1 Haste to the Wedding played on the Anglo-German concertina by Bill Kimber, rec. London, 1946.
A very widely-known jig which, like The Triumph, has been associated with weddings (and wedding dances) for some while. Unfortunately, Derek Schofield's copious notes to the William Kimber CD Absolutely Classic (EFDSS CD 03) tell us little about the tunes the man played, or their function within the Headington Quarry culture.
There is a song of the same title, which John Clare knew or collected, and which Margaret Barry sang on the Outlet LP Ireland's Own (SOLP 1029).
Other Recordings: Neil O’Boyle (Donegal) - Rounder CD 1123.
2 Queen Amang the Heather sung by Belle Stewart, Blairgowrie, Perthshire, 1976. Roud 375.
Also known as Up a Wide and Lonely Glen, Skippin Barefoot Through the Heather, Far Up Yon Wide and Lofty Glen, or, in an Irish set collected by Sam Henry, as Doon the Moor. Belle had most of this from her brother, Donald MacGregor. One early version was recorded by Harry Lauder on an Amberol cylinder 12260 some time between December, 1910 and June 1911.
Other Recordings: Belle’s daughter, Sheila, sings a fine version on Topic TSCD 515. Jeannie Robertson (Aberdeedshire) - Rounder 1720. Duncan Williamson (Fife) - Veteran VT 128.
3 Johnny Harte sung by Jimmy Halpin, Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh, 1980. Roud 2929.
An Irish song, for which see Sam Henry H.443. There is a BBC recording, from Teresa Maguire of Belfast, that appeared on volume 8 of the Folk Songs of Britain (Caedmon Records, New York & Topic Records, London) some years ago. Sharp heard a set from John Murphy in central London in 1908.
4 The Aylesbury Girl sung by Pop Maynard, rec. West Hoathly, Sussex, 1956. Roud 364.
The Aylesbury Girl has been plying her wares for almost 300 years, certainly since Tom D’Urfey printed it in 1720 under the title The Tottenham Frolic. James Reeves has suggested that the ‘sign of the ups and downs’ may represent the 69th Foot Regiment and so ‘Johnny the rover’ was, at one time, a soldier; although the phrase ‘to live at the sign of the ups and downs’ was once used to denote sadness following joy.
Other Recordings: Bob Hart (Suffolk) - Musical Traditions MTCD 301-2. Jack Goodban (Kent) - Musical Traditions MTCD 311-12. Gordon Woods (Suffolk) - Veteran VT 103.
5 The Half-Door sung by Margaret Barry, with Michael Gorman (fiddle), London, 1968. Roud 5275.
This song must be unusual, in that all five of Roud's instances are of sound recordings - no broadsides, no books. Does this imply that it's a comparitively recent song? The BBC recorded Paddy McAuley (Co Antrim) in 1943 and Nellie Walsh (Co Wexford) in 1947.
6 Green Grow the Laurels sung by Louie Fuller, Lingfield, Surrey, 1974. Roud 279.
Ophelia, Shakespeare’s tragic heroine, sings a number of song snatches in the play Hamlet. Several of these deal with what some writers call ‘the language of flowers’, as does our present song. Of Green Grow the Laurels Peter Kennedy has this to say in his Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (1974 p.358) ‘As love symbolism, green laurels imply innocence and fickleness, whereas violets stand for truth and constancy’.
Roud has 100 entries, and it seems that the song has been equally popular in England, Ireland and Scotland - and extremely so in North America.
Other Recordings: Mary Delaney (Co Cork) - EFDSS CD 002. Daisy Chapman (Aberdeenshire) - Musical Traditions MTCD 308. Jeff Wesley (Northants) - Veteran VT 116.
7 Old Carathee sung by John Reilly, Dublin, 1967. Roud 3377.
Tom Munnelly's recording of John Reilly is the only time this song has been found in the oral tradition.
8 The Blackbird sung by Diddy Cook, Eastbridge, Suffolk, 1938. Roud 387.
A collection of ‘floating’ verses which, for some reason, always seem to be more or less the same, wherever collected. It was once played extensivly on the radio, which may have helped ‘fix’ its form. The oddly syncopated style of singing is very unusual - and the chorus from the Eel's Foot is a real delight. Other recordings made at the same time may be heard on the excellent CD Good Order! (Veteran VT140CD).
