Jack Orion


Jon says, “I learnt this one from Bert Lloyd but the best version I’ve heard is Swarb and Carthy on the Carthy Chronicles. Mighty stuff.”

Martin is quick to credit Bert for this and the good work that he did rescuing it and similar ballads from obscurity. Mainly Norfolk offers the insight of their respective sleeve notes and it’s also interesting to see Bert claim to have “dusted it off a bit.” Given his reputation, that could mean all manner of intervention, but this works well, so it’s perhaps churlish to suggest any tampering. I’m also interested by Berts notes about the provenance of the name and the legendary character passing through history. I like Bert Jansch’s version too and may like a gander down this Mudcat thread for an expanded version with some verses added that he recorded with Pentangle. But it’s probably appropriate to hear the fiddle rather than guitar as the instrument on this. You may also like a quick contrast and compare with Glenkindie on Mudcat that I note is Child #67. I can’t help but feel that with the help of Spec Savers another tragedy could have been avoided, but you can’t help but marvel at the lusty progress of events.


16 Responses to “Jack Orion”

  1. Phil says:

    this works well, so it’s perhaps churlish to suggest any tampering

    On the contrary, it’s precisely the songs that work well to a modern ear that should come under the most suspicion of rewriting – compare Skewball before and after Bert. In this case he doesn’t seem to have done much more than Anglicised Glenkindie, though.

  2. Jan says:

    Rewritten or not, it’s a fine tale, and the fiddle accompaniment is most appropriate.

  3. Diana says:

    What an odd little tale. She must have been as blind as a bat not to note the difference between the two men. Nevertheless I thought the punishment of hanging the poor lad was a bit harsh to say the least – certainly not a case of the punishment fitting the crime. The tune was very cheerful though and cheerfully sung too.

  4. Linda says:

    Just read the expanded version on the link which ends with three deaths! Agree with you Diana cheerfully sung. Where is everybody today? To much Guiness and Bushmills last nite perhaps!

  5. Diana says:

    Hi Linda it certainly was cheerfully sung for a not very cheerful story. It is mostly quiet at weekends I have discovered but I usually give my opinion wanted or not. Glad to hear from you though. 🙂

  6. Diana says:

    Still a miserable tale set to cheerful music.

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


  8. Diana says:

    Ah you remembered then Muzza. Well done.


  9. Diana says:

    Ah you remembered then Muzza. Well done.


  10. Linda says:

    After that fiddling take a look at Sam Sweeney’s Made in the Great War. Fingers crossed I’ve got tickets

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

    ;-)……………you’ve lost it Diana

  12. Diana says:

    Yep Muzza. Try again. :-p

  13. Diana says:

    Works elsewhere but not on here.

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

    :-P………….if this doesn’t work……..I can’t remember how to do it after all this time (bring up a smiley that is!)

  15. Linda says:

    Hi Muzza part of the crew is back hope you had a good night last night. Nicely sung Jon a super version of this on Fay Hield.s CD Old Adam……..

  16. Old Muzza (NW Surrey UK) says:

    :lOl:……..if that doesn’t produce a smiley…then I’ve lost the knack as pointed out by Dainer Bless her

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