The Rights of Man / The Fall of Jack O’Lantern
Pieces by David Nigel Lloyd, after Bert Jansch, for Bert
“With my arrangement of ‘The Rights of Man’, the influence of Bert and John seem plainly evident. I feel the influence of Bert Jansch much more strongly in ‘The Fall of Jack O’Lantern’. Thematically, the song is an American analog to the sort of guitar-driven balladry which Bert pioneered. Bert was never afraid to let his playing get rough and dirty. I hope I show the same fearlessness. Bert would, I think, have OKed my song’s metrical irregularity. The little fanfare that I use thrice as an instrumental break, however, is something purely my own. And that, I think, is something of which Bert Jansch would have completely approved.”
During the 1990s, I was Bert Jansch’s former roommate’s West Coast Tour Manager (driver/sidekick). What an illuminating and fascinating job! This roommate was Robin Williamson, whose song-poetry had been a formative influence on me when music began to possess me in my early teens. Of all my favourite song poets, Williamson, I felt, was the best. Naturally, I wanted to be as good as Robin Williamson when I grew up. I still do. But if at any time over the past 40 years, you poked me out of a deep sleep and demanded I immediately confess what musician I really wanted to be, I would have shouted: Bert Jansch!