Other Recordings: Walter Pardon (Norfolk) - Musical Traditions MTCD 305-6.
9 Coochie Coochie Coo Go Way sung by Jamsie McCarthy, Mullagh, Co Clare, 1976. Roud 120, Child 281.
The Keach in the Creel, to use its ‘official’ title, was known in 14th century France as Du Chevalier a la Corbeille and belongs to a class of balladry so beloved by the chroniclers of the period, Boccaccio and Chaucer. In Scotland the tale is known as The Wee Toon Clerk and Gavin Greig & James Duncan noted over twenty versions of the song from one small part of Aberdeenshire alone. It is song number 317 in their collection. Professor Child did not approve of the morality of the ballad, though he did include it in his collection. While some writers have stated that the word keach means ‘a rocking’ or some such polite term, it actually means ‘excrement’.
Other Recordings: Packie Manus Byrne (Donegal) - Veteran VT132CD. Michael Gallagher (Co Fermanagh) - Rounder CD 1776. Jimmy MacBeath (North East Scotland) - Greentrax CDTRAX 9005.
10 I Wish, I Wish sung by Walter Pardon, Knapton, Norfolk, 1978. Roud 495.
Most commentators appear to have linked I Wish, I Wish with the song Died for Love (see Vol 10(11) on this series) or else have noted that it simply comprises a number of so-called ‘floating’ verses. I would suggest, however, that this is partly incorrect. At least two other English singers had almost identical texts to Walter’s, so that it seems to me that there may, at one time, have been a printed broadside version of the song which is the indirect source of not only Walter’s song but also of the similar versions recorded by the BBC from Ben Baxter of Norfolk and Cecilia Costello of Birmingham. Indeed, Sharp heard it in 1905 from Lucy White, in Somerset. Roud agrees, and keeps Died for Love (Roud 60) as a separate song. Similar short texts have also been recorded in America.
One possible broadside contender could have been based on the song The Effects of Love - A New Song which was issued by an anonymous broadside printer in the 18th century:
11 What Can A Young Lassie Dae Wi’ An Auld Man? sung by Jane Turriff, Fetterangus, Aberdeen shire, 1967. Roud 1295.
It is suggested, in the notes to Jane’s Springthyme CD (Singin is Ma Life - SPRCD 1038), that this song was, ‘written specially for the Scots Musical Museum by Burns in 1790. ...the tempo in the Musical Museum is listed as "lively but not too fast", but Jane sings at a very relaxed tempo, reflecting her interpretation of the lyrics, "Ye see, in the old days, people were poor and wid pass on their faimly tae ithers tae git money".’
It's something of a surprise to find that, 200 years later, Jane Turriff is only the second singer in the oral tradition from whom it's been collected - the first was James West, who Alfred Williams heard singing it Quennington, south Gloucestershire, of all places.
12 Johnny, Lovely Johnny sung by Paddy Tunney, London, 1965. Roud 5168.
For notes to this song, please see Vol 1(3).
13 Lurgan Stream sung by Mary Ann Connelly, Wattlebridge, Co Fermanagh, 1980. Roud 6881, Sam Henry H.229.
Rather a rare song; Sam Henry had it from Nellie M'Intyre (Co Derry) in 1928, and versions are known to Geordie Hannah (The Leargaidh Stream) and Kevin Mitchell (The Lurgy Streams).
14 I’ll Marry and I Won’t Be a Nun played by Margaret Barry (banjo) and Michael Gorman (fiddle), London, 1968.
Reg Hall describes this as a ‘fife and drum march’.
15 One Cold Morning in December sung by Walter Pardon, Knapton, Norfolk, 1978. Roud 1745.
This song appeared in several broadside printers' catalogues - Such, Sanderson, Pearson - and must predate c.1875 when Welford Vaughan, ‘Author, Comic Artist and Dancer, only pupil of the Great Maclagan’, published a parody, Never Ask the Reason Why in a collection, titled The London Favourite. The following poem also appears to parody Walter’s song.
