Month: April 2019

Lord Bateman

This version of Lord Bateman was collected by Cecil Sharp. Arthur Rackham illustrated a version of the song in ‘Some British Ballads’  by Professor F C Child, 1919. I chose Arthur Rackham’s illustration, The Dance in Cupid’s Alley as a suitably joyful celebration of…

Robin a Thrush

I remember singing a version of Robin a Thrush at primary school and not understanding it at all, not that it mattered – I liked the refrain. Cecil Sharp was pleased to collect the song, and a great many others, from Sister Emma, aged…

The Outlandish Knight

This version of The Outlandish Knight is one of many collected by Cecil Sharp. Outlandish originally meant from a different part of the country or foreign parts. The first superb illustration is May Colvin by Arthur Rackham, from ‘Some British Ballads’  by Professor F C Child,…

One Night As I Lay On My Bed

One Night As I Lay On My Bed was collected by Janet Blunt from Mrs Nation of Baytree Cottage, Bathpool, Somerset, in 1916/17.

Ratcliffe Highway

Ratcliffe  Highway, now known as The Highway, was a notoriously tough area of bawdy houses, pubs, rough lodgings and ship’s chandlers, south of the Thames in Stepney. The song was collected by George Gardiner from Isaac Hobbes, of Micheldever (a more serene place in…

The Bold Fisherman

“This song is rooted deep in tradition, so deep, in fact, that its origins can only be guessed at. According to two scholars of English folk-song, Lucy Broadwood and Anne Gilchrist, it is a secularised version of a medieval hymn in praise of Christ,…

The Week Before Easter

The Week Before Easter, with its enigmatic riddle in the final verse, was a very popular song in the 60s and 70s folk clubs. We can all answer the questions, but who can interpret the meaning? This version, from my 1972 Diary, comes from…