I’ll Go With Him Wherever He Goes


This is actually called Do You Love An Apple? on the Bothy Band’s 1975 debut, and Jon says, “From the brilliant Bothy Band. I was more of a Planxty fan but I did play The Best of the Bothy Band to death for a year or so.” Planxty were first and had the bigger names in Christy Moore and Paul Brady, but the Bothy band were arguably their equal and this is well sung by Triona Ni Dhomhnaill on that debut and does indeed appear again on the Greatest Hits collection. It’s also known as Do I Still Love Him? You can Mudcat more here. There’s a certain insouciant charm that butts against the weariness of the repeat victim scenario. I guess the course of love rarely runs smoothly, which might make me an incurable romantic or hopelessly none PC.



17 Responses to “I’ll Go With Him Wherever He Goes”

  1. muzza says:

    A fine version, just the right pathos…lovely little tune. On the first run through I thought the lady a victim…..but now feel they are scraping a living together..at least he’s not workshy..if only he would ditch the beer and fags and buy the lady a dress.

  2. SRD says:

    Why can’t she get on her bike, get a job herself and buy her own dress?

  3. Ellie May says:

    She can’t afford childcare and the jobs within school time are few and far between!

  4. Simon Dewsbury says:

    My PC’s been at the doctor’s for a week and this was what I went to first of all – andvery well worth it. Yet another wonderful song I hadn’t heard before, and superbly sung.

  5. Jane Ramsden says:

    Lovely fiddle, beautifully sung, touching song about the pros and cons’ realities of a paired life. Still a bit of love and romance in there though, so I could vote for this one!

    And thanks for the fabulous entertainment at St George’s Hall in Bradford last night, Jon. You all played a blinder! I was in the left-hand balcony, but I could see the ‘medieval mosh-pit’ below did not let you down! Thanks also for coming out at the end after an enormously energetic and physical performance (even better than the first time I saw you!) – you’ll never get fat doing that! – and for signing my CDs. Pleasure to meet you.

    A few words about the young duo you had supporting you, Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell. I think they have got something unique going there and am looking forward to listening to the 6-track CD of theirs I bought called The North Farm Sessions. Jonny’s support and Lucy’s fiddle more than made up for the cold affecting her voice. I particularly liked Jonny’s song, Benjamin Brown. That’s not on YouTube, but in keeping with today’s theme here’s a restful Sunday ‘Song For A Sweetheart’:


    Remembrance Sunday today and listened to a few tunes on this morning’s R4, so many being traditional songs like Flowers of the Forest, sung originally for those fallen on the Western Front, and now for those in Afghanistan. I think John Tams singing ‘Love Farewell’ bears a reminder mention from my AFSAD post on 11th Nov:


    And the link to his website below, which gives details on how to obtain this song on CD, being sold to raise money for the Help The Heroes charity ~


  6. Dave Rogers says:

    Wasn’t Flowers of the Forest written in 1756 in memory of the fallen at the Battle of Flodden (1513)?

  7. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Dave. I dunno, as not that knowledgeable (but do take your word for it) – which is why I wrote ‘sung’, not ‘written’in the context of the two World Wars, ‘cos I suspected it was older than the Western Front. Well, perhaps not older than the Front itself, but you know what I mean! They did not mention the Battle of Flodden in the Remembrance Sunday service on R4! Certainly, that is some remembrance – if someone writes a song in 1756 about Flodden in 1513….

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    HISTORY OF Flowers of the Forest is that it is an ancient Scottish folk tune. Although the original words are unknown, the melody was recorded in c. 1615-25 in the John Skene of Halyards Manuscript as “Flowres of the Forrest,” though it may have been composed earlier. Several versions of words have been added to the tune, notably Jean Elliot’s lyrics in 1756.

    Jean Elliot (b. 1727), aided in part by popular poetry selections, framed the tune in 1756 as a lament to the deaths of James IV, many of his nobles, and over 10,000 men – the titular “Flowers of the Forest” – at the Battle of Flodden Field in northern England in 1513, a significant event in the history of Scotland.

