Rose Of Allandale


Jon reveals “I first heard this from The Copper family, and it’s probably the song I come back to most when trying to think of a good chorus song to sing.”

This one apparently dates from 1836 and the words of Charles Jeffreys set to music by Samuel Nelson. You can link to the sheet music here. My understanding is that the tune has been changed as a result of a misinterpretation of the Copper’s version, although they may well take credit for rearranging it. Jon originally got it from the Coppers, but admits his version may have wandered from theirs. You can see more about the song at this Mudcat thread that also suggests a couple of similar forebears. Allendale is in Northumberland, although the first verse has Mary leaving her “Highland cot,” which suggests she crossed the border. It’s possibly, however, Allendale is simply a name that fits the song and the use of Highlands may be a reference to Scotland in general rather than the specific region. Mainly Norfolk carries the details of the Coppers and Nic Jones versions, but whichever way you look at it, this is lovely and the chorus was unexpected. This was apparently recorded on the Bellowhead tour bus (which probably explains the slightly odd acoustic) with the help of Paul Sartin and Sam Sweeney and that chorus sure works a treat.



50 Responses to “Rose Of Allandale”

  1. Dave Knibb BA says:

    A wonderful song – which can be interpreted in so many ways.

  2. Jane Ramsden says:

    Yes, lovely song and great chorus!

    I was singing this in the car only 2 days ago, along with John Tams. Well, to one of 2 cds of his I have with this song on, so he didn’t have to put up with my warbling! Hahahaha!

  3. Reinhard says:

    Jane, maybe you’ll have a third CD soon: The Home Service: Live 1986 (recorded at the Cambridge Fok Festival) is due to be released on the Fledg’ling label on July 12. Rose of Allendale is on it too.

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

    Yesssss..another good old “Throw your head back and join in” song. And for good measure when we get to the line “One maiden form withstood the storm,”……an item of ladies intimate upper underware is thrown around the room….OH…just us then!

  5. Brian says:

    This was one of Fred Jordan’s favourite songs. I always think of the happy times listening to Fred at Folk Festivals and Folk Clubs when I hear this song.

  6. John Biggs says:

    This is beautiful.
    Yes, I too remember Fred Jordan singing this at Bromyard Folk Festival.
    Is it just me, detecting more poignancy in the songs as this project draws to a close ?

  7. Jane Ramsden says:

    Thanks for the Home Service info, Reinhard. The cd I was listening to this week was also one – ‘Alright Jack’ – kindly given to me by Pierre Walsh ‘cos it’s also got ‘Babylon’ on it, the track I so admire by Swan Arcade. Very different, but also admirable!

    @ Muzza: I see we have progressed to below the Big Girl’s Blouse… sounds a lot of fun where you are… hardly conducive when one is singing along to John Tams whilst driving tho! Hahahaha!

  8. Simon Dewsbury says:

    John B, I too am getting very aware that this wonderful idea is nearly at an end. This reminds me of the great session after the Remnant Kings gig I attended and makes me hope for more of those.

  9. Helena says:

    Me too. I’m going to miss my folk song a day… boo. It’s been a top project, Jon has given us some great versions of some old favourites along with new songs to learn along the way.

  10. Maggie says:

    Lovely song, and one that is new to me.

    Many thanks Jon for the project. It’s been a great year. You deserve a rest, the thought, effort and energy you have put into it is incredible – and very much appreciated. I’ve loved hearing new songs – Sea Coal is still my favourite – and old songs I’d almost forgotten about until I heard them again here and all the words came tumbling back. It’s been great. Many thanks, Maggie

  11. Diana says:

    I see there was a lot of regret at this time last year, to see the end of AFSAD. Nothing has changed, there is no doubt a lot of people are going to be bereft when it finishes this time, me included.

    Another good song with a really lovely well sung chorus. I have learned such a lot about folk singers and their songs over the last six months so thanks to everyone who made this possible especially Jon.

  12. Old Muzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    Yep……the tune that I know is similar…I’ll have to put my version on Youtube.
    Ref the opening lines:-
    ‘The morn was fair, the sky was clear, no breath came over the sea’

    This immediately reminds me of the Les Barker Poem…….which goes:-

    It was a calm, still day in Yarmouth, the channel clear and wide,
    When the last of the timber sailing ships, sailed out on the evening tide.
    Nobody saw that ship again, though they searched when it was light
    For that fine old timbered sailing ship-sank,On that calm and peaceful night.
    Nobody knows what happened on that night in nineteen ten
    For her crew-and cargo of woodpeckers,were never seen again.

  13. Old Muzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    Never mind the girls with pearl earings or dragon tattoos—–is something amiss with the girl with the red ‘at!

  14. Pewter says:

    She’s OK Muzza, don’t worry! I see they let you out with a caution!

    @Simon: The acoustics sound perfect for this song through my speakers. Closely miked but with a hint of echo perhaps? Jon should’ve record more on the Bellowhead bus…

  15. Diana says:

    No Muzza, the girl with the red ‘at is fine, putting pics on FB yesterday.

    I see they have let you out on bail then. When do you come up before the beak?

    A verr funny poem – I got the joke!

  16. Pewter says:

    ‘Recorded’, sorry!

  17. Jane Ramsden says:

    Woodpeckers? Come up before the beak, Diana? Are ye having a few giraffes? Don’t know about get off with a caution, so much as ye are a caution, Muzza. That Les Barker sure has a quirky turn of mind, though methinks the ship might also have been full of woolly owls – hence, why we don’t see them anymore…

    ‘Rose of Allandale’ is one of my all-time favourites and I love the ‘bus’ chorus on this version. I can see how it might happen that Jon starts off this mammoth project and then it’s ‘Oh, got to get today’s song out – help me out here with a chorus and they won’t notice the sound to the wheels going round!’

    Anyhows, a year on and I do indeed have that 3rd John Tams CD with this song on. Coincidentally, and for anyone in the right locality (sadly, not me) I had a John Tams’ email today advising of 2 upcoming gigs still with availability:

    21 June, Ropetackle Arts Centre, Shoreham-by -Sea, West Sussex (Tel 01273 464440)


    22 June, Limelight Theatre, Queens Park, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire HP21 7RT (Tel 01296 431272.

    These are both with wonderful Barry Coope and they are both doing the Fylde Folk Festival on 31 Aug too.

    More gig dates here:

  18. Diana says:

    You are so right Jane, Muzza is real caution. Did think the poem was funny – quite normal until the final line when the joke appears.

    How is the Opus Magnificent coming along? I expect in one way you will be sorry to finish it although it has consumed so much of your spare (if any) time.

  19. Jane Ramsden says:

    And a quick compliment for Fay Hield’s ‘Orfeo,’ even better than ‘Looking Glass’ IMHO! Stand-out tracks for me on a stand-out album are ‘The Cuckoo’ (a song I had not really appreciated until now, but see Mainly Norfolk), ‘Pretty Nancy’ (just voices) ‘Tarry Trousers’ (rattling lilt!) and ‘Naughty Baby.’

    The latter and last track on the album deserves special mention with its strains of ‘Deutschland, Deutschland Über Alles’ – though what also popped into my mind was ‘Zion, city of our God.’ Nicely juxtaposed, methought… must go anorak, so:

    Das Deutschlandlied (“The Song of Germany”) also known as “Das Lied der Deutschen” or “The Song of the Germans”) has been used wholly or partially as the national anthem of Germany since 1922. The music was written by Joseph Haydn in 1797 as an anthem for the birthday of the Austrian Emperor Francis II of the Holy Roman Empire. (‘Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser,’ lyrics by Austrian poet, Lorenz Leopold Haschka.) In 1841, the German linguist and poet August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben wrote the lyrics of “Das Lied der Deutschen” to Haydn’s melody, lyrics that were considered revolutionary at the time. The same tune is employed for John Newton’s ‘Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken’ (…Zion, city of our God!) but, as he died in 1807, his lyrics (1779) were written before Hoffmann’s. John Newton sounded to have a turbulent early life, as per this Christian biography:

    ‘Orfeo’ has 3 5* reviews already on Amazon, praising all the points I would make, including the sublime richness added by The Hurricane Party – from musicians who can front or accompany with equal relish. It’s gonna be a hard one to top! (Maybe a CD of Jon & Fay duets before the third solo album might pave the way? I’m nowt if not a tryer!)

  20. Reynard says:

    Jane, please note that the German national anthem is ‘Einigkeit und Recht und Freiheit’, which is just the third verse of Hoffmann von Fallersleben’s poem. ‘Deutschland, Deutschland über alles’ was the Nazi’s anthem. We don’t sing that jingoistic crap anymore.

  21. Diana says:

    @ Reynard: “Unity and right and freedom” – that is a good sounding title.