One evening in October,
When I was far from sober,
And dragging home a load with manly pride,
My feet began to stutter
So I laid down in the gutter
And a pig came up and parked right by my side.
Then I warbled, "It’s fair weather
When good fellows get together",
Till a lady by was heard to say:
"You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses!"
Then the pig got up and slowly walked away.
16 Rosemary Lane sung by Liz Jeffries, Bristol, 1976. Roud 12, Child 2.
AKA The Elfin Knight. Please refer to the notes to Vol 14(13).
17 It Was Early, Early All in a Spring sung by Robert Cinnamond, Co Antrim, 1955. Roud 152, Laws M1/B13.
This appears in John Ashton’s Real Sailor Songs of 1891 and collectors have found it all over the place. Sharp noted it in Somerset in 1906 and in the Appalachian Mountains a few years later (5 versions). Indeed, of Roud's 127 instances, 90 are from North America. There are also 5 versions in the Greig/Duncan collection (Greig/Duncan 51), together with the note that the song was known as The Seaman’s Complaint for his Unkind Mistress of Wapping in the Roxburghe collection of blackletter broadsides. A version printed in Logan’s A Pedlar’s Pack of Ballads and Songs (1869) contains the lines:
When before Carthagena town,which would link the song with Admiral Vernon’s expedition to the West Indies in 1739.
Where cannon balls flew up and down.
Other Recordings: Norman Perks (Gloucestershire) - Veteran VTC5CD. Maggie Murphy (Co Fermanagh) - Veteran VT 134 CD. Fred Whiting (Suffolk) - Veteran VT 103. Joe Heaney (Co Galway) - Topic TSCD518D. E V Stoneman (Virginia) - County CD 3510.
18 Moorlough Maggie sung by Stanley Robertson, Aberdeen, 1973. Roud 12939.
This is the only version of this song in Roud's Index.
19 Just as the Tide was Flowing played on the fiddle by Stephen Baldwin, Bishop Upton, Herefordshire, 1954.
Also known to Morris Dance musicians as Blue-Eyed Stranger. For details of the song text, please see note Vol 12(4).
20 The Wearing of the Britches sung by Paddy Tunney, London, 1965. Roud 1588.
Cecil Sharp heard this song in 1903 from Tom Spracklan, in Hambridge, Somerset. 50 years later the BBC recorded it from Patrick Keown in Garrison, Co Fermanagh, and again in 1958 from Joe Tunney, of Belleek, Co Fermanagh. One must presume he was a relation of Paddy's - and this is the only song ever collected from him.
21 A Week Before Easter sung by Harry Burgess, Glynde, Sussex, 1956. Roud 154
Please see the notes to Vol 1(1).
22 I’m a Stranger in this Country sung by Jimmy McBeath, London, 1966 or ‘67. Roud 3388.
Jimmy’s song has only one other Roud entry - a version from John S Rae appears in the Greig-Duncan Collection 4 p.247. It appears to be related to The Indian Lass, a song collected by Frank Kidson - see Traditional Tunes (1891) pp.109-11 - which, in turn, seems to be the forerunner of the American song The Little Mohee (Laws H8) - if it actually is an American song. See, for example, The Lass of Mohee as collected by Sam Henry - H.836).
Other Recordings: (The Indian Lass) Velvet Brightwell (Suffolk) - Veteran VT140CD.
23 The Banks of Sweet Dundee sung by Bob Brader, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, 1967. Roud 148, Laws M25.
It is not down on any map, true places never are.So many folksong deal with ‘true places’. Claudy Banks, The Banks of Sweet Primroses and The Banks of Sweet Dundee carry about them a common charm of magic which makes them ever so real to both singer an audience alike. The Banks of Sweet Dundee or Undaunted Mary as it is so often called, was widely circulated by 19th century broadside printers and, not surprisingly, it still turns up frequently today (with 177 Roud instances). The popularity was such that a ‘follow-up’ sheet, The Answer to Undaunted Mary, was also produced, although the latter does not appear to have lasted well in tradition. George Walker, a Durham printer, did without the Answer sheet by ending his version of the original ballad thus:
Herman Melville Moby Dick
Young William he was sent for, and quickly did return,Other Recordings: Walter Pardon (Norfolk) - Topic TSCD 514. Maggie Murphy (Fermanagh) - Veteran VT134CD.
As soon as he came back again, Young Mary ceased to mourn;
The day it was appointed, they joined their hands so free,
And now they live in splendour on the banks of the sweet Dundee.
24 Sixteen Years, Mama sung by Tom Lenihan, Miltown Malbay, Co Clare, 1977. Roud 12942.
A song that is very similar to Whistle, Daughter, Whistle where a mother also offers her daughter a number of domestic animals, rather than a husband. Cecil Sharp noted the latter in Somerset, with lines such as ‘Daughter, daughter, whistle/And you shall have a sheep/I cannot whistle, mother/but I can sadly weep’ until the verse ‘Daughter, daughter, whistle/And you shall have a man’, the girl of course, then breaks into a whistle. Sharp rewrote the words when he published the song for schoolchildren. He also found versions in the Appalachians, and Vance Randolph traced the song to the Ozark Mountains.
25 Bonny Tavern Green sung by Paddy Tunney, London, 1965. Roud 3110.
This lovely song is in the spirit of the medieval songs of courty love, which persisited in Europe throughout Elizabethan times and finally became part of the folksong deposit of Britain and Ireland. Songs like I Attempt from Love’s Sickness to Fly have their folk counterparts in songs like Tavern Green.
O Love it is a killing thingPaddy thought that this song had been brought over to Donegal by Irish labourers who were returning from Scotland, and certainly some of its verses are well-known in Scots folksong.
Have you ever felt the pain?
Volume 16: You Lazy Lot of Boneshakers - Songs & Dance Tunes of Seasonal Events (Topic TSCD 666) Review
1 The Nut Dance performed by the Britannia Coconut Dancers, Bacup, Lancashire, 1972.
According to Reg Hall, the 'Nutters' (to use my grandmother's term) dance to published polkas and quadrilles from the mid-late 19th century, although he does not give a source for this particular tune. I do recall once seeing a tune for a 'Coconut Dance' in a printed Victorian (?) tunebook at Cecil Sharp House, but I cannot remember if the tune was related to any of the ones used by the Britannia Dancers.
2 Highland Mary played on the fiddle by Jinky Wells, London, 1936.
A song Highland Mary, popularized in a setting by Burns, was collected from Miss Bridget Geary of Camphire, Co Waterford, by Lucy Broadwood in 1906, was recorded by Harry Lauder on a G & T cylinder (2-2417) in 1903, and by both Brigid and Paddy Tunney subsequently. It appeared in dozens of broadsides, chapbooks, songsters and books. It may be the source of Jinky's tune.
3 The Quaker played on the fiddle by Jinky Wells, Bampton, Oxfordshire, 1937.
Verily high! Verily oh!The Quakers were one of a number of religious sects that developed in the period just after the English Civil Wars of 1642 - 1651. No doubt many people were confused by their beliefs and this song may have developed shortly after their formation, although the reference in line 2 to the Shakers (founded in the mid-18th century ) suggests a later date.
Vivity vob like the shaker.
All this wealth is awfully wrong
And it terribly puzzles the quaker.
The Quaker is one of several tunes the Bampton Morris use for their single sidestep dance, and is very unusual in that it includes a key-change between the A and B musics. Moreover, Jinky consistently plays the tune the opposite way round to how it is done today - i.e. his A music is now what is played as the B music, and vice versa.
4 The Pace-Egging Song sung by Emma Vickers, Burscough, Lancashire, 1963. Roud 614.
Spring is traditionally the time of rebirth, and the early Christians were only too ready to associate Christ's resurrection with this period. There are many kinds of customs scattered all over Europe which relate to what is now called Easter. Stephen Wilson cites the following examples, which concern the use of eggs:
In France generally it was believed that eggs laid on Good Friday gave protection against disease, accidents, fires, impotence and hostile spells, while in the Limousin the shells of eggs eaten during the weeks before Easter were kept and stuck on to sticks in the form of crosses. These were planted in the fields on Easter Day to protect the crop and make it more abundant.' (The Magical Universe, 2000, p.35).Today, of course, we give chocolate Easter eggs as presents. Pace-Egging customs were once common throughout north-west England (the word Pace, meaning Peace, may be derived from the French word Pasque, which means Easter) and this song is used as an introduction to an accompanied Mummer's Play.
