Worcester City


Jon recalls, “Probably one of the most exciting phone calls I’ve ever had was from John Spiers saying that Eliza Carthy had been in touch and was asking if we’d like to play on her new album. This was one of three tracks we played on, and we ended up playing it quite a lot after joining her band, although we actually new it already from Graham Metcalfe’s rather magnificent pub version.”

I’m interested to note from the various sleeve notes at Mainly Norfolk that this is alternately known as Oxford City and any number of variants are of course possible. I guess that tales of murderous jealousy were all the rage, but then we probably know that don’t we. Mind you it is a good song and Eliza’s notes plus others that help to flesh out its history.



32 Responses to “Worcester City”

  1. Neil says:

    Worst. Spammer. Ever.

  2. SRD says:

    I think it’s a sauce that the spammers invade this place.

    Nice song by the way.

  3. Shelley says:

    Lovely version of song that has been on my to learn list for ages – I have Eliza’s “Worcester City” and Jim Causley’s “Oxford City” – wonder if I’m allowed to change it to Glouceste City to make it my own?

  4. Shelley says:

    (or even Gloucester)

  5. Reinhard says:

    Shelley, the liner notes on Unto Brigg Fair said: “This song is most commonly known by the alternative titles, Oxford City – The Cup of Poison or Jealousy though it appears on many broadsides under the title of In — Town, a device to allow for localisation.” So feel free to do your own Gloucester City.

  6. Espanyolgas says:

    Variations on names are great as long as it doesn’t end up as Bristol City!

  7. Simon Dewsbury says:

    I thought “0000FF” was a positive reaction to Jon’s singing.

    Wait until Jon puts out something with a name like ‘the lusty squire’ and then see what sort of spam we get. I supect we may have got close when discussing ‘his doldrums hanging down 18 inches or more’ a few months back.

  8. Reinhard says:

    Espanyolgas, Bristol City is already established as a variant of Roud 1087, The Jolly Sailor.

  9. Jane Ramsden says:

    I enjoyed this song, and esp the Mudcat notes with the extra allusion to ‘Creeping Jane!’ Ha ha!

    Perfidy to women is the order of the day, as I have been re-familiarising myself with Wilkie Collins’ ‘Woman in White’ with the marvellously complex criminal character of Count Fosco, also a poisoner, but also a concertine player of the ‘English’ not Italian concertina. Not quite the melodeon Jon used to record this song with Eliza McCarthy, but I found it interesting to learn that both Collins and Dickens may have played accordians, as per this web link below:


  10. Jane Ramsden says:

    Oops! Many apologies to Eliza Carthy for giving her a Big Mc! Hahahaha!

  11. Jane Ramsden says:

    Even through a small, crackly snatch of refrain on Amazon of Joseph Taylor singing ‘Creeping Jane,’ you can tell he had a lovely, clear & steady voice. Was amazed to find on another site that you can download quite a number of his tunes, including ‘Creeping Jane’ & ‘Worcester City’, to your phone as a ringtone!

  12. Jane Ramsden says:

    And I mean Collins and Dickens may have played concertinas, not accordians! My head is definitely lacking today! Sorry, Skyman, for messing up you comment counting!

  13. Jane Ramsden says:

    A wonderful song and rendition, Jon, and thanks also to Mainly Norfolk for posting the marvellous Eliza Carthy/Spiers & Boden video version. It really rocks and resonates!

    Now caught up with backlog of AFSAD songs (yet again!) Just call me Creeping Jane… hahahaha! And here’s Martin Carthy in fine voice singing the same:

  14. Diana says:

    You were right Reinhard – tomorrow is another day, and after yesterday here we are -and I really, really like this one – terrific!

    Jon sang it well as per usual.

  15. Diana says:

    Linda, I would have preferred the circle but son wanted to be in the stalls so that’s where we are.

    Just glad we were able to get tickets. Think our next jaunt is to see S and B again. Saw them in Leeds, nearly a year ago – it was the last night of their 10 years together tour and I got “The Works” a really great CD>

  16. Linda says:

    @Reinhard thank you for the prompt answer yesterday maybe it’s the Nic Jones one I am thinking of.
    @ Diana Bury Met by any chance?

  17. Diana says:

    Linda quite possibly as there was one supposed to be in Sheffield at the Cathedral which would have been interesting but there wasn’t any link for some reason. Th Bury one is in April.

  18. Linda says:

    @Diana try Cathedrals own site as it comes up on their events list and you can purchase tickets direct

  19. Diana says:

    @Linda, thanks for your suggestion. I am sure we will end up at one of the shows with a bit of luck.

  20. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    Ref Mailnly Norfolk lyrics…….I note that in the Nic Jones version the rascal doesn’t take the poison himself…not THAT much in love then!

  21. Diana says:

    No song today
    Something’s gone astray
    I’m feeling all forlorn
    And it’s cold this morn

  22. Diana says:

    Not here today then Muzza. I have finally caught up.

  23. Old Muzza(N.W surrey.UK) says:

    Hi Diana…………I have been waiting here a year for you to catch up and for us to proceed together on this voyage of discovery….now where the heck are you!

  24. Diana says:

    Here me dear! Have had a spot of trouble iwth the internet today so that is why I am so late.

    Still like this song.

  25. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    Well………….Diana, Jan,Jane, Linda,Shelley (alphabetical order)..Peter ,Phil Reinhard,….I can forgive ‘late’ but THIS IS TWO YEARS ‘LATER’…….I hope that you are all well

  26. Linda says:

    Hi Muzza Went to see Leveret last night at Bury Met. Their on at The Convent on Sunday night which you can watch via Netgig for £7.50…….and we’ve got snoooooow!!!!!!!!

  27. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    Hi Liny Lou……………..Netgig….far too techie for me !!! and I still have a zillion youtube vids to watch!……..
    Glad to see that you still visit AFSAD…………………we softy southerners look as though we might miss the snow yet again…Huzzah

  28. Linda says:

    See comment above….. Should have gone to see Leveret again at The Met on Friday but still having a few probs with the snow @Muzza did you get away with it this time or and I hate to mention it was it extra vests…..

  29. Linda says:

    Muzza both had our jabs.. hopefully light at the end of the tunnel and all our lovely musicians can get back to live music and be able to earn some money.

  30. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Strange how this works out…….Before the Pandemic I have only been in touch with my old morris friends via their mailing list.
    Since the Pandemic a year ago…..We all chat every Tuesday night for an hour or so on Zoom.
    Same with my family….now, we all chat once a week. rather than the occasional phone call.
    So…..I’m happy that the morris lads can get out dancing in about 6 months time but I will miss them.

  31. OldMuzza(NW Surrey UK)) says:

    I have to say this yet again….thanks to the 2020 Pandemic I have kept up the weekly zoom contact with all of my widespread family…akin to keeping in touch with AFSAD contributors through this lovely old site!

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