Write Here, Write Now: 6.12 – The King of Rome

June Tabor – The King of Rome.  “lifted up on shining wings”.

This is it. The song above all others on the album that amazes, pitches and soars. June Tabor’s voice carries on the air, light as a breeze. gusting up in the upper reaches of the sky, pushing the words higher and higher with each exhalation. And there’s tenderness there as well.  “Come on dowwwn, your majesty. I knew you’d make it back to meeeeee. Come on down, myyyyyy lovely one. You made my dreeeeam come true“. Long, soft syllables show the love.

The soundscape is immense, with her voice balanced by the low hum of the synthesizer, and the faint violin tones helping to mark out the space.

Hopes and dreams against expectation. Sometimes the ground does feel awful near. Conquering enormous odds to make the unworkable happen can bring enormous joy. When is it right to ignore sense and go for what feels right? Who gets swept away when a storm blows in? Who makes it through?

A superb song to end an album on. I’m glad to have made it through Aqaba. Even with songs referencing Rome, New York and Jordan, it felt like a very English collection. There weren’t any great discoveries in listening to the twelve songs, though it was good to find out a bit more about them. Some I liked, some I didn’t.  Her voice has an austerity that is sometimes resonant and clear, but sometimes goes to places I can’t enjoy, but always commanding respect Maybe something a bit lighter tomorrow.


2 thoughts on “Write Here, Write Now: 6.12 – The King of Rome

  1. callcopse

    I tried a few of these. I love Maddy Prior or Sandy Denny’s voices, but I just cannot remotely get on with anything by June Tabor. Shame really and my loss I’m sure.

    1. salwarpe Post author

      I tend to think – if you don’t like the voice, best leave the artist or band alone – it’s so intrinsic to the music (not just with those who sing a capella a lot, like June Tabor, but also full bands. It’s one reason why I found listening to the whole of Exile on Main Street such a trial – I really don ‘t much like Jagger’s voice.


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