I Am A Youth That’s Inclined To Ramble


Jon attributes this as “From the extraordinary singing of Paul Brady. What a voice. Dan Plews introduced me to this (and to Brady).”

Paul Brady is perhaps better known these days as a songwriter, having made the leap from interpreter to composer at the very start of the 80s. It’s also fair to say he’s a bit of a songwriters’ songwriter and Paul’s work is acclaimed by many of his peers. He’s also a regular on the Transatlantic Sessions, which I don’t watch religiously, but always seem to enjoy when I do. As for this song, it strikes me it’s not so much about ‘rambling’ as full scale emigrating, although I suppose the sense of following twists and turns  is appropriate to seeking one’s fortune. The other thing that concerns is that this is all very open ended, with no sense of how long the lass is expected to endure alone. Still, I suppose it’s all well intended and no one was murdered, but all the same, I wonder how many parted to seek their fortune and lived up to the promise to return.

By the way it’s St. George’s Day and Jon’s not prepared anything for it for AFSAD, but then it’s hard enough delivering all of these songs without  worrying about every anniversary and this year it also coinbcides with Easter. We do have something for St. George’s Day by Waterson:Carthy here for you, following on from yesterday’s Bella Hardy song as part of our Easter Weekend over at Properganda. I’ve just read an interesting comment suggesting that St. George’s day tends to be overlooked because of its close proximity to May Day, which became the natural focus of English celebrations. That also got me wondering about whether saints are more of a Catholic thing and perhaps this also played a part in downgrading the dragon slayer. It’s pure speculation (mixed with curiosity) on my part, so I’d appreciate any informed comments below.



36 Responses to “I Am A Youth That’s Inclined To Ramble”

  1. Jane Ramsden says:

    ‘Fraid St George’s Day and his flag have got ditched on account of being associated with the BNP. As Steve Knightley says in ‘Roots’ – ‘It’s my flag too and I want it back.’ Then they adopted his song without permission, so he had to ask for it back, which was done without argument, I understand.

    I’ve not heard the suggestion that it’s not celebrated on account of its proximity to May Day, but the days of dancing round the maypole as in my youth have gone in my city too, so that argument doesn’t stack up here.

    Interesting to see the Britannia Coconut Dancers of Bacup, but I think they might offend political correctness with that name and their blackened faces in Bradford.

    That said, beautifully rendered song, Jon! Let’s hope the young man was as constant as he would like his lady to be, and that he was not inclined to ramble in that regard.

  2. johnone says:

    Loved the song Jon. Well Sung.

    Jane…..Thank you so much for your comments. Yes! We should get our flag back and the true May Day!

    Jane’s comments made me laugh out loud! LOL. I really did laugh. And I could do with some essence of the Days of My Youth too!

    The coconut dancers are indeed a revelation of our history.

    Peace Love Harmony.

  3. Jan says:

    Simon, I join you in feeling that Saint George’s Day gets overlooked, and have tried to arouse interest in our local folk club without much success. I hadn’t thought that it might be to do with its proximity to May Day, but you could well be right there, as I know that tradition has held on despite the best efforts of the Church to suppress it, and after all Saint George, if he existed at all, was certainly not English!

  4. Katie says:

    Just wanted to say that it was lovely to hear a male voice singing this one, as I am more familiar with Cara Dillon’s (very beautiful) version.

  5. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Old St.George is not lost…………..I think that you will find that we morris men have been celebrating 23April for a few years now and the event gets bigger for us every year.

  6. Simon says:

    Sorry for being a bit tardy with the replying of late, but to be honest I had a lot on over the weekend and more lined up for the next one. You may well all miss this, but if anyone’s still reading… Jane I also like the sentiments of Roots (the SOH song) and perhaps it adresses the patriotism I have shied away from because of the nationalism angle that I can’t square with it. Add an active disregard(!!) for all things royal and there I am without a flag to wave. But there are still many aspects of Englishness or Britishness that I do love and hold dear and there’s nowhere else I’d rather be…

    As for St. George, I’m pleased that some good folk are celebrating him and I’d rather share a pint or three with any of them than the lunkheads of the BNP and their ilk, so good on you Muzza. I think it’s very likely that he was a real person and Christian martyr, but he certainly wasn’t English and we all know that dragons aren’t real (except for my mate Puff and the one in Ivor The Engine of course.) I still wonder whether the whole Catholic/saint association is what’s really done for him as an English hero. Perhaps someone with a more detailed inside knowledge of church can throw some light.

