Banks of Green Willow

2014
07.10

Another song that Jon picked up from Martin Carthy and as he says, “You can either read this as a warning against blind superstition, or as an instructional model for how to deal with a faerie infestation.” It seems that the song possibly alludes to a superstition that the presence of a wrong doer on a ship will bring disaster, although what the poor unfortunate lady who is thrown overboard has done is debatable. Still, as always, there are plenty of thoughts at Mudcat. This seems to come from a particulary period of Martin Cathy’s recordings and is to be found on Shearwater again from 1972.

 

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9 Responses to “Banks of Green Willow”

  1. Sarah says:

    beautiful.

  2. Linda Champ says:

    This version of the tune is very like, if not the one, collected by Gardiner in Hampshire from David Clements of Basingstoke, 1906

  3. Jane Ramsden says:

    Well, what can I say? Except we would say in Yorkshire, ‘She picked a wrong ‘un, there.’ More swine than swain. Yup, that’s miserable enough for me!

  4. Nick Hallam says:

    More about Banks of the Green Willow from the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

    There are 68 records of The Banks of Green Willow in the Library having been collected at various times by Sharp, Butterworth, Hammond and Gardiner

    http://tinyurl.com/greenwillows1

    When searched on Roud No. this rises to 90 with versions form Scotland, Bonnie Annie, and Northern Ireland

    http://tinyurl.com/greenwillows2

    If you wish to see more detail on each record, change the ‘output’ to ‘record’ and press ‘submit query’.

    There are 7 records of the song in the Take 6 Archive collected by George Butterworth and Henry Hammond, the earliest one being collected from Mrs Gulliver in May 1905 in Combe Florey Somerset.

    To find these go to http://library.efdss.org/archives/cgi-bin/search.cgi enter the name of the song into the first empty field, select ‘Title’ from the drop down menu ‘all fields’ and press ‘submit search.

    We use the Roud index and the Take 6 online collections in the search for information on Jon’s selections.

    For more information, or to carry out your own search for songs, please visit http://www.efdss.org/front/access-the-library-online/access-the-library-online/115

    If you need any help accessing the library online or have any questions, please contact the VWML on 020 7485 2206 or library@efdss.org.

  5. Mzz.Beee says:

    Hi, lovely song – and I’m glad to hear more of unaccompanied Jon too. Unsure what the ‘faerie infestation’ notion cited is about though? I should let you know that your link isn’t working, so I’m off to Mudcat now to find the thread discussing it 🙂

  6. SRD says:

    I’m surprised that there are so few comments here, especially second time round, as you don’t get much more traditional than this. Beautifully done.

  7. Diana says:

    A bit too depressing for me I am sorry to say.

  8. Linda says:

    Haunting. A very short comment, deserves better, beautifully sung.

  9. Linda says:

    Ditto

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