    @Jane on Orfeo my favourites are “Sir Orfeo”, “Pretty Nancy” and “The old ‘Arris Mill”.
    You haven’t said how the Opus is progressing and you obviously are out of that darkened room now.

  22. Jane Ramsden says:

    Thanks for the pertinent extra info, Reynard. It does say above “used wholly or partially as the national anthem of Germany since 1922” and nowhere that it is used in its original entirety now. However, nowhere does it say it isn’t either, and I actually did not know that you only use the third verse. ‘Rule Britannia’ is pretty much of its time too, but suggestions that a new anthem be written are always received with mixed reaction.

  23. Diana says:

    I would much prefer “Land of Hope and Glory” myself. However I do not see things changing in the near future.

  24. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Diana: Opus magnus AFSAD archive pretty much on track. Keeping up with the last few songs daily and almost completed helpful index. Have had Lemsip, am in shaded (but not darkened) room, and never got to lie down! T’was ever thus…

  25. Diana says:

    @Jane: No rest for the wicked as the saying goes. Glad Opus on target. Not sure about the Lemsip – I hate sour!!!! Do not take any Paracetamol will you? A work of love almost complete – it does not seem possible – a lot of time and effort has gone into it hasn’t it? A sense of satisfaction no doubt well deserved too.

  26. Jane Ramsden says:

    I must be woolly-headed today, ‘cos I make it sound above as though ‘Rule Britannia’ is our national anthem, rather than ‘God Save the Queen’ – though I know people have variously opined it should be. By ‘our national anthem,’ I mean for Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as other countries within the Commonwealth/British Crown Dependencies – not just England. ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ that you prefer, Diana, is a popular contender for a solely English anthem, with other songs for other places, especially to make distinction in say, the Olympic Games. Not being sporty, I never thought about it, but t’is all explained here:

  27. Jane Ramsden says:

    And, Reinhard, I found this interesting link on the German national anthem, which makes alles a bit klarer!

    It is complicated, tracking song history accurately. Takes hours! I am even more in awe of Mainly Norfolk now!

    But I was re-reading what I wrote above about John Newton’s ‘Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken.’ If his lyrics were written in 1779 and Haydn’s tune in 1797, what was Newton’s hymn originally sung to? I did find a sole suggestion that Haydn didn’t write the tune precisely, so much as arrange it from a Croatian folksong, but that doesn’t mean Newton (though widely-travelled) knew it. The link below says its first appearance with John Newton’s text was in Hymns Ancient and Modern of 1889. I didn’t know he wrote ‘Amazing Grace’ either.

  28. Diana says:

    @Jane: I never thought of my choice being an english anthem To suit all of the British would be a difficult and almost and impossible task – just think of the squabbling there would be, so I expect we will just have to carry on with the status quo.

  29. Reynard says:

    Jane, you quoted the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article on Deutschlandlied. You should have read up to the third paragraph, then you wouldn’t have needed the other source. “a bit klarer” is a nice phrase, though.

    And I have read somewhere some time ago a claim that the true English national anthem were “How much is that doggie in the window?” Unfortunately I can’t find the reference any more.

    My favourite Orfeo tracks are The Lover’s Ghost, Pretty Nancy and Naughty Baby (with eight of the other tracks coming in at a very close second).

  30. Diana says:

    Reynard how dare you? Please do not remind me of that dreadful ditty. Mind you there are quite a lot more just as dreadful songs but I choose not to dwell on them.
    It appears that all three of us like “Pretty Nancy” but as you write all the otheres are equally excellent.

  31. Linda says:

    Jon ,Paul, and Sam beautifully sung. Can;t say more than that.

  32. Old Muzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    Ref German National Anthem………I learn something everyday from folk on AFSAD.with Translation……..I’m surprised that it relies so heavily on ‘Luck’

  33. Old Muzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    That’s gottabe the longest link yet…goes into the black!

  34. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Reinhard: You are, of course, right that I hit on Wiki when I Googled ‘Deutschlandlied.’ I was originally really just looking for who wrote the tune and confirming that it was the same one as for Newton’s ‘Glorious Things Of Thee Are Spoken,’ and that it wasn’t just an erroneous connection I had made in my muddled mind on first listening to ‘Naughty Baby.’ I got that at the beginning of the article, so read no further, as I wasn’t really pursuing the anthem angle per se.

