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Anthologies

The Folk Songs of Britain


Songs of Courtship
The Folk Songs of Britain — Volume 1

  • Songs of Courtships:Volume 1
    • 1961 - Caedmon TC1142 LP (USA)
    • 1968 - Topic 12T157 LP (UK)

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  • Side One
    1. Green Grow the Laurels — Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen
    2. The False Bride — Bob Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    3. Our Wedding Day Francis McPeake, Belfast (w/Uilleann pipes)
    4. When a Man's in Love — Paddy Tunney, Beleek, Co. Fermanagh
    5. Aileen Duinn — Flora McNeill, Barra, Outer Hebrides
    6. Bonnie Kate — Agnes Whyte, (fiddle) Ballinakill, Co. Galway
    7. Old Grey Beard Newly Shaven — Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen
    8. The Sweet Primeroses — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    9. The Coolin — Paddy Taylor, Foynes, Co. Limerick (flute)
    10. Shule Aroon — Elizabeth Cronin, Macroom, Co. Cork
    11. The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow — Paddy Tunney, Beleek, Co. Fermanagh
    12. The Brown Thorn — Séamus Ennis, Dublin (Uilleann pipes)
  • Side Two
    1. As I Roved Out — Séamus Ennis, Dublin
    2. Magpie's Nest — Jane Kelly, Keady, Co. Armagh
    3. Dame Durden — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    4. Casadh an tSugain — Maire O'Sullivan, Ballylickey, Co. Cork
    5. The Girl was Smart for the Fiddler — Michael Doherty, Co. Donegal (w/fiddle)
    6. My Darling Ploughman Boy — Jimmy MacBeath, Elgin, Moray
    7. The False Young Man Frank and Francis McPeake, Belfast (w/Uilleann pipes)
    8. I'm a Young Bonnie Lassie — Blanche Wood, Portknockie, Banff
    9. No John, No — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    10. Cois Abhain Na Sead — Máire Ni Cheocháin, Coolea, Co. Cork
    11. Bogie's Bonnie Belle — Davie Stewart, Dundee

  • Notes:
    • A collection of love songs recorded in the field with traditional folk singers in England, Scotland and Ireland.

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Jack of All Trades
The Folk Songs of Britain — Volume 3

  • Jack of All Trades: Volume 3
    • 1961 - Caedmon TC1144 LP (USA)
    • 1968 - Topic 12T159 LP (UK)
    • 1970 - Topic 12T159 LP (UK)

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  • Side One
    1. The Jovial Tradesmen (When Jones's Ale Was New) — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    2. The Roving Journeyman — Paddy Doran, Belfast
    3. The Candlelight Fisherman — Phil Hammond, Morston, Norfolk (w/ melodeon)
    4. The Canny Shepherd Laddie — Jimmy White, Yetlington, Northumberland
    5. The Dairy Maid — John Maguire, Belfast (whistle)
    6. Green Brooms — Sean McDonagh, Glinsk, Connemara
    7. Gruel — Jimmy MacBeath, Elgin, Moray
    8. The Jug of Punch — Edward Quinn, Castlecaulfield, Co. Tyrone
    9. The Gresford Disaster — Mrs. A. Cosgrove, Newtongrange, Midlothian
    10. The Jolly Miller — John Strachan, Fyvie, Aberdeenshire
    11. The Irish Washerwoman — John Doherty, Donegal (fiddle)
    12. Farewell to Whiskey — Jessie Murray, Portknockie, Buchan
    13. The Roving Ploughboy — John McDonald, Elgin, Moray (w/ melodeon)
  • Side Two
    1. The Buchan Miller — John McDonald, Elgin, Moray (w/ melodeon)
    2. Fagan the Cobbler — "Wickets" Richardson, Blaxhall, Woodbridge, Surrey
    3. The Ould Piper Frank McPeake, Belfast (w/ Uilleann pipes)
    4. Sweep, Chimney Sweep — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    5. The Mason's Apron — Agnes & Bridie Whyte, Loughrea, Co. Galway (fiddles)
    6. Rhynie — John Strachan, Fyvie, Aberdeenshire
    7. The Tailor By Trade — Joe Tunney, Beleek, Co. Fermanagh
    8. The Wee Weaver — John Doherty, Donegal (fiddle)
    9. Jim the Carter Lad — Jack Goodfellow, Rennington, Northumberland
    10. Drumdelgie — Davie Stewart, Dundee (w/ accordion)
    11. The Merry Haymakers — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    12. I'll Mend Your Pots and Kettles — Séamus Ennis, Dublin (Uilleann pipes)

  • Credits
    • Recorded by Peter Kennedy, Alan Lomax, Seamus Ennis, Hamish Henderson and Sean O Boyle
    • Edited by Peter Kennedy and Alan Lomax
    • Editorial and Research Assistant Shirley Collins
    • Musical Notation by Michael Bell

Sleeve Notes

A collection of the songs of the country craftsmen — millers weavers, cobblers, laborers — singing of the pleasures and hardships of their calling, and recorded in the field with native folk singers in England Scotland and Ireland.

