Rolling Down To Rio


The Kipling and Bellamy combination again and Jon says, “Kipling does do wonderment very well. This tune is somewhat upstaged by Bellamy’s On Board A 98, but it’s powerful nonetheless.”

From the Just So Stories. I can still remember my mum reading them to me, although it’s more of an mental picture rather than the actual stories that I recall. I guess they had fallen well and truly out of fashion by the time I was reading to my own kids. We read to them constantly, but there seemed to be a never ending supply of new books that usurped the classics, until I set about Lord Of The Rings, determined to read it to my son before we went to see the films. I just made it, finishing on the morning of the last weekend the first film was showing in our local. Anyway I digress (as usual.) This is brief and lacking the intrigue of Kipling’s more substantial poems, including the above mentioned 98, but the rhyming scheme raised a chuckle. Mainly Norfolk covers Bellamy as usual, but I doubt this has much of a life beyond Peter and Jon.
You can buy the February digital album now from all good download stores.


20 Responses to “Rolling Down To Rio”

  1. judith says:

    The poem was set to a fun tune by Edward German in the ’20’s for ‘ladies choir’.
    The Armadillo has great fun dillowing in his armour.

  2. Jane Ramsden says:

    I’d love to roll to Rio someday before I’m old, and hit that high note as well! Very boldly sung, Jon!

    Any reading is good, Skyman. I could not get through the whole of Lord of the Rings missen, so well done. I have met Tolkien’s grandson a couple of times tho, as Redbeck Press published some of his poetry. I think he mentioned his grandfather reading LotRs to him as a child.

    And finally, I’m up to date with all AFSAD songs since the great pc crash. Yeh!!!

  3. Jan says:

    Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman do this and another Kipling/Bellamy song, Follow me ‘Ome, on their Bonnet & Shawl CD.

    I enjoyed the digression into reading to children – it’s a strong tradition in our family.

  4. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    I don’t suppose my song that starts…..
    “I’ve never been to Watford” stands much chance of success.
    Ok….back to the drawing board.

  5. Diana says:

    Muzza with John sharing his reminiscences I have taken a trip down Memory Lane. I stayed with a friend in Staines and remember going to Runnymede to see where the Magna Carta was signed all those years ago. That’s your neck of the woods isn’t it?

    Liked the song but not as much substance as some of Rudyards other works.

  6. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Watford, Staines, Runnymede, names that are not exactly gifts to song writers. I cant imagine anyone making a fortune out of leaving their heart in Tunbridge Wells. (That should get a few irate replies !)
    Yes, I was read to through early childhood, and we used to read to our son. I remember Treasure Island being his favourite, because when he went to stay with his granddad, HE would read it with “All the right voices”. It is so important for children, and I do hope it still continues, but in a society that closes libraries I am not very optimistic.
    Could it be that a love of story telling in early life leads to a love of Folk Music in later life ? Discuss !

  7. Diana says:

    How about Oldham John – that’s even less exotic that the names you mentioned. Rio does have the edge. I agree about the reading to children, it does instil a love of literature in them I have found. I used to read under the bedclothes with the aid of a torch – naughty child that I must have been. My love of reading hasn’t altered over the years and I am afraid that all my book shelves are groaning with the weight of the many books they have to support. Amazon have a lot to answer for as I purchase a lot of books from them – mostly my favourite authors but I do use the library extensively as well.

  8. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    Shame that Jon didn’t collect at the Folk awards…but I note that he has a nice little earner on the go as the helmeted policeman in the “Proactive Butter” advert….bringing all those toffs in line at the country house.

  9. Gozzer says:

    This is a great little song which I got from Dave Webber & Anni Fentiman. I sing it regularly and someone else locally has taken to singing it as well. We both get barracked about the “some day before I’m old” because we are now both of slightly more advanced years, but it is all light hearted. I think this song will remain in the tradition because it captures a certain feeling we all may have a some time.

  10. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    @Gozzer/Muzza..phew a lotta ZZZZZZZZ s…….so Gozza….when you going to do a version and put it on Youtube!

  11. Gozzer says:

    Not my thing Muzza. If you are down in Devon and come to the Union Inn at Denbury on a Thursday night you could ask me to do it, or if you see me out With Grimspound Border Morris!

  12. Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    And here is old Gozza in person… everybody black looks and lookin’ pretty good on that diet of pork scratchings and pickled onions. I Haven’t made it to Denbury yet.

  13. Phil says:

    You can hear my Rio, and my take on a few other Kipling/Bellamys, here:

    52 Folk Songs – Orange (the Kipling album)

    What with Jon’s duet, Bellamy’s Anglo and my English, this song’s been recorded with all the main concertina systems. Versions with chemnitzer, bandoneon, flutina etc are awaited!

    PS I cheated on the high note. (If I was doing it now I’d go down to a key where I could hit the note and start again, but the concertina was quite new to me at the time & the thought of learning three more chords was far too daunting!)

  14. Diana says:

    Hi Muzza when you get to Denbury you can tell them I have been to Grimspound on Dartmoor and found it interesting.

  15. Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Phil……whoah.the Kraken wakes…thought something was amiss with you young Phil as no comments for a while!……..
    Ref Rio……..I’ve missed my chance… too old to go rollin’ down to anywhere!
    @Diana……..Grimspound-what were you in for?
    My case comes up next week..charged with ‘murdering folk songs!

  16. Mark says:

    The Young’uns do a nice version of this on the ‘When Our Grandfathers Said No’ album…

  17. Diana says:

    Gosh Muzza you seem to be always up before the beak. Any flashing blue lights in view?

  18. David says:

    This was my school song, brilliant when shouted out by a few hundred boys.

    Would make a great song as an introduction to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

  19. Jane Ramsden says:

    Wonderfully sung by Jon, this song tune was written by Edward German in 1903 (1862-1936, born Edward German Jones in Whitchurch, the son of an organist and choirmaster) who said:

    “Let them (the British musical public) have muck. It’s all they care for.”

    “Muck”, according to Edward German, is light music. “Muck” or not, German produced a number of light music masterpieces. Elgar said to him that he admired his music, so one can be reasonably certain that it was to the light side of his output that Elgar was alluding.

    Here’s the Wiki-link about the Just So Songs, which indicates that ‘Rolling Down To Rio’ is probably the most popular:

    And here’s a link I may have posted elsewhere on here about musical settings to Kipling’s poems collated by Brian Mattinson:

    Lots of Bellamy mentions, but also Percy Grainger, amongst many others, even Billy Bragg!

  20. Diana says:

    A lovely song sung well by Jon.

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