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Published on Dec 2, 2014
Allison Crowe plays “30 for 60” on her new album, “Newfoundland Vinyl II”.
The song’s originally in the deck of “Stealing Genius” – an album by “The Man of a Thousand Songs” Ron Hynes. Hynes, born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, and raised in Ferryland, composed the music incorporating words of celebrated poet, playwright and songwriter Al Pittman (this West coast NL writer was born in St. Leonard’s, Placentia Bay and grew up in Corner Brook, now home-town to Allison Crowe – born on another island, and seacoast, in Nanaimo, BC). Pittman's poem "Thirty-for-Sixty", on which this song is founded, closed his collection of the same name - published in 1999 by Breakwater Books. Most recently the poem appears in Breakwater’s 2015 release “Al Pittman: Collected Poetry”.
The metaphorical lyrics are based on an actual card game – which has known various names since its first hands in the mid-16th century. In modern times it’s called Growl, 120s, 45s, Auction forty-fives, or Auction 120s... and in earliest times – Maw, then Spoil Five. The game’s believed to have started in Ireland and Scotland and migrated to the new world – where it remains popular in Newfoundland and parts of Nova Scotia, Canada, and in the Merrimack Valley – Massachusetts region of the USA. For more history, shuffle through http://www.the45scardgame.com/index1.htm
"I’m so happy to be back with Gros Morne Theatre Festival as Musical Director for 'Newfoundland Vinyl'. Our third sea-side incarnation, this year, is “The C Side”. Once again, my biggest challenge is in choosing and narrowing down the songs to make just one show. There is so much wonderful music - you could piece together multiple anthologies and still only scratch the surface of such an extensive and rich collection. Each of these songs is its own story, of land and sea, of people, and each story in-and-of-itself could be an entire show. I’m truly grateful that you are here to hear the story these songs have to offer. I give special thanks to the incredibly talented and versatile GMTF cast, in the endless and super-natural beauty that is Cow Head, Newfoundland, Canada."