Local band Badlabecques have released a free mp3 of ‘La Chanson De Peirson’ to commemorate the Battle of Jersey. The band was asked to record the song for the Parish of St. Helier and performed it in the Royal Square on Saturday as part of the commemoration event.
‘La Chanson De Peirson’ is a traditional Jersey ballad, first transcribed in 1907, but dating back earlier than that.
The song is in French but sung by Kit Ashton of Badlabecques with a Jèrriais (Jersey-French) accent.
It tells the story of the Battle of Jersey, and the tragic death of Major Francis Peirson who led the successful defence of the island and lost his life in the process, aged just 24.
“I wanted tell the story and stay faithful to the melody and lyrics of the song, but was keen not to make it jingoistic or glorify war in any way- hopefully the result is quite contemplative and respectful to those who lost their lives on the day. Our history is complex and chequered, so I think it’s important to find the humanity in it, and try to understand it, and then take the time to reflect on who we are today. I was struck by how young Major Peirson was, a long way from his home in Yorkshire, bravely doing his job, defending our island from an invading force, and paying the ultimate price. In our cosy modern island do we appreciate the freedoms we have – and what battles remain to be fought with the same selflessness Peirson showed?”
See more at www.badlabecques.net