Jon admits, “I finally got around to learning this properly for the Nic Jones gig at Sidmouth. It was pretty scary performing this (on guitar) with Nic Jones sitting behind me and Martin Simpson to my left. I think I just about got away with it though. I have a real soft spot for songs about Napoleon.” If you missed said gig or know nothing of it, remarkably it made the main news section of The Guardian and you can link to that story here. I also found this Mudcat thread rewarding and it seems to suggest Nic at least wrote the tune for this and possibly built up the words from a fragment. He certainly seems to be the accredited source for all subsequent versions. Another little diversion can be taken, as the thread indicates Jones’ first recording was made for an album given away to subscribers of a magazine that seems to have been called Folk Review (rather than Folk Routes as the thread suggests.) You’ll see more about that recording with a link through to information about the LP on Mainly Norfolk. Folk feview was, however, was the magazine that Ian A. Anderson eventually took over and re-launched as Southern Rag, which then became Folk Roots and is now of course fRoots. That magazine was originally edited by Fred woods and the album featuring Nic’s recording was compiled by him, you can read his obituary here. There’s also some stuff on the fRoots website about the publishing history wrapped up with Ian’s musical story, which also makes interesting reading. I’d also agree that there are some cracking Napoleonic songs and this is certainly one of them.
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