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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Prickle-Eye Bush

2014
10.01

Click back to Down Where The Drunkards Roll and you’ll spot the same source credited and reference made to this song, as Jon again recalls “I learnt this from Adrian Matthews many years ago on FSC. It was one of the first songs I arranged for fiddle and voice and somewhere in the vaults of Topic records there is an ill-fated solo demo with it on. Some years later John (Spiers – Ed.)and I put a duo arrangement together and I think it is probably fair to say that that arrangement became the cornerstone of our subsequent career. So thank you Adrian!” Priceless! This also relates directly back to Derry Gaol on 7th August being another of the variants of a condemned person (in this case a young maid) trying to delay her execution in the hope of being saved, by a fairly hapless cast of relatives. Thank God for the true love as the family don’t seem to have either the will or the cash to saver her. The prickle-eye or more simply prickly Bush simply refers to the mortal peril she is in. It is of course Child Ballad #95 and I have to say I was most impressed by this Wiki page. At the risk of stoking folkist ire, millions of course have this via Led Zep 111 and whilst the Wiki entry makes much of the modern variants, I found the origin details fascinating. You can also Mudcat away for some considerable time starting here.

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

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All Of A Row

2014
09.30

Three full months in already, with a weeks worth of June as well. As we’re in the harvest season, this seems appropriate and Jon says, “My favourite track from Larkrise To Candleford (the Albion band version, not the BBC thing). I’ve only ever heard Carthy sing it so not sure where it comes from.” Interestingly I found Jon on Mudcat asking questions about this, which brings up a couple of alternate versions. Mainly Norfolk has Martin Carthy covered. Finding further information has more or less foundered on the rocks of the popular country-rock troop The Eagles and I note even Mudcat is heading that way with the bizarre inclusion of Joe Walsh’s lyrics at the end of the thread. A last minute saving grace is this link, which is a collection of Harvest songs in one place that some of you might like to explore. You’ll find  a couple of other familiar entries there.

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

  

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Brisk Young Widow

2014
09.29

Back to Bellamy again and Jon says, “The first song I ever heard Bellamy sing (on the Voices album). He started singing it as a tribute to Royston Wood after his untimely death.” Mainly Norfolk puts the flesh on those bones as you’ve come to expect and I can only add Davy Graham and one Benjamin Britten to the list of versions offered there (that latter is curious – does anyone know it?) I also found this link that adds a little detail. Jolly enough it’s left me with a lingering nag as to what the collier had that the farmer didn’t!!

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

  

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Something different

2014
09.28

I was just checking through the messages and noticed a reply had gone up. As it relates to Yellow Roses back in July, I thought many of you would miss it. But as I’ve promised to make any of your own versions of these songs available I thought this might be worth an extra post.

It occurs to me that I might have missed other submissions (apologies if I have), so if anyone else has anything current on YouTube or elsewhere relating to the songs so far, please add links below. I’ll try and keep on top of any future submissions and ensure they are brought to everyone’s attention. I’d prefer it if we can stick to new or recent recordings rather than trawling up every link to Steeleye, Martin Carthy, etc as I know there are a lot out here, mostly with the audio taken directly from CD and there we get into murky waters.

Can I also ask (although I’m sure I don’t really need to) that in the spirit of an open door policy here, no disparaging of others’ efforts please. If you don’t think someone’s submission is good, then do better rather than leave negative comments.

What I’m after is people who feel inspired by this in some way. And with thanks to Kate this fits the bill so here’s that post and video link.

This is such a wonderfull song, and i would probably never have heard it if it wasn’t for Fay and Jon. I’ve recorded my own attempt on you tube and thought I’d post it up here.
Hope that works!
Kate

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Waltzing Matilda

2014
09.28

I’m willing to wager a groat or three that you’ll all know this and have been happily singing along from the start, although that might make me guilty of assuming everyone’s age. Still Jon says, “I lived in Australia for a year as a kid but unfortunately didn’t pick up any Australian folk songs, although we did all have to learn the national anthem. I can’t remember it now so here’s the unofficial national anthem.” Familiar yes, but like any good song it has a perhaps surprising history and you can read a good Wiki page here. Bert Lloyd has the Brit folk claim to recording what he calls a fairly hackneyed song, although Jon names Lou Killen as his source and you can see the usual detail of their respective recordings, plus some more including sleeve notes at Mainly Norfolk.

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

  

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