5 The Happy Wanderer played by The Merrymakers, Padstow, Cornwall, 1981.
A popular song from the 1950s.
Other Recordings: Oscar Woods (Suffolk) - Veteran cassette VTVS05/06.
6 While Shepherds Were Watching Their Flocks by Night sung by George Dunn, Quarry Bank, Staffordshire, 1971. Roud 16898.
This is, of course, an example - albeit an unusual one - of While Shepherds Watched, which George learned not in church, but from his father. Steve Roud feels that it is sufficiently different (the metre is changed and it isn't a straight paraphrase of Nahum Tate's 'standard' text, first published in 1700, and which George also knew) to have its own number and, as far as he and Ian Russell know, it is unique to George Dunn. Both can be heard on his double CD George Dunn - Chainmaker - Musical Traditions MTCD 317-8.
Other Recordings: While Shepherds Watched: Walter Pardon (Norfolk) - Musical Traditions MTCD 305-6). Bob Hart (Suffolk) - Musical Traditions MTCD301-2. Billy Harrison (Yorkshire) plays three different versions of the tune on Muscial Traditions cassette MTCass 201. Various Sacred Harp singers - Rounder CD 1719 and CD 1709.
7 By the Bright Silvery Light of the Moon / Some Say the Devil's Dead (Highland Fling) played by the Wrenboys, Listowel, Co Kerry, 1976.
By the Bright Silvery Light of the Moon was recorded on an early 78 by Richard Hayward (reissued on Dejavu Retro Gold Collection The Anthology of Traditional Irish Music R2CD 40-107) and is still sung by Packie Manus Byrne of Donegal (Veteran VT132CD). English broadsides are known of the words which, it is believed, were composed by one J W Turner in 1847.
Some Say the Devil's Dead was recorded on a 78 by Murty Rabbett and Dan Sullivan as Johnny Will You Marry Me? (reissued on Traditional Crossroads CD 4284).
8 Double Set Back played on the Anglo-German Concertina by Bill Kimber, London, 1946.
Unfortunately, Derek Schofield's copious notes to the William Kimber CD Absolutely Classic (EFDSS CD 03) tell us little about the tunes the man played, or their function within the Headington Quarry culture.
9 So Now We've Gained our Victory / The Quaker sung by the Dorchester Mummers, Dorchester, Dorset, 1936. Roud 12928 / Roud 3093.
So Now We've Gained our Victory is sung to the tune usually associated with the song The Banks of Sweet Dundee - for which, see Vol 15(23). There are no other examples of this song in Roud's Index.
The song The Quaker was collected in Somerset by Sharp form Eliza Hutchings, of Langport, in 1904 and from Harriet Young, of West Chinnock, in 1905. It appears to be nothing to do with the tune of the same name used by Bampton Morris for their single sidestep dance - see track 3, above.
10 Dublin Fair / The Boys of Wexford / Garryowen played by the Wapping Irish Flute and Drum Band, Wapping, London, 1990.
The Boys of Wexford, with words by Robert Dwyer Joyce, relates to the 1798 rising. Joyce wrote the song in the late 19th century, but his brother, Patrick Weston Joyce, said that, 'it is founded on an old Wexford folk song, [that was] very familiar all over the South of Ireland'. See Terry Moylan's The Age of Revolution in the Irish Song Tradition ,2000, pp.53 - 55 for further details.
Other Recordings: Garryowen. Bill Fell (Birmingham) - Veteran cassette VTVS 07/08.
11 The Girl I Left Behind Me played on the fiddle by Stephen Baldwin, Bishop Upton, Herefordshire, 1954.
Both the song and the tune are known by an array of titles, the next-commonest of which is Brighton Camp. The song has been very widely known, with 202 Roud entries (Roud 262, Laws P1A & B), right across the Anglophone world. The tune has been used for numerous parodies over the years.
12 Ripon Mummer's Play performed by the Ripon Sword Dancers, Ripon, Yorkshire, 1980.
13 Jockey to the Fair played on the mouth-organ by Jack Hyde, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, 1972.