  7. Jane Ramsden says:

    Hello Skyman! I’m of the school that says we don’t need to apologise for what we are and in that sense there is nothing wrong with pride in your country, being nationalistic and patriotic in that sense, without doing anyone else down for feeling the same way about their roots. We have to look for common ground, singing from the same music (if not hymn) sheet, and not concentrate on so many divisive differences.

    When we are asked to indicate our race on Govt ethnic monitoring forms, I often put ‘human.’ You can respect & enjoy/celebrate differences, of course, without obliterating or being ashamed of your own culture. Living in an inner-city, mainly Muslim area, you would be surprised by how many people think the English have no culture! Much of that is because St George, May Day, British history, nursery rhymes, nativity plays etc are not taught in some schools anymore as deemed inappropriate. If an area is not mixed, how are people going to know about each others’ traditions?

    The SoH song also says:

    “Indians, Asians, Afro-Celts
    It’s in their blood, below their belt
    They’re playing and dancing all night long
    So what have they got right that we’ve got wrong?”


    “…we learn to be ashamed before we walk
    Of the way we look, and the way we talk
    Without our stories or our songs
    How will we know where we come from?”

    Folk against facism… the trouble was, when BNP Councillors suggested celebrating St George’s Day because other festivals like Diwali, Eid etc are acknowledged in the City, there was reluctance because of where the suggestion has come from, though of course there was also a budgetary concern. Glad to say, this year there does not seem to have been a problem because we did have St George’s celebrations… only I did not know until too late!

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

    Yep……another gloomy song…nothing going for it…nondescript tune.
    Blimey…who got out of the wrong side of the bed!
    HAPPY ST.GEORGE’SDAY to all who feel for it.
    We had a good celebration yesterday with the morris and we even did our Christmas Mummers play…adapted to suit the occasion……….and the rain held off until five minutes from the finish…then it drowned us!…………
    I fly a St.George’s flag all year round on a 20ft flagpole and even manage to hoist a Garland up it on Mayday….prior to dancing in the dawn at 5:15am at a local beauty spot.
    The BNP can only try and claim the Flag if others neglect it!…..and just as some worthy once said.”A folk song will only die if nobody sings it!”

  9. Diana says:

    Yes it does seem much more is made of all the other Saints’ Days for Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Stand up for St. George. No roses out in the garden this year here.

    Pewter your spelling was spot on – the verses go on “there’s a time for war and a time for peace” but that never seems to arrive does it?

    How is your tutoring going? Are you enjoying it?

  10. Peter Walsh says:

    Taking a respite from it for now, Diana – but there’s a lot of other work to do.

  11. Reynard says:

    Saint George sung by John Kirkpatrick

  12. Simon says:

    Sorry folks, I’ve realised I really should probably update some of these links, but then I can’t justify taking the time to check them all. Some things, like Properganda, have obviously changed since this went up first time around. Interestingly I’ve just reviewed the new Paul Braqdy Anthology double disc for the new blog, which should be posted up today. You’ll find this one on there and despite some numbers with a a few rather dated production, it really is an enviable collection of songs.

  13. Diana says:

    Out and about this morning and very pleased to see lots of England’s flags fluttering out of windows, on flag poles and many on cars. Hoorah!

  14. Jane Ramsden says:

    Happy St George’s Day, one and all, esp Muzza for flying a flag for me on my FB page! I’ve not been out yet, but seen none flying past my door so far. I suspect if I hoisted said flag up in my garden, a BNP assumption would be inferred, and the post could be chopped down overnight! Either way, my neighbours might be offended, so best not to bother. I’d even forgotten today was St George’s, until I received Muzza’s flag!

