Category: Traditional folk song

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. This version, from my 1972 Diary, has words of which come from north of the border, if I remember rightly.

Searching For Lambs

Searching For Lambs, the epitome of English traditional song from the southern counties, was sung by Mrs Sweet to Cecil Sharp at Somerton, Somerset, on the 16th August 1907.

Outward & Homeward Bound

Outward & Homeward Bound was collected by Cecil Sharp and published in English Folk-Songs for Schools 1906, including the lines about the sailor giving his “old girl a hearty smack” and she replying “You are saucy…!”. The drawing is of the West India Docks,…

Master Kilby

On the 6th January 1909 Harry Richards sang this beautiful song to Cecil Sharp at Curry Rivel, a village in Somerset. If ever there was a song ‘saved’ from obscurity it is this one, for it was never collected from anyone else nor appeared…

The Smuggler

My well-used copy of Sea Sequel To The Week-End Book, published in 1934, was designed to supply all the information a leisure sailor might require on a cruise ship. Along with the important and useful bits are such entertainments as true stories and songs of the…

Sovay, Sovay

Following on from our previous song The Highwayman Outwitted, Sovay is a similarly resourceful lady who checks up, in an unusually assertive manner, on her true love’s worth. Henry Hammond collected the song from Mrs Young, Long Barton, Dorset, in July 1906. Two verses…

The Highwayman Outwitted

English folksong is rich in resourceful women and the young girl in our song comes off better than most. The Highwayman Outwitted tune came from the ostler at the Ring o’ Bells, Norton Fitzwarren, Somerset, May 1905. It was collected by George Hammond. The…