The words to this 18th-century song can be found sung by Mabs Hall (Sussex) on Veteran VTC4CD.
14 The Wassail Song sung by Phil Tanner, rec. London, 1936. Roud 209.
'Dread of hunger is the source of many folk customs and songs, and the sacrifices, ritual feastings, festivals of fire and light that celebrated the passing of the winter solstice and the advent of the season of seed-sowing and new beginnings, had so firm a grip on the hearts of the people that the Church was impelled to take over the 'satanic' celebration - as it did with so many critical moments of the agricultural calendar - and to sanctify the magical period, high season of the supernatural ancien regime, by naming December 25th as the birth-day of Jesus; but this transfer of the diabolical to the sacred was never completely effected and roistering carols of wassailing still survive as happy reminders of the luck-perambulations of unchristian ceremony, with such melodies as the one recorded from grand old Phil Tanner before he died in a Gower workhouse in 1947'.In addition to this Wassail Song from Phil Tanner, Maud Karpelles collected another in Wales from Edwin Ace, of Llangeneth, Glamorgan, in 1928. Apart from four Appalachian versions, all the rest of Roud's 130 instances are from England - odd that no songs of this genre appear to be found in Ireland or Scotland.
A L Loyd Folk Song in England, 1967, p.100.
15 The Furry Dance performed by the Helston Town Band, Helston, Cornwall, 1944.
16 While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks by Night played on the concertina by Scan Tester, rec. Croydon, 1964.
Please see note to Vol 16(6).
17 God Bless the Master of this House sung by Frank Bond, North Waltham, Hampshire, 1955. Roud 1066.
This seems to be a combination of two songs, the first associated with luck-visits, the second being a carol that was sometimes sung at the end of Mummer's Plays. The Sussex singer Bob Lewis calls his lengthy version a 'Tipteer's carol', using a local word for the Mummers. This is another ritual song-type seemingly found only in England.
Other Recordings: Bob Lewis (Sussex) - Veteran cassette VT120.
18 Where Does Father Christmas Go To? sung by Sam Bond, Basingstoke, Hampshire, 1978. Roud 12927.
Written by Fred Schuff in 1926.
19 Bobbing Around played on the fiddle by Jinky Wells, Bampton, Oxfordshire, 1943.
The tune used for the 'caper across' dance of the same name in Bampton.
20 (Old) Joe the Boat is Tipping Over played by the Sailor's Hobby Horse Band, Minehead, Somerset, 1979.
Please see note to Vol 9(29).
21 The Waysailing Bowl sung by Billy Buckingham and others, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, 1979. Roud 209.
Please see notes to Vol 13(23) & Vol 16(14).
Other Recordings: Len Hayward (also from Gloucestershire) sings a similar version on Veteran cassette VT109.
22 The Great Little Army March played by the Widnes Star Novelty Band, Widness, Lancashire, 1932.
23 Wassailers performed in Bodmin, Cornwall, 1973. Roud 209.
Please see notes to Vol 13(23) & Vol 16(14).
24 Cock of the North performed on the melodeon by Dick Grundy, Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire, 1947.
For other recordings, please see Vol 11(17).
25 The Garland Dance No.3 performed by the Britannia Coconut Dancers Band, Bacup, Lancashire, 1972.
Reg Hall likens this tune to a mid, or late, 19th century source that also inspired the Kerry slide Dingle Regatta.
26 The Sash performed by the Merrymakers Band, St Columb, Cornwall, 1981.
Once upon a time, folklorists drew out their blue pencils to excise any reference to sex in folksongs, while, at the same time, printing any number of songs concerning rape, murder and wartime pillage. Nowadays things have changed - see notes to the song Will You Marry Me? Vol 12(20), for example. Personally, I'm amazed that Reg Hall could include a song about dog-fighting, Champion He Was a Dandy Vol 18(15), on these CDs, as well as this tune, The Sash My Father Wore, which has come to symbolize Protestant bigotry in many parts of Ireland. The wonderful Irish singer Elizabeth Cronin sang a parody, The Hat My Father Wore, which is printed in The Songs of Elizabeth Cronin, 2000, pp.251-2.