    She published it anonymously and it was at the time thought to be an ancient surviving ballad. However, Burns suspected it was an imitation, and together with Ramsay and Sir Walter Scott eventually discovered its author.

    The song, written in Scots, is also known as The Floo’ers o’ the Forest (are a’ wede away) and describes the grief of women and children at the loss of their young men. In some ways the song echoes the poem Y Gododdin about a similar defeat in about 600.

    Powerful solo bagpipe versions of the song are used at services of remembrance, funerals, and other occasions; many in the Commonwealth know the tune simply as “The Lament” which is played at Remembrance Day or Remembrance Sunday ceremonies to commemorate war dead.

    In 1765 the wit and socialite Alison Cockburn published her lyrics to the Flowers of the Forest beginning “I’ve seen the smiling of Fortune beguiling” said to have been written before her marriage in 1731. It concerns a financial crisis that had ruined the fortunes of a number of the Selkirk Lairds. Later biographers, however, think it probable that it was written on the departure to London of a certain John Aikman, with whom Alison appears to have had an early attachment.

  9. Jane Ramsden says:

    MODERN USAGE of Flowers of the Forest:
    Both the above-mentioned versions of the song are part of the traditional music at Selkirk Common Riding, which in part commemorates the loss at Flodden. Jean Elliot’s version is known in the town as “The Liltin” and is played after the Casting of the Colours ceremony. Alison Cockburn’s version is played as a march by the town band, but is also the version more often sung; it is the version known in Selkirk as “The Flo’ers o’ the Forest.”

    The song is heavily referenced in the novel Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.

    It is the official lament of the Canadian Forces, played to honour fallen soldiers.

    The English folk-rock band Fairport Convention covered the song on their 1970 album Full House.

    The song was played by a lone piper at the funeral of singer songwriter Sandy Denny.

    Scottish tenor Kenneth McKellar recorded a version of the song.

    Scots/Australian singer-songwriter Eric Bogle refers to “Flowers of the Forest” in his song “No Man’s Land,” in which he muses over the grave of a World War I soldier, and wonders whether “Flowers of the Forest” was played at the soldier’s burial.

    Michael Nyman sped up and re-edited the song as part of the score of The Piano.

    English musician Mike Oldfield covered the song on his 1996 album, Voyager.

    The track ‘Flowers of the Town’ by the English folk band The Unthanks is based on this song, but it laments the loss of young men in the First World War.

    In the short story “Flowers” by Robin Jenkins, teacher Miss Laing calls the soldiers flowers – a reference to the song.

    It is standard practice in the British military to use this tune to mark the death of a soldier in Afghanistan during the official memorial service.

  10. Cherry says:

    Janet Russell and Christine kyd(d?) do a lovely version of this as a duet, fab harmonies.

  11. Diana says:

    That’s true love for you.

  12. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Absolutely Diana ! What a beautiful song beautifully sung.
    I think there are an awful lot of us ‘Incurable Romantics’ who are into this site for our daily fix, and thank goodness for it . It’s a hard old world out there !!

  13. Diana says:

    I agree John, I think it’s the older generation (us) who are the “Incurable Romantics”. I look forward to my daily fix too and it certainly brightens up my day.

  14. Reinhard says:

    I’ll Go With Jon Wherever He Goes is a bit exaggerated, but I just bought a ticket for the Bellowhead gig on January 30 right here in Hamburg. Looking forward to it!

  15. Diana says:

    Lucky you Reinhard, you will have a great evening – they are wonderful entertainers.

  16. Diana says:

    Could not raise AFSAD when this was played so review is later than usual. Still as good as I recall and well sung as usual.

  17. This popular song does not appear in any collections until after World war II and in this form it is unlikely to be any older than World War I. Two versions, one from London and one from Boston, Lincs, were claimed by the singers to have been learnt from a grandfather and a father respectively, both with east coast maritime connections. Many versions, probably the earliest, certainly have connection with the fishing industry, most having been collected in sea-ports particularly on the English east coast, although it also turns up in Sussex and Liverpool in truncated versions. ~ from Steve Gardham ~provenance and sung by Steve’s mum on Yorkshire Garland ~ more info on the YG website btw

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