Author Archives: SongShepherd

About SongShepherd

Singer, musician & cyclist.

The Seeds Of Love

There are many versions of this song; the earliest were from a woman’s point of view and make more sense, as you may discern, but all are a lovely part of the folk tradition.

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Down In Our Village

The words of ‘Down In Our Village’ were printed in York between 1803 and 1848 on a broadside I found in the Bodleian Library, Oxford.

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The Rambling Sailor

The song came from Bert Lloyd. I never asked where he found it, but all the Victorian broadsheet presses printed versions. The illustration is by Rowlandson.

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Benjamin Bowmaneer

Mary Spence of Patterdale had this song from her great-aunt, Sarah Foster, who came from Sedbergh in Cumbria. Mary wrote: “My great-aunt learned it from a travelling tailor who came to mend her father’s clothes, probably between 1804 and 1807. … Continue reading

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Adieu, My Lovely Nancy

Adieu My Lovely Nancy, a familiar theme, was collected by Max Hunter from Mrs Bertha Lauderdale of Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 1959.  Verse 6 is from a Sussex version collected in 1898 by Mrs K Lee. The Illustration is a detail … Continue reading

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Madam, Will You Walk?

Lucille Blake, folk singer and teacher, then living in Hertford, first drew my attention to this song in 1967. I have another version in which the lady refuses every gift from the young man, until finally accepting his wealth, at … Continue reading

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Nobody’s Come To Marry

From my large collection of songs gathered mostly during my years in folk clubs. Nobody’s Come To Marry Me… sang two girls in unison under a single light at a dim, crowded Daventry folk club in 1967. Their twinkling eyes … Continue reading

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It’s A Rosebud In June

Among the loveliest of English traditional songs, and one I sing all year round.

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Arthur McBride

Not all recruiting sergeants got their man. Arthur McBride came from a BBC field recording of a singer in Walberswick, Suffolk in 1939 (East Anglia had a sizeable a sizeable population of Irish labour in the 19th century) and Bert … Continue reading

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All Things Are Quite Silent

The Navy had to have sailors and press gangs did the evil work. The Neglected Tar is an illustration from c.1800 reminding us that menfolk might be away for years and no provision whatever was made for wife and family. … Continue reading

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