Peggy Sang the Blues

Album: England Keep My Bones (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • English folk-punk singer-songwriter Frank Turner has had a privileged upbringing, thanks to his grandfather, the former chairman of high street retailer BHS, Sir Mark Turner. Brought up in a manor house by his city investment banker father, Roger Turner, and mother Jane, the daughter of a bishop, Turner was educated at Eton alongside Prince William. However, he doesn't take for granted his fortunate start in life.

    This song is a tribute to his late grandmother, who helped him develop a positive, individualistic attitude. "It doesn't matter where you come from," Peggy whispers to Frank in a dream during the song's chorus. "It matters where you go." "One of the things I don't like about English culture is our obsession with people's backgrounds," Turner told Spin Magazine. "I believe life is what you make of it as an individual."
  • Turner remembers Peggy fondly. "She was totally awesome," he gushed. "She got me drinking whisky and playing poker at age 10. She passed away a long time back but I think of her often."
  • The song is the first single from Turner's fourth album, England Keep My Bones, which features him frequently exploring his feelings of home. "I like music that has a sense of place to it, and I'm English through and through myself," he explained to Spin. "I always loved how Springsteen writes about New Jersey and I wanted to do the same for myself."
  • England Keep My Bones takes its title from a line in Shakespeare's The Life and Death of King John. Turner explained to Rock AAA: "I don't write albums to themes, but after they're done, certain things emerge and the record has a lot to do with both mortality and Englishness. When I stumbled across the quote it seemed to fit perfectly. I wrote this record whilst I was on the road, as ever, but the recording only took us a couple of weeks, it was a good experience."

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