Mary Ann


Jon hails this as “From the Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs. I particularly like the recipe for gin and tonic, folk style.” We’re sticking in a nautical vein for this one, although it’s rather sorrowful compared with the gusto of the recent shanty and forebitter. Simple and very nicely done and I can’t add much extra here, except to say if you wish to Mudcat, then start here as this post gives Jon’s version and you can explore at will from there. Should anyone have more to offer please add here.



23 Responses to “Mary Ann”

  1. Hilary says:

    Nothing clever to say – only that this has been a favourite of mine from the very first time I heard it on ‘Vagabond’. It is so simple and touching. Thank you for a lovely performance. (Must get around to trying a spoonful of suger in my G&T.)

  2. geoff says:

    please can anyone confirm that this song was once in Joan Baez’ very early (Club 47) repertoire ?

  3. Terry McDonald says:

    I’d listened to it on Vagabond two or three times before I realised I already knew it – I’m pretty certain I learnt it in the 1960s from the singing of the Canadian duo Ian (Tyson) and Sylvia. They sometimes appeared on the the Tonight programme as alternatives to Robin Hall and Jimmy MacGregor.

  4. Tobysails says:

    Gin from Hogarth’s day onwards was frequently drunk with sugar. I suspect that the juniper taste was stronger then. Tonic is a much later addition.
    In the late 50’s if I was looking for a room to rent, I would search out a cockney landlady called Mrs Wong. She knew every landlady in Central London and for a large gin to which she added a tiny amount of water and sugar, would divulge the locations.
    She once told me that she had heard of a lovely flat near Regent’s Park but hadn’t got the details since she never went north of Oxford St.
    “I couldn’t leave London dear” She said.

  5. Phil says:

    Never heard – or heard of – this one before. Good stuff, and I love the control & precision of Jon’s singing here.

  6. Shelley says:

    I’ve sung this in a choral arrangement and being a second alto didn’t get the tune! Choral arrangements of folk songs don’t always work but that one did.

    A lovely rendition, and now I can learn the tune properly!

  7. Jan says:

    Marianne Faithfull had a hit with this way back in the sixties (showing my age here) – but I like Jon’s version better!

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    Lovely, Jon. You can certainly deliver this sort of song too! Relaxed, yet strong voice control and precision, as Phil says above.

  9. Jane Ramsden says:

    Still lovely, and this song will just run into tomorrow, which is my birthday, so reckon a G&T will be in order! Might try a little sugar in it!

  10. Diana says:

    First time I have heard this song – it’s rather sad.

    Happy birthday Jane enjoy your G&T.

  11. Simon says:

    I was curious so dug this out. It’s actually rather good and the young Marianne has an affecting warble going on. I couldn’t find any actual live footage of this song, so the montage of pictures is either an irritant or a welcome distraction depending on your point of view. I’m not quite sure why I chose that amongst all of this, but as I said was curious and then surprisingly impressed.

    Anyway down to the real business HAPPY BIRTHDAY JANE. Have one for me and I’ll raise a toast to you.

  12. Jan says:

    I’m glad you did that, Simon. Personally, I like Marianne’s voice as it was then better than as it is now, and it’s a pretty accompaniment.

    Happy Birthday, Jane! from me too.

  13. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Happy Birthday Jane and I hope you have a good one. A bit late this, but I guess you will get it, as you seem to be a night owl.
    And what a beautiful song to have played for your birthday; totally new to me and having only listened twice it seems to have a difficult tune to hold, not that Jon has any problem.
    Sweet and gentle lyrics too, this chap is really serious about her.

  14. Linda says:

    @Diana See message yesterday .

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

    @Simon……….Admin Simon’s link (4 comments above) now broken and replaced by ‘live’ link below…….for Marianne’s version.(I suppose that’s why she sang it)
    Lobsters and Gin………so that’s the secret to get a woman’s affection…
    If only I had known……………… all those wasted years of flowers and chocolates!

  16. Diana says:

    Linda replied yesterday in case you were not here today.

    Song still strikes me as sad!

    Muzza I prefer flowers and chocs!

  17. Jane Ramsden says:

    Forget the flowers… bring double chocs! Hahahahahahahahahaha!

  18. Linda says:

    Two years on, saw Bellowhead at Sheffield last night BRILLIANT!!!!!!!!

  19. Jane Ramsden says:

    T’will be Happy Birthday me when this rolls round!

    So I have been gifted the latest musical offering from my friend Karl Robins, formerly of Blackwing and now of Dancing With Ghosts. The album is called Re.Trad and is available as a download for a more than reasonable price of £3 from their website here:

    Twelve great value tracks of traditional folky favourites! (Concluding with The Snows They Melt The Soonest, which also appears in a different guise for my Remembrance Day post under the next song on here, If You Want To See The General.)

    Take time to check out the band’s other projects as well, like Spirit of Beblow and Patterns.

    The band can also be found on Facebook:

  20. Jane Ramsden says:

    (Addendum: Actually, the next song on here for 11th Nov is A Chat With Your Mother, but I thought it was more appropriate to post my Remembrance offering under something less F-this and F-that! Lol.)

  21. Old Muzza(NW Surrey.UK says:

    Jane’s Birthday is 10th folks…………she’s had 3 days of plaudits!

  22. Jane (Maryland, US) says:

    Neither link to Marianne Faithfull (Simon’s from 2011 and Muzza’s from 2012) works at this point, but I found two versions by her on YouTube, both with the “warble” mentioned by Simon.

    Jon’s version is lovely!

  23. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Hey there Jane (Maryland)……..thanks for rediscovering the links.
    I have to confess that Ihat I had a bit of a crush on the young Marianne Faithful so Jon’s version is at a distinct disadvantage

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