    Well, I do like this song, being on the maudlin side, but t’is a far cry from my Saturday night folk gig with The Fureys and Davey Arthur t’other side o’ t’Pennines! By, they’re wild in Colne! We had good fodder, Guinness, craic, fabulous singing, singalong with, and playing of jigs… even had the stereotypical Irish fisticuffs thrown in when a couple of (suspiciously-St. George-supporting-EDF-uniformed) men started an altercation under the balcony where I was sat! And I was just thinking Colne was a nice friendly place to move to! Having said that, the rest of the audience were great and hugely appreciative of the specially-invited Fureys, who did many assembled-company requests and remembrances of family and artists past and present. A great night and special thanks to the brave man who lent me his shoulder to lean on when climbing up and down, in and out of my balcony seat, instead of going the long way round disturbing those seated. He was a ‘mensch,’ as Ted is no flyweight!

  15. Jane Ramsden says:

    The Fureys and Davey Arthur were playing at Colne Muni(cipal Hall), a beautiful listed Victorian building:


    Through June & July they are hosting a world-class exhibition Pendle Borough Council is staging to commemorate the Titanic’s Centenary, in conjunction with White Star Memories – Europe’s largest Titanic and White Star Line exhibition company.

    “The display will include hundreds of rare and even unique artefacts – some from the ill-fated liner herself, including china and postcards, as well as personal items from passengers and members of the crew.

    Walk through to your 1st class cabin, see the famous Grand Staircase and even stand in the exclusive a la carte restaurant, where the finest food imaginable was served to the world’s rich and famous of the day.

    Gaze through the viewing window of “your” submersible, as it looks out over the wreck site and see the debris scattered over the seabed.

    There will also be a display of the original costumes worn by the leading characters in the 1997 movie “Titanic”, including Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio and Billy Zane, plus props from the film sets.

    Paintings from some of the world’s leading artists, rare paperwork, dozens of artefacts from Titanic’s identical ‘sister’ ship Olympic and so much more will be on display, giving visitors a genuine insight of the opulence and splendour of these incredible ocean liners.”

    The band master of the heroic musicians who played to the last on the Titanic, Wallace Hartley, came from Colne. This Wiki-link tells you about him and his fellow musicians:


    Well worth the read. Here is a very moving extract from the part about Wallace Hartley, whom The Fureys acknowledged in one of their set songs last Saturday:

    Sinking Of The Titanic:

    After the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink, Hartley and his fellow band members started playing music to help keep the passengers calm as the crew loaded the lifeboats. Many of the survivors said that he and the band continued to play until the very end. None of the band members survived the sinking and the story of them playing to the end became a popular legend. One survivor who clambered aboard ‘Collapsible A’ claimed to have seen Hartley and his band standing just behind the first funnel, by the Grand Staircase. He went on to say that he saw three of them washed off while the other five held on to the railing on top the Grand Staircase’s deckhouse, only to be dragged down with the bow, just before Hartley exclaimed, “Gentlemen, I bid you farewell!” A newspaper at the time reported “the part played by the orchestra on board the Titanic in her last dreadful moments will rank among the noblest in the annals of heroism at sea.”

    After The Sinking

    Hartley’s body was recovered by the Mackay–Bennet almost two weeks after the sinking. He was transferred to the Arabic and sent to England. Hartley’s funeral took place in Colne on 18 May 1912. One thousand people attended his funeral, while 40,000 lined the route of his funeral procession.

    Hartley is buried in Colne, where a 10-foot headstone, containing a carved violin at its base, was erected in his honour. A memorial to Hartley, topped by his bust, was erected in 1915 outside the Albert Street Methodist Church in Colne, where Hartley began his musical career. Hartley’s large Victorian terraced house in West Park Street, Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, bears a blue plaque to remind passers-by that this was the bandleader’s home.

    (Rather like Brave Wolfe) Hartley had reluctantly left his fianceé behind, Maria Robinson, to whom he had recently proposed.

    The power of music and musicians! Ted is humbled! (I believe my great-grandfather, who was from Bootle/Liverpool way, worked for the White Star line. I will know more when I’ve researched the family history better.)

  16. Diana says:

    How lovely to hear a song about St.George – thanks Reynard and according to your site we are going to have a nice happy song tomorrow. Good!

