at the age of 18 and, after hearing “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” decided to become a musician.

Back in London (with the opportune assistance of Rolling Stones manager, Andrew Oldham) she released a few singles under the name of Vashti before opting to travel with her boyfriend, by horse and cart, to the Hebridean Islands and join their friend Donovan (yes, that Donovan) at a commune he’d been organizing.

During the trip she wrote a number of songs that eventually became her (delightful) debut album “Just Another Diamond Day” backed by members of Fairport Convention and The Incredible String Band, along with the string arranger for Nick Drake’s first two albums.

Released in 1970 the album sold very few copies and the discouraged Bunyan abandoned her musical career to move to Ireland, raise three children and tend to her livestock. But unbeknownst to Bunyan “Just Another Diamond Day” slowly gained a cult following and in an astonishing twist, became one of the most sought-after records in history, with an original copy fetching $2,000 on eBay.

The album was re-released on CD in 2000 (today’s selection is the opening track) and after thirty years hiatus, Vashti Bunyan (whom some call the “Godmother of Freak Folk”), successfully rekindled her career as a recording artist.

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Wednesday 18 July

Diamond Day

 Just another diamond day

Just a blade of grass

Just another bale of hay

And the horses pass.

 Just another field to plough

Just a grain of wheat

Just a sack of seed to sow

And the children eat.

 Just another life to live

Just a word to say

Just another love to give

And a diamond day

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