Although I’m struggling to imagine let alone explain the circumstances, I cannot doubt Jon’s sincerity when he says, “One of the proudest moments of my career to date was singing this song unaccompanied and unamplified at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London whilst sporting a purple beehive wig and no shirt.” A sight to behold no doubt, especially given the somewhat salacious content of this bawdy ballad. This mainly Norfolk entry gives you an idea of the recordings made, and of those Jon again refers to Peter Bellamy as his source, as does Martin Carthy. Both Sides Then is starting to look like a worthwhile CD purchase for those wishing to explore the singer’s art further, although I’m sure many of you out there will have it already. This wasn’t on the original LP but is on the CD and I’m almost sure it won’t be the last time we’ll reference it. The Mainly Norfolk link is especially appropriate as English variants of this song seems to have been found exclusively in that region. As you’d expect, there’s some Mudcat stuff debating the Australian/English provenance. It rests on whether the river banks should be those of the Hawkesbury, just North West of Sydney, or Oxborough (Oxberry)as in Oxborough Hall on the banks of the River Gadder near Kings Lynn. The lyrics would seem to point to the former, with the reference to “the forests of native Australia.” The latter is perhaps the Anglicisation of it, possibly due to the Eastern sea ports connection with the transports and the through flow of both the sailors and those returning having served their sentence. Any further evidence will be appreciated.
The buy links should now work properly. We had some problems with a duplicate track and everything needed to be updated, but I’ve just tested them and they are now OK!
You can buy the digital album now from the following stores: