Song of the Day: Lankum – Go Dig My Grave

Critically acclaimed Irish quartet Lankum announce new album False Lankum, due out 24 March 2023 on Rough Trade Records. False Lankum is the follow-up to 2019’s The Livelong Day, an album that paved the way for their critical and commercial success and won them the RTE Choice Music Prize (Irish equivalent of the Grammys) and #8 on NPR Music’s Best Albums of the Year list. Starting with traditional folk songs, Lankum brandish them with their own imprint by leveraging heavy drones and distortion that lend new intensity and beauty to each track. With this album, the band consolidates their departure from the folk genre, creating bold, contemporary music that stems from traditional elements but is decidedly new, and places them alongside labelmates such as Black Midi and Gilla Band. False Lankum also contains two original tracks, ‘Netta Perseus’ and ‘The Turn’, both written by Daragh Lynch.

“Go Dig My Grave” was discovered by Radie Peat, who learnt the album version from the singing of Jean Ritchie who recorded it in 1963 on the album Jean Ritchie and Doc Watson at Folk City. It is part of a family of songs that seem to consist largely of so-called ‘floating verses’, originally composed as stanzas of various ballads, some of them dating back to the 17th century. Enjoy the tune!