Jon calls this “A great song by Roger Wilson. Dan Plews has made this very much his own and it is something of an anthem in the Oxford session scene.”

Although Roger’s is a new name to me, I see he was a member of The House Band between 93-98 and has also played with Chris Wood and Martin Carthy. He’s obviously a writer, but hasn’t been exactly prolific with his own releases in a career of some 25 years. He has a brief entry on Wiki, but apart from that there’s little to add to the story of this fine song. I instinctively thought it American on first listening, which just goes to show how wrong you can be, but I love the detail in the song. Excellent stuff.



21 Responses to “Payday”

  1. Annie Dunn says:

    I love this song – as you say Dan has really made it his own. I also have fond memories of a Belgian band called Snakes In Exile singing it – they were regulars at the Cambridge Folk Festival around 10 years ago.

  2. John Evans says:

    A great songwriter! However. not sure about Jon’s unaccompanied version of this. Doesn’t work for me. Made me dig out Ultrasound though on the fantastic album by Wood-Wilson-Carthy……. well worth a listen! Yesterdays contribution, Lord Bateman, is also on that album sung by Chris Wood. Keep up the excellent work Jon, nearly there now…..

  3. ian croft says:

    Roger is from Leicester, a contemporary of Pete Morton’s. They even played in a band together for a while. Recently, Roger did a long stint as the Songman in War Horse in the west end. Always worth seeing – a fantastic singer, guitarist and fiddler.

  4. Lizabee says:

    Love this song, (thou the was a time I tried not to) but I too prefer the more rhythmic driving pace of Dans version, here’s an example on YouTube, enjoy.

  5. Simon says:

    Annie Snakes In Exile was one of the only links that came up when searching this and not knowing much about then I didn’t introduce them. Are they still going?

  6. Mike New says:

    Any lyrics available Jon?

  7. Jane Ramsden says:

    Well-sung, Jon, but I think the song works best with faster pace and accompaniment, so thank you, Lizabee, for the YouTube link.

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    For those who want the lyrics and the man himself singing his own song, both accompanied and at a faster pace, here is a link to Reynard’s as usual comprehensive site:

    Still works best for me with that driving verve, but I do understand Jon likes to put his own stamp on a song, and his voice suits this one very well.

  9. Peter Walsh says:

    Re Snakes In Exile, Simon, their official website seems to have been last updated Nov 2006, giving details of a 2007 tour which may or may not have taken place; anybody know out there… Jane…

  10. Muzza(N.W.Surrey. UK) says:

    @Lizabee@Jane……A very sad song that you feel the singer plummets back to reality the day after a hedonistic night. He has nothing put by for daily life.
    Thank you ladies for the links….despite the desperate words, the driving rhythm and musicianship in both clips, lifts the song.
    Ref the Roger Wilson clip………how I’d like to bash the neanderthal that wanders across the camera……I’ve had people walk in front of me and it can be soul destroying until you toughen up.

  11. Diana says:

    I too prefer the faster arrangement with guitar.But agree with you Muzza not a particularly happy song.

  12. Linda says:

    Would have been here sooner but have just listened to Mike Harding, checked emails got Bellowhead April newsletter, brill. Lovely photo of Jon with a lemon pud!
    Have looked at all the links to this song and think I need to listen to it a few more times it.s not working for me at the moment.
    @Diana if I miss you tomorrow have a good time on Friday!!!!!

  13. Diana says:

    Thanks Linda, really looking forward to it. I also got the Bellowhead newsletter it was very interesting and with lots of food everywhere they certainly didn’t starve did they?

  14. Jan says:

    Thanks for the links – after listening, I also prefer the accompanied, faster-paced versions, but then if it wasn’t for Jon I perhaps would never have come across the song at all.

    Thanks also to Jane, diligent as ever, for returning to Brave Wolfe to put up not one but two alternative sets of words, both interesting in different ways.

  15. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Jan. You’re welcome. I think there are other versions… not surpriSINGly!

    @ Pierre: Snakes in Exile website has been updated more recently than Nov 2006. Think that’s just the English translation version, as says Sept 2011 on their own lingo site. Must still be going strong. Here’s a YouTube link to their lively performance of ‘Fiddler’s Tale’ from 17 April 2010, but beware flashing light effects!


  16. Peter Walsh says:

    Thankee Janie; I knew I could rely on you!

  17. Diana says:

    Jane you are a veritable encylopaedia!

  18. John Robinson says:

    Roger Wilson was very visible on the Leicestershire folk scene in the late 80s and early 90s. He was a very exciting and explosive guitarist, and I sometimes heard him on the (now defunct) Folkwaves radio programme, broadcast from Humberside. I managed to get him some airtime by requesting his music, and he would appear on the bill at Beverley Folk Festival. Then he kind of vanished, and I have no idea if he’s still performing.

  19. dan plews says:

    So, here’s the song’s family tree, or at least my part in it:
    I heard it at Eliza’s house in Whitby on his ‘naked’ album (I think) in 1995. We were rehearsing for gigs as Kings of Calicutt, and recording Eliza’s album, in the early Summer and September, respectively, I think.
    Saul and I formed Dansaul that Summer, and the song was in our repertoire as far as I remember from the beginning, I having played it with Guy Fletcher. Saul had a tune by Richard Reader and I put it together with Payday and another tune, and they’re on ‘Foot and Mouth’. My friends Ian and Liam Harvey were playing as ‘Them Harvey Boys’ and ‘the Harv’s’ in Suffolk (still are) and they adopted it, as did my friend Simon Nicholls from Rugby. Guy was guesting with the Snakes, they heard it on the album and soon adopted it themselves. If I had to pick a song that has singlehandedly sold the most copies of the cd ‘foot and mouth’ it would be this one – Roger did a good job. Any clarifications and corrections welcome!

  20. Roger Wilson says:

    I’m still here!! The song is from the point of view of someone on their way to a rave. It’s a celebration of collective defiance of certain sections of the Criminal Justice and Public Order act of 1994. Thanks for including it Jon, even though it’s not a folk song!! ?

  21. Stijn Corthals says:

    I have the privilege of hearing this beautiful song several times a year at Snakes in Exile concerts. They are still going strong, have a strong fanbase in Belgium and abroad and Payday has become kind of an anthem. Thanks Roger Wilson for writing it, thanks Dansaul for adapting it, thanks Cambridge Folk Festival for bringing people together, thanks Guy Fletcher for bringing the song to Snakes in Exile and thanks Snakes for making it one of my favourite songs of all time.

Your Reply

Warning: Undefined variable $user_ID in /customers/a/0/f/ on line 121