‘Peak Cavern Adieu’ by Christina Hogg

Link to your song

What is the feeling behind your song and how does it link to climate change?

Hopefully, hopeful. When I played this song live at Hope folk festival, and audiences commented “all folk songs are about dying”. So interestingly the “saying goodbye” in this song was read as an elegy. I then I looked at its lyrics in more depth with the metaphors it sets up, “only one way in, only one way out” was a literal description of the cave entrance. Also “can you measure the stage?” lyric has evolved to “can you measure time and space”. I see this song as a love letter to Derbyshire. New album The Approach will be set at the approach to the cave mouth, which is a watery ravine lined by limestone cliffs. Peak Cavern is in this absolutely awesome scenery. Specifically at a concert, The Rave in the Cave over 2 years ago, at the height of a tree campaign, which was an ecological protest. I met some lovely folk, and its this sense of community that makes this a climate issue song. People linked to nature and the timelessness of memory. How the songwriter feels about this song is that its an attempt to capture our shared connection with nature as significant to us from childhood, and throughout generations past and to come. The links between nature and climate and people in this specific setting I went onto explore further in poetry. The personal and parochial experience, reflecting the national, international and ultimately universal, is something that has developed in our global awareness of our connectiveness and vulnerability since this song has written. I see the songwriter’s role in climate crisis as taking us into a world of memory to which we can always return musically. In this song the actual setting has a timelessness, it is has stayed the same for ages, and is very high ground, a natural sanctuary which we cannot inhabit all the time, but remember.

What is your link to Reading?

Living in area Reading since doing an MFA at uni in 1995, have been physically linked with my feet on the soil mostly since that time! The Rising Sun Arts Centre is where I’ve experienced local creativity most. Now on a boat on the River Thames since 2006, due to housing crisis as an alternative solution. We’re on a rural reach by the Chalky Chilterns near Mapledurham on the outskirts of Reading, fully immersed in nature and floating on it! But where I’m from is the edges of the Peak District, Hope Valley where thus song us set. Its an area I’ve reconnected with in last few years, the higher, wilder ground and return frequently to escape floodwaters.

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Summarise the mood of the song: Hopeful

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