In English folksong lawyers and the like do not inevitably get their own way; true love being valued more than gold. Of course, the lawyer may have been truly in love as well as rich… but that’s another story. A Lawyer He Went Out One Day was collected from Mrs Verrall, Horsham, Sussex 1908 by George Butterworth; the words chiefly from Mrs Cranstone, Billingshurst, Sussex.
The painting is by H Whittaker Reville (1800-1900). The photo is from one of my favourite bike rides in the North Shropshire hills. One doesn’t have to be a folk song character to prefer country to city.
The song, collected by Cecil Sharp, was one of my favourites at infants’ school. For some reason I loved the phrase ‘the town of Ramsey’.
The illustration for Noble Lord Hawkins by Randolph Caldecott has an interesting connection with today’s mouse. In 1884 Rupert Potter bought two of Caldecott’s frog and mouse pictures for his daughter Beatrix, who decided she would become an artist…
Fal-o-Ro We’re Sailing is a traditional Scots Gaelic song I heard sung by Robin Hall & Jimmie McGregor in 1966. The fine English translation is by Roddy McMillan.
The Lady of Avenel is a 102ft Brigantine square-rigger, skippered by owner Stefan Fritz. His company is about tall ship sailing adventures, and Sailing & Sessions is one of the exciting musical elements! There are videos and excellent photos that tell you more about it all on http://ladyofavenel.com
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 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 seems to have worked little change on it.”
The photos are from http://www.geograph.org.uk The top © Andrew Tryon – primroses on the southern slopes of Ben Bhraggie Nr Golspie, Scotland. The lower © Simon Barnes – a black kite over a field of primroses. I saw my first black kite only a few days ago. By the time I’d got off my bike to take a photo it had disappeared.
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 paternal grandmother pronounced the name Trafalgar as ’Traffelgar’. Perhaps it was a London thing.
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.