Ewan MacColl

Ewan MacColl: Anthologies

The Unfortunate Rake

  • The Unfortunate Rake
    • 1960 - Folkways FW03805 LP
    • 2004 - Folkways FW03805 — digital

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  • Side One
    1. The Unfortunate Rake - A. L. Lloyd and Alf Edwards
    2. The Trooper Cut Down in His Prime - Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger
    3. The Young Sailor Cut Down in His Prime - Harry Cox
    4. Noo I'm a Young Man Cut Down in My Prime - Willie Mathieson
    5. The Bad Girl's Lament - Wade Hemsworth
    6. One Morning in May - Hally Wood
    7. Bright Summer Morning - Viola Penn
    8. The Girl in the Dilger Case - D. K. Wilgus
    9. The Cowboy's Lament - Bruce Buckley
    10. Streets of Laredo - Harry Jackson
  • Side Two
    1. St. James Hospital - Alan Lomax
    2. Gambler's Blues - Dave Van Ronk
    3. I Once Was a Carman - I Once Was a Carman in the Big Mountain Con - Guthrie T. "Gus" Meade
    4. The Lineman's Hymn - Rosalie Sorrels
    5. The Wild Lumberjack - Kenneth S. Goldstein
    6. A Sun Valley Song - Jan Brunvand and Ellen Stekert
    7. The Ballad of Bloody Thursday - John Greenway
    8. Streets of Hamtramck - Bill Friedland, Mark Newman, and Morris Howarth
    9. The Ballad of Sherman Wu - Pete Seeger
    10. The Professor's Lament - Roger Abrahams

  • Credits
    • Produced by Kenneth S. Goldstein
    • Cover Design by Ronald Clyne

Sleeve Notes


It is, perhaps, a bitter historical irony, that the "St. James Hospital" which provides the setting for this series of ballads is known today in London as St. James Palace, the home of the "Court of St. James." The original St. James Hospital was a religious foundation for the redemption of "fourteen sisters, maidens, that were leperous, living chastely and honestly in divine service." Now known as St. James Park, the grounds on which the palace stands was acquired by Henry VIII in 1532. During the whole reign of George III, the royal court was held at St. James.

A contemporary says that the palace "looked more like a prison than a royal mansion." The palace evoked in one observer a mood which paralleled the spirit of the times, one of "terrible drama … some deeply tragic … some gay … with a transient light like that which at times gilds for a moment the fierce black waves breaking over a stranded ship."

Palace life was a frequent subject for popular comment. "Ballads swarmed as abundantly as caricatures are swarming at present," wrote Lady Louisa Stuart, "and were struck off almost as hastily, whenever wit and humor or malice and scurrility found them a theme to fasten upon. A ballad was sure to follow every incident that had a ludicrous corner from

'A woful christening late there did In James's house befal,'

and the King's turning his son and daughter out of doors after it, down to a lady's dropping her shoe in the Park."

Jonathan Swift wrote about the palace in his "Journal to Stella" in a chapter called "History of the Maids of Honour since Harry the Eighth":

"Houses of amusements abounded … bibbing and drinking under the trees: two or three quarrels every week. It was grown scandalous and Insufferable."

The Mall in St. James Park continued to be the most fashionable promenade in London as late as the middle of the 18th century.

In recent years great interest has been directed at the old Anglo-Irish homiletic ballad of "The Unfortunate Rake", and its numerous progeny. An increasing number of folksong and ballad teachers and lecturers have used this ballad, in its many versions and variations forms, as a classroom device for explaining the process of tradition, which is necessarily the core of all understanding of that fascinating cultural phenomena known as FOLKSONG. A large part of the credit for such classroom demonstrations must be given to the phonograph recordings industry (and especially those small and medium size companies specializing in folk music recordings) for making available in ever increasing numbers excellent sound recordings of different forms of this ballad which may be heard by a classroom audience, and which aid in arriving at a better understanding of transmissional changes (and parody) in the oral dissemination of ballads and songs.

In producing, editing and annotating this album of 20 different versional and variational forms of the "Bake" cycle of ballads, I have attempted to bring together in one easily accessible recording sufficient materials to facilitate the use of this cycle as a demonstration tool for classroom work. I believe the instructor or lecturer will find in this recording enough materials to remove the problem of his having to go to some half dozen (or more) different recordings from which to make his selection. The introductory notes, and head-notes to each of the recorded ballads have been designed to give that minimum amount of information necessary to supplement the recordings, avoiding, as much as possible, long-winded theorizing and discussion. A selected bibliography of Important articles containing references to numerous texts will be found at the end of this booklet, and may be referred to by those wishing to pursue the subject further than this album. It is obvious from the great wealth of material available that an extended monograph on this ballad cycle is long overdue; perhaps some graduate student of folklore will soon undertake such a study in partial fulfillment of an advanced degree. We shall all be the richer for it.


