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James K. Baxter is New Zealand's most well-known poet. He wrote in a wide variety of styles and genres, including the traditional ballad form, of which Lament for Barney Flanagan is a prime example. It contains a classic Baxter mix of humour and pathos, lively in spirit but focussed on the subject of death, in this case the heart-attack of an overweight publican. The music is simple and strong, allowing the witty lyrics to speak for themselves, but also adding occasional wry touches of word-painting.
Poem by James K. Baxter
25 Sep 2013: Robbie Ellis - Otago University Lunchtime Concert
Performed by Matthew Leese (baritone) and Tom McGrath (piano)