    I’m not at all knowledgeable about hymns or anthems, but some are clearly quite fascinating. T’is thanks to thee, Reynard, that I looked a bit further, though the well-detailed second link I found misses out what Wiki says about West Germany adopting the Deutschlandlied as its official national anthem in 1952, with only the third stanza sung on official occasions. Both articles agree, of course, that only the third stanza was confirmed as the national anthem upon German reunification in 1990. That was some considerable time after I was living in West Germany.

    To be fair to Fay as well, and for those who haven’t heard ‘Orfeo’ and the track ‘Naughty Baby,’ there is no mention of German anthems or Newton’s hymn in her sleeve notes. Fay writes: “I put a simple tune to it, influenced by the theme tune to ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue,’ which I was listening to while reading the book.” [The book being the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, 1951, edited by the Opies, from where the text comes.] A snatch of Haydn’s tune can be heard at the opening of the song, before Fay sings her own tune proper.

    And yes, Reynard, you are well-informed about ‘How Much is That Doggie In the Window!’ I was very drawn to that song as a child, along with ‘Hang Down Your Head, Tom Dooley’ and ‘Wooden Heart’… I must have been a strange child…

  35. Geoff Routh says:

    Rose of Allandale-great song.
    Nick Jones used to sing:-
    2nd verse-” wander East-West” with “tempest wrecked ” etc.

    3rd verse-“fevered lips – Africa-” with “life – wilderness ” etc.
    Flows better I think.

  36. Linda says:

    Still a beautiful song .

  37. Jane Ramsden says:

    Still a favourite of mine and hoping John Tams & the Home Service will sing it when I go see them in Saltaire early July – yeh! Tam is the man!

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

    I have had a cough, cold and raspy voice since December 19th 2014 and waiting to be able to sing these lovely old songs again is very frustrating…………..
    what is the old saying…
    “Dance as though nobody is watching-Sing as though nobody is listening!” …..
    in my case…nobody bally well does!!

  39. Jane Ramsden says:

    I do, Muzzy Muzzander! Hahahahahaha!

    Rose of Allandale, still one of my favourites, but check out this group, The Railsplitters, bluegrass and post-bluegrass, from Boulder, Colorado. Saw them last night at the Live Room in Saltaire and they really rock!

    And since we’ve strayed into Americana, it’s only fitting to mention the passing of Jean Ritchie, who traced the British roots of Appalachian ballads & died 1 June aged 92. Excellent obit in the Telegraph below:

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

    Huzzah…..the gal in the red hat is back.
    Thanks for the links…….a few too many, unnecessary, ‘up-the-nose-shots’ in the video but an excellent group…..quite fancy the fiddle player
    Sad to hear of the demise of Jean Ritchie……..hey…..reminds me of my dulcimer making days!

  41. Linda says:

    Still think this is a beautiful rendition by Jon ,Paul and Sam….

  42. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey-UK) says:

    Doncha just love a song where we can all join in with a bit of harmonising………not sure that the neighbours agree at 7:30am……just realised that the window is wide open!
    (mind you….I think they are used to it now!)…………………..
    soooooo tempted to look at tomorrow’s song.

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

    Jon sings this in such a refined manner……my version is a lot more wangy with a bit of tankard swinging thrown in….good to hear again

  44. old Muzza (NW Surrey) says:

    I’m still here…………. clinging to the wreckage

  45. John Bryson says:

    I think we are ‘A Folk Song A Day’ veterans Muzza – such super songs here in June

  46. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    To Africa….to the East…to the west….to Lidl and Aldi….I ‘d go anywhere for Rose of Allendale…..even in a barque that I had to share with a tiger/hyena/zebra/orang-utan….but I’d draw the line at a Boudran player!

  47. Yes a chucking out song at the end of the evening ~ Sean Cannon and Jean Redpath fine examples ~ I think I say on mudcat I must be the only one who sings lea instead of sea ~ well it int a sea song really is it? er sorry


  48. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    I’ll just flip a coin to decide which song I will launch into this morning…good old Rose or ‘Oh what a beautiful morning’ from Oklahoma
    Bazinga….I’ll go for both…woo hoo

  49. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    and this year…..I launch in to Rose of A even as I type…and the weather forecast is for a record breaking hot day and The England cricket team knocked 6 bells out of New in the test match yesterday…..all’s right with the world (except Ukraine of course!)

  50. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Oh Rose…..what would I do without you all through the year, and especially today when you shine as it’s your turn on AFSAD!
    and hey….Oh what a beautiful morning….and with our third week of hot sun and no rain….darrrnnn Souf!

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