Disc one marks the first ever CD release of Allen’s 1970 album Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake, tuned by Allen Ginsberg – plus two previously unreleased recordings from June & July 1969 album sessions. A version of Blake’s “Grey Monk” (minus Elvin Jones fiery drumming on the released version, featuring simply harmonium, guitar, and vocals) and a song never before released called “Brothels of Paris” aka “Let the Brothels of Paris be opened” – a Blake poem left off the original LP because there simply wasn’t enough room.
The Huntington Library and Art Gallery in San Marino, California, published a small facsimile edition in 1975 that included sixteen plates reproduced from two copies of Songs of Innocence and of Experience in their collection, with an introduction by James Thorpe. The songs reproduced were Introduction , Infant Joy , The Lamb , Laughing Song and Nurse's Song from Songs of Innocence , and Introduction , The Clod & the Pebble , The Tyger , The Sick Rose , Nurses Song and Infant Sorrow from Songs of Experience . Tate Publishing, in collaboration with The William Blake Trust, produced a folio edition containing all of the songs of Innocence and Experience in 2006. A colour plate of each poem is accompanied by a literal transcription, and the volume is introduced by critic and historian Richard Holmes . [ citation needed ]
There is a hint of criticism here in Tom Dacre's dream and in the boys' subsequent actions, however. Blake decries the use of promised future happiness as a way of subduing the oppressed. The boys carry on with their terrible, probably fatal work because of their hope in a future where their circumstances will be set right. This same promise was often used by those in power to maintain the status quo so that workers and the weak would not unite to stand against the inhuman conditions forced upon them. As becomes more clear in Blake's Songs of Experience, the poet had little patience with palliative measures that did nothing to alter the present suffering of impoverished families.