Monthly Archives: April 2020

Reynardine

Reynardine is a curious traditional song that was often printed by the Victorian ballad presses. Pomeroy is a village in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland.

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I Once Was A Ploughboy

I Once Was A Ploughboy is a song of the kind frequently printed in the 19th century, in which the innocent youth, often a worker on the land, is tricked, forced or goes to be a soldier out of duty. … Continue reading

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Matt Hyland

Whilst sorting out some old guitar class demo recordings I came across Matt Hyland, a song about which I know little, except that Martin Carthy said he heard it sung by a man whose name he didn’t recall in a northern … Continue reading

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The Rambling Soldier

The painting of The Recruiting Sergeant (The King’s Shilling) is attributed to Henry Nelson O’Neil (1817-1880). The song was popular in Victorian times in two versions – sailor and soldier – and frequently reprinted by the song and ballad presses … Continue reading

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Willie O’ Winsbury

My favourite version, newly recorded, of one of the finest of our ancient ballads. The photograph is from the justly famous Landshuter Hochzeit.

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Home, Dearest Home

Ages ago in my boyhood we sang The North Country Maid at school, the version well-known in folk clubs today. I forget quite where I found Home Dearest Home, but I like it best; it has a story and a … Continue reading

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The People Next Door

There are two not unconnected recordings today. The first is a well-known traditional Scottish song that I sang to our girls when they were small. The second is a Shetland version of a traditional tune. Around 1970, if I remember rightly, Stefan … Continue reading

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Harbour of Days Gone By

Louise Antell, a young teenager, wrote Harbour Of Days Gone By in 1967 or 8. It was her only song and she sang it only once. By 2008 she had become a successful author named Louise Cooper and had forgotten all about her … Continue reading

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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. I saw my first black kite not long ago. By the time I’d got off my … Continue reading

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Poor Jolly Sailor Lads

Today’s sailor lads and lasses have the best of living conditions. Our song dates from perhaps the mid 19th century and similar versions have been collected in the USA, where I found these words, as well as England, which provided … Continue reading

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