Bonus track: Over The Hills And Far Away (Live at Pontardawe Arts Centre, 17th Feb 2011)
Another that Jon first learnt from Martin Carthy of which he says, “Popularised by John Tams in Sharpe, which I loved. But I heard this first from Carthy so it will always be Queen Anne for me.”
This has a rather curious double life and although Martin’s notes at Mainly Norfolk makes much of the resentment of leaving, I get more a sense of boldness and high spirits on the march. Perhaps the mentions of gentlemen add an odd class reference, suggesting the common soldier is ennobled by volunteering. In its other life this is better known as a children’s song and I note the historical role of Tom in mummer’s plays. The links at the foot of Reinhard’s page are worth a quick look, although be warned the first two play a tune at you without a way to turn it off. It’s a site I’d use more often to link to but for that, as there are often interesting twists and facts to be had. Still, you can turn the volume down or grin and bear it. There are some very interesting additions and variations on Mudcat too. Certainly Tam’s version has more of the longing for home, but there are also some extra verses to be had for this version, that reinforce that death or glory feel to the song, along with the clear merits of volunteering over being pressed.
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