THE SONGS
image The ballads of British trades and occupations are an important breed of the folk-popular tradition. The British balladeers dealt with the joys and sorrows of ploughboys, fishermen, tinkers, tailors and the like. If one compares the two bodies of occupational ballads — British and American — the British tradition seems, on the whole, more full of contentment, pride, and of pagan, sometimes bawdy pleasure. Ploughmen and tinkers alike could always find complaisant maids and willing wives. If there was no cavern handy, the Southern English farmer was expected to hand round daily and generous rations of cider or ale to his haymakers. The farm-laborer of Southern England, particularly, appears to have seen his life through a pleasant, beery haze. Yet the gentle, rural occupational songs make a powerful impression. These tradesmen and workers have no doubt about their importance and the dignity of their jobs. They are self-respecting folk with a mind to knuckle under to no man.

ABOUT THE SERIES
With the publication of this series, the full range of British folk songs can be heard for the first time as performed by authentic folk singers. The records were made in pubs and country cottages in isolated sections of the island. Some of the singers are old, others conform to ancient singing styles which will surprise some listeners; yet, in their performances, folk song lives in all of its subtleties. Print and musical notation cannot convey its flavor. Professional singers bury its charm and it nuances under the weight of their training. The only way it which the ballads of the people can be understood and appreciated properly is by listening to traditional country singers, such as these.

This collection was begun in 1950 by Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy. Alan Lomax came to Great Britain, after years of field work in the United States as head of the Archive of American Folk Song in the Library of Congress, to find out whether there was a tradition of living folk music connected with the material he had been studying in the United States. His recording tour of Great Britain and Ireland turned up such beautiful material that other collectors were encouraged to begin field work. The principal figure in this group was Peter Kennedy, whose father headed up the English Folk Dance Society and who had already done work of the first importance in collecting and teaching English folk dances. Employed by the BBC, along with Seamus Ennis, and working in collaboration with Hamish Henderson of Scotland, Kennedy and Lomax discovered scores of fine ballad singers and taped thousands of songs. These volumes are samplings of their huge collection.

COMMENTS
Robert Graves:
"This is faithful and authentic recording. Nineteenth century collectors lay under the mechanical disadvantage of being unable to perpetuate the voices, accents, grace-notes and tempo of the singers. The folksongs they harvested, and too often bowdlerised, lost most of their poignant magic when regularised as drawing-room ballads with piano settings. Here nothing is lost or falsified."

Percy Grainger:
"Alan Lomax, Peter Kennedy and their fellow collectors do not see folk-song as dying but merely undergoing a vital metamorphosis. It is the understanding and appreciation of the traditional singers with their individual artistry, skill and creative talent that has brought The Second Revival into being. "Listening to their recent recordings I have heard expressive harmonies, such as roving triads, and fascinating sonorities, such as two voices with bagpipes. These in turn have been wedded to tunes delightful in themselves by hundreds of folk musicians, old and young. And, contrary to what one might think, a remarkable feature of these collections is that they contain ballads of the most archaic type."

Top Index

Anthologies: Sailormen and Servingmaids
The Folk Songs of Britain — Volume 6

  • Sailormen and Servingmaids: Volume 6
    • 1961 - Caedmon TC1162 LP (USA)
    • 1970 - Topic 12T194 LP (UK)

