The Ballad of Shirley Collins review – brilliant story of lost folk singer

the Guardian | 10/11/2017 | Cath Clarke


Life imitating art? In a tale of treachery and tragedy straight out of a ballad, the English folk singer Shirley Collins dramatically lost her voice on stage in the late 70s. Her husband had just her left for another woman, who’d taken to showing up at Collins’s gigs – rubbing salt in the wounds by wearing the offending ex’s jumpers. Humiliated, Collins opened her mouth but nothing came out. “He undid me. I should have got angry, but I got heartbroken,” she explains in this portrait of the artist as an older and wiser woman.

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