Farewell to the Gold

Eleanor Catton won the 2013 Man Booker with her gigantic novel The Luminaries last week. First of all, congratulations to her. Secondly, a pox on the condescending sexist drivel surrounding her win. I’m looking forward to reading The Luminaries when I get a chance. (My reading is list is currently stacked longer than my arm.)

I know Catton’s novel is partly about gold-panning in New Zealand, and it’s a neat connection to this song by my father-in-law, Paul Metsers. He wrote ‘Farewell to the Gold’ thirty-three years ago, not long before leaving New Zealand for the UK. It’s his best-known song, having been covered by Nic Jones, Bob Dylan and countless dozens of folk singers through the decades. I still think Paul sings it best. I made the video and Paul’s son, Ben Metsers, recorded the sound.


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