Jon attributes his source on this one to Peta Webb and as she works at the EFDSS library she got wind of the project and this post…
I hear you are going to feature my version of Go And Leave Me, so thought you might like to know the sources. (I recorded it on the Fellside compilation Voices: English Traditional Songs (FECD 87.)
I first heard it in Suffolk in the early 1970s (where it was commonly song in pubs) sung by Percy Webb from around Framlingham (no relation, but a great character!). He sang it in straightforward style, verse and chorus the same tune.
I then heard Sarah & Rita Keane (Co. Galway) sing it, on their beautiful LP for Claddagh Once I Loved, (available on CD CC04CD.) This is their title for it (in Ireland it is claimed as an Irish song). I gathered extra verses from them and use their more elaborate tune for the verse, retaining Percy Webb’s straight chorus tune as being easier to join in with. I changed the key line to “Go and leave me if you wish LOVE” (instead of “to”) so she’s directly addressing the runaway lover. I also introduced a sense of scorn for him and pride in herself rather than keeping to the pathos of the Keanes’ delivery.
I heard a wonderful tune variant from traveller Anne O’ Neill, with a country & western twist, so I inserted that particular variant just once at the end of the “Here’s the ring love” verse. I didn’t consciously set out to do any of this, the song just evolved over five years or so as I sang it then heard other versions.
All the best,
How good is that!? It comes direct from someone Jon describes as a “singer of great note,” and shows both how slippery provenance is and how songs continue to evolve. Fantastic! Interestingly, just to add to the confusion, Mudcatters point to this being of American origin and you can follow this link to dive into that should you wish.
The buy links should now work properly. We had some problems with a duplicate track and everything needed to be updated, but I’ve just tested them and they are now OK!
You can buy the digital album now from the following stores: