Neddy Nibble’m & Biddy Finn

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Our curious 19th century song was perhaps intended by the ballad maker to be humorous, but this tale of an unworldly and altogether innocent young man and his bawdy ‘pot girl’ seems less amusing nowadays as he makes his plea to a court of law.

The picture is one of Patricia Jacobs’ splendid photographs of a couple from the superb street theatre group, Seven Dials Rapscallions, and I heartily recommend a visit to their web pages, which give a flavour of the group’s lifelike and somewhat alarming performances of everyday life for the Victorian underclasses.

Lass Of The Low Country

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When I first began to sing in public I did the traditional thing and swapped songs with everyone I met and wrote them into my notebooks. A local singer with a beautiful voice sang The Lass Of The Low Country but wouldn’t swap her song because, she said, I didn’t sing anything she liked. However I saw her so often in the folk clubs I soon learnt it by heart. I guessed I’d paid for it by then. Later I bought The John Jacob Niles Songbook, which includes the song, so I suppose I’ve paid for it twice.