Jon says, “I know this from Ian Giles and Dan Plews, but I’ve learnt Lucy’s version here. Lucy and Jonny were brilliant supporting Bellowhead on the November tour – they’re definitely going places, so do check them out.”
Simon adds – It’s of course Jonny Kearney & Lucy Farrell that Jon is referring to, who met at Newcastle Uni and have since been attracting considerable praise for their understated but lovely debut CD, The North Farm Session and it’s indeed Lucy, once more, singing with Jon on this lament. There has been some serious debate as to the songs origins and it is often credited as being from Nova Scotia, or as being a Canadian folk song. A broadside print, however, apparently dates this to 1820s and New York and things are further confused as a version also became a popular music hall number in North America in the 1880s. Both Scots and Irish origin have also been suggested, although no record exists before the revival in the 60s. In truth, the lovelorn sentiment is both fairly common and universal and floats through many songs, The Water Is Wide for example. Should you wish more detail, I’ve condensed the above from this Mudcat thread. I must say I like the pace of this, it makes it all the more heart rending.
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