Nightingales Sing

Mentioned in scores of traditional English folksongs, for some reason the nightingale – not much bigger than a sparrow – is a symbol of love. This song was collected by Henry Hammond from William Bartlett in Wimborne Union (a workhouse) in Dorset, 1905.

Green Broom

I heard the song many years ago in a folk club and sang it once or twice myself; the photos are from the Vancouver Island website BroomBusters. The cheery broom cutter in the photo looks like me but in fact he’s 92! So cutting Broom would seem to be good for your health!

Come Write Me Down

From Joseph Elliot of Todber, Dorset, September 1905; Henry March, Dorchester, January 1907 and another unnamed singer. Collected by Henry Hammond.

Off! was painted by Edmund Blair Leighton 1911.

Big Jake

A Blacksmith Courted Me

Collected by George Butterworth from Mr & Mrs Verral , Horsham, Sussex, 1908.

The drawing is by Horace Knowles.

Come My Own One

The tune came from Walker Searle’s children in Amberley, Sussex, May 1907, collected by George Butterworth May 1907. The words are from a broadside.

The illustration is Thomas Rowlandson’s The Sailor’s Return, or in the case of the sailor in our song, what he expected when he came home.

Three Sillies

I used to tell a great many tales as a professional folk singer and later as a teacher. This one came from Amabel Williams-Ellis in 1960 who got it from Edwin Hartland in 1930.