Month: March 2019

Noble Lord Hawkins

In the southern counties of England Noble Lord Hawkins courts Polly; in Scotland and northern England it’s Sir Arthur and Molly, but the story is otherwise the same. The name of the illustrator is not in doubt; one of my favourite artists, Randolph Caldecott.

The Banks Of Sweet Primroses

The Banks Of Sweet Primroses was a favourite song of Southern England, collected many times from the late 1800s right through to the 1950s. Bert Lloyd wrote in 1959, “Clearly singers found the song unusually memorable and satisfactory, for the process of oral transmission…

Bold Nelson’s Praise

Cecil Sharp collected Bold Nelson’s Praise from Tom Gardiner (aged 70), at Blackwells, Warwickshire, on the 9th September 1909. He also collected the versions of the Morris tune Princess Royal, which follow the song, from Bampton & Sherborne. Incidentally, as in the song, my…

The Ploughman

The Ploughman was printed in John Bell’s Rhymes Of Northern Bards, 1812, to which I added the tune and refrain. ‘Dyke’ can mean ditch, dam, wall, causeway, hedge or green, depending on context and where you are in the country.

Fair Maid Walking In Her Garden

British tradition has innumerable songs telling a similar story. It’s known as a ‘broken token’ theme, in which the young man goes away to sea for an unknown number of years. Before he and his sweetheart say farewell they exchange a token of their…

Cawsand Bay

Cawsand Bay is a great story from a rather weather-beaten copy of Sea Sequel To The Week-End Book, published in 1934. The photo is from the website of a pleasant holiday home at Nirvana, Kingsand, at Cawsand Bay in Cornwall.