… Oh remember who walked the warm sands beside you

Because he had played in a band as a young man back in Saint Kitts, he forbade his children from touching a guitar.  But after recognizing something special in their 14 year old daughter, his wife purchased a piano as “a piece of furniture” for their Birmingham, England apartment.  Soon after, she traded in two prams for a £3 guitar at a local pawnshop.

By the age of 15 the young girl had taught herself to play both instruments.  But the family was in financial straits, so she dropped out of school and went to work at a tool manufacturing factory where she was promptly given the sack for bringing her guitar to work and playing it during tea breaks.

And that’s when Joan Anita Barbara Armatradin (born in Saint Kitts in 1950, raised in Birmingham) began her singing career in earnest, performing her own songs whenever and wherever she could, including a concert arranged by her older brother at the University of Birmingham when she was just 16.

In 1968 Armatrading joined a repertory production of the stage musical “Hair” which eventually led her to a recording contract.

But it wasn’t until her third album in 1976 “Joan Armatrading” (featuring today’s selection) that she truly began to receive “love and affection” from fans and critics alike, both at home and abroad, thereby propelling her to become the first black British female singer/songwriter to enjoy international success, with a career that has now spanned 40 years.

  LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Thursday 26 July

Down to Zero

Oh the feeling

When you’re reeling

You step lightly thinking you’re number one

Down to zero with a word

Leaving

For another one

 Now you walk with your feet

Back on the ground

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

Brand new dandy

First class scene-stealer

Walks through the crowd and takes your man

Sends you rushing to the mirror

Brush your eyebrows and say

There’s more beauty in you than anyone

Oh remember who walked the warm sands beside you

Moored to your heel

Let the waves come a rushing in

She’ll take the worry from your head

But then again

She put trouble in your heart instead

Then you’ll fall

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

You’ll know heartache

Still more crying

When you’re thinking of your mother’s only son

Take to your bed

You say there’s peace in sleep

But you’ll dream of love instead

 Oh the heartache you’ll find

Can bring more pain than a blistering sun

But oh when you fall

Oh when you fall

Fall at my door…

Oh the feeling

When you’re reeling

You step lightly thinking you’re number one

Down to zero with a word

Leaving

For another one

Now you walk with your feet

Back on the ground

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

Down to the ground

 You’ll know heartache

Still more crying

When you’re thinking of your mother’s only son

Take to your bed

You say there’s peace in sleep

But you’ll dream of love instead

 Oh the heartache you’ll find

Can bring more pain than a blistering sun

But oh when you fall

Oh when you fall

Fall at my door…

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