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Songs Against the Bomb
  • Songs Against the Bomb
    • 1960 - Topic 12001 LP [12"]

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  • Side One
    1. Brother Won't You Join in the Line? - Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger & Jack Elliott (1958)
    2. The Crooked Crosses - Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger (1960)
    3. Strontium 90 - Fred & Betty Dallas, etc (1959)
    4. Hey Little Man (Sinner Man) - Fred & Betty Dallas
    5. Doomsday Blues (St. James Infirmary Blues) - Fred Dallas (1958)
    6. The Ballad of the Five Fingers - Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger (1957)
    7. There are Better Things to Do - Peggy Seeger & Jack Elliott (1958)
  • Side Two
    1. The H-Bomb's Thunder - The London Youth Choir, etc (1958)
    2. Song of Hiroshima - The London Youth Choir, etc (1955)
    3. Hoist the Window - The London Youth Choir, etc (1952)
    4. That Bomb Has Got to Go - Ron Fielder, Ray Edwards and members of the Robin Hood Singers (1959)
    5. The Dove - Margaret McKeown with Leon Rosselson (guitar) (1954)
    6. The Family of Man - The London Youth Choir, etc (1957)

  • Credits
    • Recorded Live at
      • The Ballads and Blues: Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger
      • The Partisan Coffee House: London Youth Choir with Fred & Betty Dallas
  • Source:
    • Mainly Norfolk — where you will find more information on this recording.

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Folk Songs For Little Sailors
15 Sing-Along Sea Songs by Famous Folk Singers
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  • Folk Songs For Little Sailors
    • 1966 - Riverside (Wonderland Series) RLP 1424 LP

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  • Side One
    1. Sail Away, Sail Away — Bob Gibson
    2. The Walloping Windowblind/The Bold Fisherman — Oscar Brand
    3. High Barbary/The Sailor's Hornpipe — Billy Faier
    4. The Fishes Song/The Golden Vanitee [sic]— Peggy Seeger & Ewan MacColl
    5. Two Little Boats I Spy — Louise DeCormier
  • Side Two
    1. The Mermaid — John Runge
    2. The Flying Dutchman — Dean Gitter
    3. Belfast Hornpipe — Margaret Barry
    4. Sir Patrick Spens — Ed McCurdy
    5. Bunch Of Roses — Oscar Brand
    6. Midnight On The Ocean — Oscar Brand
    7. Sailing Along and Singing — The Renaissance Chorus

  • Credits
    • Compiled by Leo Israel from the Riverside folk-song collection.
    • Edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein.

Sleeve Notes

Welcome to Riverside's WONDERLAND!

This record is one of a series of 12-inch long-play :records designed to take children into a delightful and exciting world of entertainment. You can learn wonderful things from these records (about the sounds of the world around us, for instance; or the favorite songs of children in far-off lands), but it never has to seem like learning. That's part of the magic — for all of these tours into Wonderland are under the guidance of celebrated performers, including some of the most famous and most sparkling names in the entertainment world: actors, musicians and singers whose skill and charm are well known to both children and grown-ups.

The series includes: a remarkable series of adventures with "Grandpa Magic," as portrayed by ED WYNN, one of the greatest and most lovable comedians of all time; concerts with famed pianist ALEC TEMPLETON; records about the "songs children sing" in many foreign lands, as sung in their native language and in English by folk-singers BOB and LOUISE DE CORMIER; story-telling at its most enchanting by such great actors as CYRIL RITCHARD and MARTYN GREEN; famous American folk-singers in delightful and rousing 'sing-along' albums; the joyful singing of "My Fair Lady" star STANLEY HOLLOWAY — and much, much more.

These albums are conceived, planned and produced by an experienced staff headed by Leo Israel, who has long been recognized as a leader in the children's record field. They call upon the services of highly talented performers, writers and directors. Recorded and processed at the finest and most modern high fidelity sound studios, Wonderland records are pressed on top-quality, unbreakable vinyl. All are attractively packaged, with delightful and colorful cover illustrations by outstanding artists.

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