Courting Too Slow


One from Burlesque and also Bellow to compare and contrast and Jon says, “A gem of a broadside dug up by Bellamy from God knows where. Paul Adams from Fellside gave me a load of Bellamy stuff on cassette and I remember when this came on I had to stop the car and listen to it on repeat for half an hour.” Mainly Norfolk suggests that once again Bellamy got hold of the lyrics without a tune, so he composed this one. It’s in the (Sir Frederick) Madden Collection, Cambridge according to Paul Sartin on the Burlesque CD notes. I found an introduction to said online that starts…

“Before the creation of newspapers, broadside ballads–also known as slip songs–were the public’s chief source of information about current events. Madden Ballads presents 18th and 19th century songs and ballads from the holdings of Cambridge University Library in the United Kingdom. The ballads were purchased by the common man from street singers, print shops and vendors throughout the country. Madden Ballads preserves this important primary source material. It traces the evolution of the broadside ballad from a simple printed sheet in the standard “old face” Caslon type to a large sheet containing several ballads in a decorative layout using fancy type, flowers and rules. Themes explored include romance, social satire, sporting events, crime, history and politics.”

I can’t remember whether I’ve already posted this Wiki link or not and this is where that glossary I keep threatening would come in useful (hours in the day, etc). Here’s another Wiki page that helps build the print story for you all. Anyway, you can also read more at Mudcat about the song, its possible Scottish origins (the word blate rather than straight, etc) and its similarity to Old Smokey. I quite like the irreverent suggestion this is off the problem pages of GQ. I’m sure we all have some incidence of being blate in our lives. You’ll tell me I’m wrong and it’s only me next…

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


13 Responses to “Courting Too Slow”

  1. This one seems to be connected to ‘Courting is a Pleasure’, too.

  2. muzza says:

    Damn happened to me back in the 5os! There I was..aged 16……the perfect gentleman for two months and then a 19yr old merchant navy bloke shimmied up and -bish-bash-bosh….that was that……..she was snatched from under me nose. If only I’d been into folk song then………I’d have heeded this advice.

  3. Jim Beestone says:

    Similar story to Muzza; took me 18 months to get my act together!

    Happily, my girlfriend doesn’t know any sailors, or who knows?!

    Brilliantly sung, as ever, stumbled upon this blog a month or so ago, bought both June and August and have followed it religiously. As an aspiring teenage folkie, it’s great to hear so many trad songs in one place! I’ve formed a folk group among my mates at Uni, and are plucking up the courage to head down to the Half Moon one of these days and tentatively ask if we can have a go!

    Keep up the good work!


  4. Rosie says:

    Just to say how I am enjoying this music . Lovely selection of songs , with some real surprises. Always enjoy the accompanied ones most though.
    (Hope the folk police dont get me!)

  5. Rosie says:

    Lovely songs. Especially enjoy the concertina.

  6. Jane Ramsden says:

    Wonderfully well-sung Jon, except I’d be tempted to give it a bit more bite and pace. Faint heart never won fair lady – you need a bit more attack! Hahahahaha!

  7. muzza says:

    Ref my comment about 19yr old Merchant seaman……..would you believe that I bumped into him 16th October 2010….first time for 54 yrs…he didn’t marry her!
    Spooky or WHAT!

  8. Diana says:

    Nice but a sign of older times – it would not happen today I am sure.

    @Linda have replied under your comment of yesterday.

    On yer bike Muzza! Liked the picture Jane sent.

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

    Cor Blimey Guvnor………re reading all these comments bringing back sad memories of my failings in the past……….
    Ref comment No3 above:-I wonder if young Jim Beestone got that folk group going?
    Here I am talking to meself again (as I have done for the last few days)…talk about Billy No mates !!!!!
    Hey you performers out there……don’t forget to put in your entry for Islington Folk Club ‘Trad2Mad 2014’ competition…..entries have to be posted by 31 October

  10. ;inda says:

    Was wondering the same Muzza…. If your still visiting AFSAD Jim let us know…

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

    Having a peek a day early again as not around tomorrow……oh those memories…
    hey only a couple more weeks(Oct 31 is closing date) to get my entry in for the Islington Trad2mad unaccompanied folk competition…see their web site.

  12. Linda says:

    Hey you’ve got to be quick to beat a sailor……

  13. old Muzza (NW Surrey) says:

    Hey there Lindy Lou….that bally sailor thing still miffs me all these years later.
    Oh…I see they have named a hurricane after me….and true to its namesake…causing destruction and mayhem!

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