The Loyalist

Album: A Certain Distance (2001)

Songfacts®:

  • Even if Al Stewart had not guested on this track, hard core fans would have had no hesitation in claiming it as one of his, because "The Loyalist" has his fingerprints all over it, a true recording in the genre of historical folk rock. According to the 2005 edition of his authorized biography, this was the first song Al and his acolyte Dave Nachmanoff wrote together - at the kitchen table! It was recorded in California and finished off in New Jersey.
  • "The Loyalist" is actually about Adam Bower, the ancestor of Nachmanoff's wife Jennifer, who is also a musician. Although it was not the bloodiest of conflicts, the American War of Independence began in 1775 and did not conclude until the Treaty Of Paris eight years later. Many of those Colonists who supported George III rather than George Washington paid a terrible price. Bower fled persecution as early as 1764, and was granted 300 acres of land in South Carolina by the Crown, but when the British were forced out of Charlestown he had to move his family again, finally arriving in Nova Scotia in 1783.

    The song has his ghost wandering abroad and wondering how he was painted out of history so quickly, even though his name can be found all over town from the shop signs to the graveyard. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2

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