A bullet pierced my true love’s side In life’s young spring so early
And on my breast in blood she died While soft winds shook the barley (excerpt)
The recurring imagery of the barley standing tall amidst the breeze was meant to symbolise the resilience of Irish people amidst oppressive British rule. In 2006, the song title and its theme served as the inspiration for a powerful and heart-breaking film starring Cillian Murphy. Now, in 2021, Ireland-based singer-songwriter Peter Broderick pays homage once again, weaving this motif into his latest EP, The Wind That Shakes The Bramble.
Broderick’s obsession with and devotion to the blackberry plant go well beyond his music. Last year, along with the release of the new album, he shared an eight-part video series titled The Blackberry Diaries in which he demonstrated all the different uses of this incredible, ubiquitous plant – everything from blackberry jam to weaving baskets and hats with the bramble vines, from making tea of out the young leaves to making artwork with late-season berries past their prime.
The Wind That Shakes The Bramble will be out September 10 on Erased Tapes, ahead of Peter’s Blackberry UK Tour 2021 for which tickets are available here.
“It weaves itself all through our countryside, playing an important role in holding the soil together, and also makes its way into our cities, proliferating even in such hyper urban environments as London. And while most modern people have lost the ability to identify the wild plants growing around us, the Blackberry remains a commonly foraged plant all around the globe. It’s as if the more domesticated we become and the more our technology separates us from the natural world, the Blackberry finds its way into the hearts and minds of us humans, reminding us where we come from”
— Peter Broderick