Archive for November, 2014

Brown Girl


2014
11.30

Jon notes his source here as “From Frankie Armstrong. This is sort of Barbara Allen but with a bit more venom.” A bit of righteous indignation indeed. Mainly Norfolk has this covered and also has Martin Carthy and Steeleye’s versions. The suggestion is that she’s tanned from working the fields and therefore not a fair maid, although matey boy seems to get his comeuppance for the rejection. It’s #295 in Child’s collection and there are at least two versions of it. You can Wiki here and if you follow the link through explore more about the Child Ballads should time allow and the fancy take you.

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Cold Blows The Wind


2014
11.29

Another from Hedonism and here slowed right down, but Jon refers back to Bellowhead saying, “Again I learnt this for Pete’s arrangement. Here I follow May Bradley’s melody.” This is Child Ballad #78 and you can Mudcat a little here you’ll see that it’s here known by the alternate title The Unquiet Grave. This link gives various lyical variations, which I believe are form Childs collection. The Mudcat suggestion that this may have originally been a much longer ballad is intriguing and certainly seems possible. In truth we’ll never know for sure but if anyone has more on this rather morbid tale based on the idea that excessive mourning disturbs the deceased, please add below. You might also like a look at May Bradley here.

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Farewell To Old Bedford


2014
11.28

Another amusing little aside from Jon as he says, “From the phenomenal Tim Eriksen. I was singing this as a sound check song for a while but Mark Whyles [Bellowhead’s manager and sound man – Ed.] told me, in no uncertain terms, that I was to desist.” I know Mark pretty well so will have to ask him what his objection was. Mr. Eriksen seems a bit of a character and if his name is new to you, this link will help. This is clearly an American song from the Warner collection.

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Sweep Chimney Sweep


2014
11.27

I’m amused by Jon’s  Spiers and Boden derived confession here, “From the Copper family come this strange and lyrically somewhat questionable number, but one hell of a tune. John and I keep trying to do it as a two-parter but we can never remember what order the verses go in (not an issue if you’re singing solo fortunately.)” The first port of call is therefore the Coppers’ site here for the song as they have it. Mainly Norfolk also cover Steeleye’s version. After yesterday, Mudcat thankfully avoids controversy, although there is a quest for the sense of a couple of the lines and a little Micky taking in that regard.

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The Hand Weaver And The Factory Maid


2014
11.26

Shorn of its big, bold, brassiness, what is on Hedonism a lusty tale sounds a little forlorn and frustrated and Jon says, “There are loads of versions of this around. I particularly like the Steeleye version on Tonight’s The Night. I learnt it for Pete Flood’s Bellowhead version and so follow his words.” You can see a little about Bert Lloyd’s compared to Steeleye’s versions on Mainly Norfolk with Bellowhead’s lyrics now added. If that inclines you to open a can of worms at all, Mudcat here (although you might have to play with the page scroll to get the sense of this.) The clear inference is that Bert rewrote much to suit his own political agenda. Whether that matters much I cannot honestly say, but it’s another interesting little diversion/red herring depending on your preference.  I am rather taken by the prospect of further, rather ruder lines, but it’s just that sort of day!

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