The Constant Lovers


Now Jon’s got me intrigued again saying, “A classic from the Copper family. Some versions have ‘shrimps of the sea’ which used to result in a variety of shrimp impressions from the assembled company at the Half Moon. Safest to stick with fish methinks.”Shrimp impressions! Now that I have to see, but Jon does use the ‘sh’ word here as well. Anyway, Mainly Norfolk has some details of recordings of this and the Copper’s song index has this as The Foresaken Mermaid, which strikes me as a slightly odd title for the story line, as the song’s unfortunate subject drowns – surely not something any self respecting mermaid would do. I liked the note about Martyn Wyndham-Read’s version from Paul Adams that the “tune is a little intricate, but Martyn is more than a match for it and tackles it with great relish.” I think the same applies here.

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


30 Responses to “The Constant Lovers”

  1. SRD says:

    Beautifully done.

  2. muzza says:

    Crikey you fellows…you must all be having a well-earned lie in for me to be first on!
    Love the song…… this version. Such a tragic tale and yet we all find amusement with the shrimp bit…….and when I sing it …I look up for the Cliff bit and move head sharply down for the rocks bit as I follow the poor girl’s fall!…Bloke’s..I ask yer.
    I also have the complication that my melodeon runs out of low notes for “My love is gone” and I show breathtaking dexterity as I catch the melody again for…..”He’s the one I adore”…….a grim one that I like………..that’s a first.

  3. muzza says:

    so while I was composing my comment………SRD pops in!

  4. Shelley says:

    Fabulous! That’s another one I’ve been meaning to learn for a while. My “to learn” list is getting longer and longer because of this project – thanks Jon!

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    The Huzzar may not have shivered my timbers, but this one certainly floats my boat!

    Of all the songs to date, if this one does not exemplify what this project is about, I don’t know what would. And as a pure example of the unaccompanied voice, your performance was unparalleled, Jon. Clear as a bell, steady as a rock! This could be a contender for song of the year, let alone the month.

    Sad tale though…thank goodness for ghosts again! (If you are picking a Halloween song, there must be loads to go at in the folk repertoire!)

    Absolute perfection, well done, and thanks again!

  6. sylv says:

    Loved it

  7. Fantastic job, Jon! I first heard this song on James Keelaghan’s album ‘A Few Simple Verses’, but this simple unaccompanied rendering takes the biscuit, as dar as I’m concerned. Love it!

    By the way, this expatriate Brit living in western Canada is really appreciating this project – thank you, Jon!

  8. BTW, James Keelaghan sings that line ‘And the ships of the sea shall sail over my head’.

  9. SRD says:

    sorry muzza. 😀

  10. Phil says:

    Lovely song and Jon’s in good voice, although a bit more pace wouldn’t have gone amiss – that may just be me, though!

  11. Jane Ramsden says:

    That would have been the only slight recommendation I might have made too, Phil – a bit more pace – but I was in awe of your voice control, Jon, so found it didn’t really matter in the end. Voice in tip-top form. You’ve got to be pleased with your own rendition on this one!

  12. Gervase Webb says:

    Lovely rendition – up there with Martyn Wyndham-Read’s on ‘Beyond the Red Horizon’.

  13. Mark says:

    So measured! I forgot to listen to the words first time round. It’s really sensitively sung – I’d recommend this to people who might be a bit cynical about unaccompanied singing. It’s going on my list of favourites…

  14. […] the past few months Jon has given us many wonderful songs, but in my opinion October 9th’s offering is the best yet. I first heard the song ‘The Constant Lovers‘ on James […]

  15. Muzza(S.E.England) says:

    Well…whatderyerknow…..I have just posted my effort onto you tube…complete with lashing waves.

  16. Muzza(S.E.England) says:

    and I changed a few words……..including changing to “neck like a dove” rather than “skin like a dove”……Soooo……graceful rather than pink & feathery!

  17. Malcolm says:

    Barry Dransfield sings a very nice version of this song on his album ‘Unruly’ recorded in 2005. He dedicated the song to singer Ron Spicer of West Hoathly in Sussex.

  18. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    What a jewel ! This has to be song of the month. Yes, I have the Eliza & Norma version and I love it, but Jon’s singing of this is perfection, and being unaccompanied adds to that mood of sadness and desolation.

  19. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Muzza, I am full of admiration. This is by no means an easy song to sing.
    Did your feet get wet ?

  20. Muzza(S.E.England) says:

    Thank you John………….everything got wet…….luckily I was wearing my “Spongebob hotpants”

  21. Jane Ramsden says:

    Playing catch-up as missed a few days due to cat-fettling afore Winter. Re-homing one today – yeh!

    Just love this song and your rendition, Jon. Even more so since this was one of the songs Peter Knight & Gigspanner did at their recent Halifax Square Chapel gig. The faster-paced, accompanied version can be heard on their ‘Doors at Eight’ CD, tho may be found on their web site too. Check it out:

    Footnote: My Inbox is chunked up with NForest82 YouTube vid invites! Spongebob hotpants, eh? I’ll get to you later, Muzza! Hehehehehehehe!

  22. muzza(S.E.England) says:

    @Jane…..sorry about that Jane……..Trying to get as many on as I can before 3rd Nov…..not to tempt fate(see “Parting Glass”) and 2nd Hip op on 2nd Nov…spooky eh!

  23. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Muzza: No apology needed! I’m looking forward to wading through ’em! And now I’ve got 52 Phils chunking up my Inbox as well! I’m overwhelmed!

    2nd hip op, eh? Soon be hip-hopping at morris then! Now I was going to see Les Barker for my early birthday that day, as ye know, but it appears he is not now appearing at the Otley Folk Club on that date. Don’t know why not. However, The Jon Palmer Band are playing instead, so I will still think of you whilst I’m quaffing a few bevvies!

  24. muzza(S.E.England) says:

    @Jane……….what a shame you’ll be missing Old Les…..thank goodness for Youtube.

  25. Diana says:

    A lovely song but felt it should have been done at a faster tempo. Another sad tale – poor girl.

  26. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey UK) says:

    Hey…..I still know the words….good to be reminded of the old songs

  27. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Ha…….ref my ancient video above…….just discovered that I can get Youtube on my TV so better class of back ground for my singing efforts…must do some more before I pop me clogs

  28. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Well that old 2nd hip op has gone wrong after 9 years…. so listening with a fair degree of apprehension as to what happens next. No fun getting old is it!

  29. Well “The Constant Lovers” is a misnomer ~ yes sorry ~ check for example The Southern Harvest page 37 is a different song ~ always was er um


  30. “The Drowned Lover” ~ p38 The Wanton Seed ~ has this song!


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