The photos are of the Scottish borders. You can click a mosaic pic to see it larger and arrow through them all while you listen to the song.
The old music halls, the ’60s folk clubs and the modern ‘sessions’, pictured here, all began life in pubs. The folk clubs and the sessions have largely stayed there. It seems to be their natural home. (And now, thank goodness, smoke-free.)
Fuddling Day was one of the earliest songs in my professional repertory. The serious subject is mitigated by the cheery tune and good chorus that had audiences joining in enthusiastically, which was very encouraging for a novice folk singer. I could have done with having some audience participation on this recording.
The young man in our song has good reason to be sanguine if his life always runs as smoothly and carefree as this. Free lodgings and a kiss from the landlady… luxury! Incidentally, I laughed at one point in this song because inexplicably I decided to do a different ‘twiddle’ on my guitar between verses, and it worked. It isn’t always like that. Usually I ruin a perfectly good recording trying out something I haven’t practised or intended.
I’ve completely forgotten where or when I came upon this ‘night-visiting’ song which I recorded in 2010 for the album The Gardener. It’s very old indeed and retains just a hint of the original supernatural element.
Some English country gardens and some from further afield in Prince Edward Island and Vermont. The traditional song, which is from the album The Gardener (see menu 2), originated in Scotland, but like the gardens the story is widespread over many countries, gathering subtle variations as it passed from one person to another.
From The Gardener. See ‘Menu 2’, or look at ‘About’ for why SongShepherd’s here.
The picture, by Patricia Jacobs Photography is of The Seven Dials Rapscallions an arresting, realistic and sometimes rather alarming street theatre company! (Click on the name and see.) The song is from The Gardener, volume 3 in a series of albums of mainly traditional songs collected over fifty years. There’s more in the menus above.
I was singing this traditional song in all innocence at a folk club in the 70s when in came a group of young people who sat down in the back row. They got up and left at the end of the song, which was not the usual reaction to my singing, and when my set was over I asked the club organiser who they were. “Oh,” he said, “just some French students here for the week.” I was sorry not to have done better for international relations than sing them a song of an episode that took place 600 years ago, but which obviously still rankled.
The superb painting of Henry V is by SallyGypsyPunk at DeviantArt.