You’ll probably know this from Matachin and Jon says, “We pinched this for a rather poppy Bellowhead number, from a very delicate banjo and voice version by Shirley Collins. I think it’s an American version.”
In fact it came from John Stokoe’s Songs And Ballads Of Northern England as you’ll see from the original notes on Mainly Norfolk. Shirley, June Tabor and Eliza have all done fairly similar versions of this and Bellowhead’s follows suit (alovely arrangement), so naturally does Jon’s. Ossian and Capercaillie have also recorded much longer versions of this, which explore the reasons for the rejections and subsequent regret. This Mudcat thread covers that and more and is interesting about the whole folk process with a section from ‘Borrowing In Celtic Music’ by Alan Moore offering particular insight. Right at the end someone points out thav this has the simple addition of ships to Cocks Are Crowing . We’ve also had the flying fish and melting rocks before, which seems to be a Biblical reference, if only I could remember where!!
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