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  • Side One
    1. Paddy West — Timothy Walsh, Devonport, England
    2. The Liverpool Packet — Bill Barber (with chorus), Cadgwith, Cornwall, England
    3. The Green Banks Of Yarrow — Mrs. Maguire, Belfast, N. Ireland
    4. Our Gallant Ship — William Howell, Fishguard, Pembrokeshire, Wales
    5. The Alehouse — Elizabeth Cronin, Cork, Eire
    6. Rosemary Lane — Bruce Laurensen, Lerwick, Shetland Isles
    7. Ratcliffe Highway — Jim Baldry, Woodbridge, Suffolk, England
    8. The Lowlands Of Holland — Paddy Tunney, Donegal, Eire
    9. The Quaker — Dorchester Mummers, Dorset, England
    10. Kishmul's Galley — Flora McNeil, Barra, Hebrides, Scotland
    11. The Whale-Fishery — Philip Hamon and Hilary Carre, Sark, Channel Islands
    12. The Grey Silkie — John Sinclair, Flotta, Orkney Isles
  • Side Two
    1. Warlike Seamen — Bob and Ron Copper, Rottingdean, Sussex
    2. The Boat That First Brought Me Over — Thomas Moran, Mohill, Co. Leitrim, Eire
    3. The Handsome Cabin Boy — Jeannie Robertson, Aberdeen, Scotland
    4. The Unst Boat Song — John Stickle, Baltasound, Unst, Shetland Isles
    5. The Smacksman — Sam Lamer, Winterton, Norfolk, England
    6. Sweet Willie — Lal Smith, Waterford, Eire
    7. The Campanero — Bill Cameron, St. Mary's, Scilly Isles
    8. Andrew Ross — John and Ethel Findlater, Dounby, Orkney Isles
    9. The Bold Princess Royal — Ned Adams, Hastings, Sussex, England
    10. The Boatie Rows — Jessie Murray, Buckie, Banffshire, Scotland
    11. Our Ship Is Ready — Robert Cinnamond, Belfast, N. Ireland
    12. Nancy From Yarmouth — Fred Ling, Blaxhall, Suffolk, England

  • Credits
    • Recorded by Peter Kennedy, Sean O'Boyle, Seamus Ennis, Cyril Tawney, Alan Lomax, Sean Davis, Bob Copper, Philip Donellan and Patrick Shuldham-Shaw
    • Edited by Peter Kennedy and Alan Lomax
    • Musical Notation by Michael Bell


Sleeve Notes

Jack Tar and the Women he loved are imortalized in this hearty collection. Recorded in England, Ireland, Wales, the Isles and Scotland.

SAILORMEN AND SERVING MAIDS — a packet of songs and ballads from the British Isles.
The present collection of songs and ballads, put together by Peter Kennedy from his years of field work, makes it patent that every cove along the British coast, every craft that has taken Britons on the sea, has produced its own lore which should be found before it has disappeared. This collection is remarkable for its time depth, ranging from songs of Norse and Hebridean oarsmen through ballads of superstitious medieval sailors to forebiters sung on board the clipper ships in the 19th century. The collection is also unusual in the wide range of its song-types and themes. Pirates, trawlermen, fishwives, whalemen, packet rats, mermen, Irish immigrants, shanghaiers maids, royal marines, sea widows, navymen, Captain Blighs, and sealmen make up this pageant of sea song that all together begins to tell the story of Jack Tar, the legend of the British seafaring man.

We will never have good recording of the chanteys roared out by gangs of seamen at work — the recording machine came too late for that. But, even so, we know a good deal about them — those magnificently simple melodies that capture the feeling of the British seaman at work under sail. John Goss, Richard Terry, Joanna Colcord, Richard Doerflinger, and, most recently, Stanley Hughill, have preserved this oak-ribbed music in a series of volumes.

Before the tides of change have washed all the songs and tales away, a commission of scholars should record and study the sea-folklore of the British Isles.

— ALAN LOMAX


ABOUT THE SERIES
With the publication of this series, the full range of British folksongs can be heard for the first time as performed by authentic folk singers. The records were made in pubs and country cottages in isolated sections of the island. Some of the singers are old, others conform to ancient singing styles which will surprise some listeners; yet, in their performances, folk song lives in all of its subtleties. Print and musical notation cannot convey its flavor. Professional singers bury its charm and its nuances under the weight of their training. The only way in which the ballads of the people can be understood and appreciated properly is by listening to traditional country singers, such as these.

This collection was begun in 1950 by Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy. Alan Lomax came to Great Britain, after years of field work in the United States as head of the Archive of American Folk Song in the Library of Congress, to find out whether there was a tradition of living folk music connected with the material he had been studying in the United States. His recording tour of Great Britain and Ireland turned up such beautiful material that other collectors were encouraged to begin field work. The principal figure in this group was Peter Kennedy, whose father headed up the English Folk Dance Society and who had already done work of the first importance in collecting and teaching English folk dances. Employed by the BBC, along with Seamus Ennis, and working in collaboration with Hamish Henderson of Scotland, Kennedy and Lomax discovered scores of fine ballad singers and taped thousands of songs. These volumes are samplings of their huge collection.

Top Index


  • Notes:
    • Information on the Topic releases come courtesy of Reinhard Zierke's Norfolk