Archive for June, 2014

Farmer’s Toast


Song two is called The Farmer’s Toast. At some point Jon developed a veggie friendly version…

“For a while I changed ‘I eat my own ham, my own chicken and lamb / I shear my own fleece and I wear it’ to ‘I make my own stew, lentil bake and tofu / I knit my own hemp and I wear it’. But not anymore.”

It seems this is also known as God Speed The Plough and you can explore various Mud Cat threads here. But  just to add to the layers Spiers & Boden recorded a tune called Speed The Plough on their Vagabonds CD.



The Larks They Sang Melodious


OK folks, this is where we started and for the time being I will be rescheduling the streams, but not the podcasts. I won’t be adding to or changing or editing my introductions (unless anything really vital crops up) and the original comments will come over with the day’s post. I know not everyone has been with us from the start, so here will be a chance to catch up with what you missed. For those that have seen it all before, I hope a refresher might prove enjoyable given the extraordinary journey we have been on with Jon as our guide. It will be interesting to see if the original comments or just the chance to hear the songs again provoke you to continue the discussions. I’d love to see the comments build now that we’ve had a chance to develop our own knowledge and will join in myself where appropriate. I think some of you have become bolder, adding your own links to alternate versions and helping to build the stories of the songs for which, I for one am very grateful.

Anyway, I’d ask you all to stay in the loop as if we can work out a way to get another year’s worth going, it will be announced here first.

Reading this first introduction, I’m immediately struck by my naive promise of “links to find out more about each song.” This project would become much more than that. I am on the right lines, however, in identifying that this would not be straightforward. Anyway, without further ado, here it is…

The first of the songs goes up today The Larks They Sang Melodious and just to settle any dispute, the 24th is midsummer’s day, rather than the solstice (or longest day) based on the Roman calendar and because it falls six months before Christmas.

We start things off in fine style and summer mood with bird song to wake us and a well known song (or possibly not), as Jon explains… “This is one of those songs you’re not supposed to sing because everyone sings it. Only problem is nobody does because you’re not supposed to. If you follow me. Fortunately it is still sung with great gusto on Forest School Camps which is where I learnt it. I think this may have been the song that first switched me on to English traditional singing.”


You can buy the digital album now from the following stores:

One of the challenges we’ve set is to bring you links to find out more about each song. This gets complicated as many of the songs are known by more than one title. So you can link to the Mudcat folk forum here, where you’ll find this song is known as Pleasant And Delightful. I’ve  read elsewhere that it is sometimes called The Dawning Of The Day, but then so is another completely different song … You get the picture.