Here we go round again…

2014
02.04

This site was originally conceived by Jon Boden and launched in June of 2010 to deliver at least one new song a day for a year. It’s about encouraging social singing and intended as a resource for the audience to gather their own inspiration, perhaps learn new repertoire and wherever possible take that out into the wider world. Each new song was set to appear at the very start of the day as the midnight hour ticked by. The process was reset each subsequent year, finding a new audience each time around, as well as keeping many devotees happy and has just been started again.

All of the songs were recorded by Jon, sometimes with instrumental accompaniment, sometimes without and occasionally with a helping hand or voice or two. As well as the songs themselves, each day featured a post that tried to unravel the origins and mysteries behind the songs, Jon’s inspirations and some general history wherever it seemed of interest. Those posts were all written in 2010 as a journey of discovery, with links to other resources where appropriate. Some of those resources may not have had the staying power of AFSAD, but we will be trying to fix any broken links that we can as we go.

You will also find that some of Jon’s choices and performances provoked praise comment, criticism and in some cases a good degree of extra ferreting around the net to add to the story, so the comments are well worth your attention. Anyone is welcome to join in, subject to moderation of course, although pretty much all opinions are accepted as long as they are reasonably and politely expressed. Anyone is welcome and no special knowledge is required, so feel free to add to the threads, but more than anything, enjoy the music.

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Folk Award Nominations

2014
11.22

Just in case you haven’t seen the list folks, you can link here for the full runners and riders of the 2013 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards.I’m sure you’ll probably all have your own favourites from this year, but Bellowhead surely deserve a best band gong and it’s great to see Karine Polwart getting recognition for her magnificent CD Traces. Also did you see Lau on Later? If not link here and set the recorder for tomorrow (that way you can forward through the naff bits.)

Also please be aware that the site was hacked and some malicious code planted around and about. If you didn’t get warnings and use a PC a virus and malware scan in recommended. There’s a thing called malwarebytes that someone recommended to me and there is a free version available here. Apologies to one and all, but admin Ben jumped on it as soon as we received notification that there were problems, so hopefully no damage has been done. I also hope it hasn’t put any newcomers off as that would be a real shame. Anyway, busy stuff to do. I’ll keep logged in, however, just in case and look forward once again to the imminent seasonal jollies.

TTFN,

Admin Simon. (or Sadmon for short!!)

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Poor Fellows

2014
11.22

This is from what became Melody Maker’s Folk Album Of The Year in 1977 and Jon says, “From The Transports by Peter Bellamy, sung originally by Nic Jones in what is, for me, his finest vocal performance on record. Bellamy wrote all of the songs with particular singers in mind and, in most cases, this led to some pretty remarkable vocal performances.” Bellamy’s ballad opera has since been further lauded as a high water mark of the folk revival and is based on a true story, researched by Norfolk Historian Eric Fowler. If the notes I’ve read are to be believed (despite Peter changing his story) the whole thing was written in four days. He undoubtedly wrote with specific singers in mind, something that proved a logistical nightmare to produce at the time and a significant risk for Neil Wayne and his independent Free Reed label. Many others had already turned it down as commercially unviable. I will have to investigate this properly as this is one of my favourite songs so far and having just put my hands on a copy of the Silver Edition two CD box set of The Transports, I’m rather excited by it, especially the detailed book that comes with it. I’ll chalk this up as another eye-opener from Jon. As with anything Bellamy related the first point of reference is Mainly Norfolk where you’ll find some fine detail of the various recorded versions and more. You may also like to have a look at this for some more insight.

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You can buy the November digital album now from all good download stores:

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Jacobs Well

2014
11.21

Having stirred things a little over the past couple of days, I’ll leave this to Jon who simply says, “Today is the start of the Sheffield carol season. This is our favourite.” You may also like to have a look here for more about the local tradition.

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You can buy the November digital album now from all good download stores:

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My Johnny Was A Shoe Maker

2014
11.20

Jon attributes his source as Steeleye Span saying, “This was brilliantly and timelessly performed by Maddy Prior and Gay Woods on Hark The Village Wait. It’s worth listening to on headphones for the rather neat stereo trickery.” I can only agree with Jon’s headphone instruction, having just followed it myself. There’s an extensive Mudcat thread on this, with much debate about the tune and also the origin on account of the authorship being claimed by a W.J. Florence, which may or may not be true. You’ll also find lots of detail attached to the Steeleye entry on Mainly Norfolk here, including their acknowledged source. Somewhere down that Mudcat thread is the suggestion that many stage or show songs have made their way into what is now regarded as the folk tradition. I guess if enough people sing them then they make their own way into the later collections, which in the light of the excellent Barry Dransfield song yesterday (and other modern compositions we’ve already had here) is an interesting point. Every song must have a point when it somehow enters the tradition, perhaps for some songs that will have been here, a session in some pub over the last 10 years and so forth. (Kick! …. Run!)

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You can buy the November digital album now from all good download stores:

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I Once Was A Fisherman

2014
11.19

One of those terrible stories put into song with an even more terrible dilemma at its heart, as Jon says, “These are slightly spurious sentiment in terms of environmental policy but I’m sure a very accurate representation of the sense of powerlessness and despair felt by anyone whose way of life is swept away by ‘the ghosts of the law’. I was meaning to pair this with The Last Leviathan but haven’t got around to learning it yet.” At the risk of kicking a wasps’ nest I’ll add that probably humanity’s greatest failing is to manage our resources or even to assign them proper value. Add to that our failure to assign work and due reward with any equanimity and the unholy mess we find ourselves in results. The arbitrary nature of can and can’t and have and have not is beautifully contained in these brief verses. Another song that falls outside of the tradition being from the pen of Barry Dransfield, but is very worthy of its place here in my humble opinion and you can Mudcat a little here.

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You can buy the November digital album now from all good download stores:

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