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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

Author pens soundtrack to area’s historical tales

A MUSICIAN-cum-historian has produced a music book and recording of songs about Furness.

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MUSIC MAN: James Walton, 82, from Dalton, has published a book entitled Songs of Furness. The book is a compilation of sheet music, songs and the history that inspired them

James Walton, from Dalton, spent the last couple of years composing, recording and finally publishing the book, entitled Songs of Furness.

The keen pianist, who has had eight books published about Dalton and Ulverston, combined his love for local history with his passion for music to create his latest work.

He said: “I’ve had this music inside my head and I also know quite a lot about the history of Furness.

“My songs came about from stories of local history.

“The two came about together quite naturally because they were both there in my head.”

The 82-year-old, whose earliest memory was teaching his cousin how to play God Save the King as a youngster, based the six songs featured in the book on tales from Furness’ past.

He said: “One of the songs, Old Henry, is about the oldest man in the world, who is alleged to have lived in Dalton in the 1700s.

“Another is about the Barnacle Bird, which lived on Piel Island about 500 years ago, although I don’t believe it ever really existed.”

As well as the sheet music and song lyrics, the pages provide a short passage on the subject’s history.

The book also comes with a CD featuring the songs, recorded on his home piano.

Mr Walton had 100 of the books made, which he aims to sell to local businesses, with the Dock Museum and Dalton Town Hall already interested in stocking them.

He said: “I think people will find it interesting, from the point of view that it is the first of its type in Furness.”

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