    Jane so you crossed the border then and lived to tell the tale. Fascinating stuff you have written – really interesting. Would you please forward the picture of St. G to me which you acquired today?

  17. Linda says:

    Thanks for the link Reynard.

  18. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Diana: Ref St George, t’is done!

    @ All: Please find below a link to the Wallace Hartley Campaign at the Titanic in Lancashire Museum:


    The Titanic In Lancashire Museum is spearheading the campaign to bring the last letter ever written By Wallace Hartley (Titanic’s bandmaster) home to Colne.

    The letter was written by Wallace, in his own handwriting, and is on White Star Line TITANIC notepaper. It was sent to his parents in Colne on the Wednesday morning as Titanic sailed from Southampton at noon on the same day, 10th April 1912.

    Clearly, there is strong feeling that this letter should return to Colne, but the auction price in Ameriky may go higher than the Museum can raise. They say they need a minimum of £3,500, have already got £5,000 I believe, but it could go for much more than this.

    Anyway, Ted has donated his tenner pocket money for the week, ‘cos it’s a lot less than Wallace Hartley gave. And he might have been born in Colne, but he lived in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, not far from me, so that’ll do fer the bear! They can keep the dosh, whatever happens.

  19. Jane Ramsden says:

    OMG! I just found this ref Wallace Hartley:

    “His violin, which was found in its case strapped to his body, was returned to his fiancée Maria Robinson after he was repatriated to England for burial.

    The violin was an engagement gift from Maria to Wallace. It has recently come to light again in the press with claims that it has been found. An auction house is currently running tests to verify that it’s the same violin.”

    *Sobs into paws* Can’t imagine what price the violin would fetch at auction, & would it still play?

  20. Jane Ramsden says:

    “Wallace’s heartbroken fiancée, Maria Robinson, never married. She lived with her mother and sister into the 1930’s at Bridlington. She died in June 1939.” Waaaah! Too sad… she can’t have been that old either.

  21. Diana says:

    All the above is so sad, one would not think it could ever happen again under similar ciccumstances with all the e

  22. Diana says:

    All the above is so sad Jane, one would not think it could ever happen again under similar circumstances, with all the equipment aboard liners these days. Anyway it seems you had a really good time thia side of the Pennines.

  23. Muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    Huzzah for St.George……….new flag up the pole(old one in tatters after a wet, blowy year) and a couple more strung out of the front window..and a morris dancing and mummers play extravaganza with several other sides around the local hostelries tonight..and the sun is shining-BLISS!

  24. Diana says:

    Yes Muzza who could ask for anything more. St. Goerge and a sunny day.

  25. Diana says:

    Oh dear the typing has got haywire again.

  26. Muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    I’m with Diana…altogether now..

  27. Diana says:

    Well I should be forgiven for a typing error. The thought was there.

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


  29. Jane Ramsden says:

    I wouldn’t mind a Hussar…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Happy St. George’s, Muzzah! Not sure owt is happening in my city today… government cutbacks and all that… but I will check the local rag later. I am off for a pot of slosh in th’ASDA Living with my bessie mate, also Jane. We know how to fly the flag and push the boat out in Yorkshire – last of the big spenders!

  30. Linda says:

    Happy St George’s everybody.
    @Diana sighed deluxe copy no screen print !

  31. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:


  32. old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    Olld St. George and me still clinging to the wreckage!!!

  33. Old Muzza (NW Surrey UK) says:

    Come on George me old pal me old beauty…..get up that old flag pole and wave our dear old flag…….HAPPY ST GEORGE’S DAY FOLKS

  34. I would state that it was exquisite to hear a male voice singing this one . Really enjoyed this song.

  35. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    Damn Laptop wouldn’t work yesterday…….
    soooo….belated good old St Goerge (remembering Dainer)
    and again …new flag up the pole…..and the old tattered one down.

  36. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Huzzah for that old Turkish fella ….our St George
    New flag up the pole….(I wonder how many folk think I am a BNP supporter!!!!aaarrggghhh)
    and the sun is shining….the only downer is that we can’t morris dance so the ‘one man and his dog. that usually turn out to see us….will be disappointed
    I am an old fella ….inclined to ramble!

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