Fortune Turns The Wheel


Jon says “So here we are. Song 365. It’s possibly not the most appropriate farewell song given the sting in the tale. Over the years there were a fair few regulars who got themselves barred from the Half Moon – I always think of them when I sing this! But it is goodbye from me. It’s been a real pleasure singing to you all this last year. I’d like to thank a few people who have been doing the really hard work – Andy Bell who has done the bulk of the recording and mixing, Ben Bowdler at Proper who has done all the technical web stuff, including manually uploading each individual podcast. A particular thanks to Simon Holland who has been your host on this site – writing introductions to all the songs and keeping an eye on all your comments. It’s been great for me to read Simon’s intros every day and then read all the various ensuing postings. I’d like to thank Steve Kersley at Proper who encouraged me to make what was a fairly mad idea, into a reality. I’d like to thank EFDSS for all their support and encouragement. Lastly but most importantly I’d like to thank you all for listening and commenting on the site. I’m hoping that A Folk Song A Day may continue in some form so I look forward to joining in the conversation with someone else doing the singing! See you around. All the best, Jon.”

I’ll add my thanks to Jon for an inspiring and extraordinary journey into the world of folk song. This is a massive achievement that I feel privileged and proud to have been a part of. I’ve certainly learnt a lot, but there’s so much more to discover. Thanks to everyone for your contributions, opinions, comments and for putting me right where needed. For once I genuinely feel at a loss for words, although this bittersweet song seems a perfect end. I must just give you a final link to Mainly Norfolk and offer special thanks to Reinhard in particular, for his outstanding resource that has more often than not been my first call in researching these songs. I’ll see some of you at Cecil Sharp House and promise to enjoy the evening on behalf of those that can’t make it. Thank you all, Simon.


YouTube – When Fortune Turns The Wheel


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191 Responses to “Fortune Turns The Wheel”

  1. Paul Slade says:

    Thanks so much for a wonderful project, and well done to all concerned. I shall raise a glass in your honour tomorrow night, for it was nicely done.

  2. What are we going to do now? No more?!
    Thanks Jon and everyone involved with a marvellous idea made real. There have been songs that we could expect, but lovely surprises too, and it is social singing that is the important thing. Wonderful!

  3. Maggie says:

    Just arrived home after the concert – a great evening. Many thanks Jon, Fay and Peta and the band, choir and dancers. Sorry I couldn’t stay for the singing in the bar. It was a wonderful end to a wonderful year. Jon, you must be exhausted. I’ve really enjoyed it, learnt a lot and look forward in anticipation to what the future holds. Maggie

  4. Shelley says:

    As Muzza has said, it has been great to interact with the “regulars” as well as hearing familar and new songs. Let’s hope we can continue that when AFSAD 2 (whatever that may be) appears.

  5. Andy Bell says:

    What a great year, I’ve certainly learnt a few songs along the way!

  6. Jon Boden says:

    Thanks everyone. It’s been a pleasure. Jon x

  7. otter says:

    I’ve spent the last year in the far east. I’m going home in a few days. This project has been the constant rather incongruous accompaniment to my year abroad. Thanks, Jon.

  8. Joe Offer says:

    Thank you very much, Jon and Simon. I’ve really enjoyed this.

    -Joe Offer-

  9. johnone says:

    Thank you so much Jon and Simon too. How Wonderful it has been!

  10. Yer Gran says:

    Very many thanks to all concerned for all the hard work and wonderful music
    Love, Gran x

  11. Philip says:

    Another echo of all the thanks to Jon and Andy, Simon and all who made it possible – it’s been great. I’ve learned a whole lot of new songs, been introduced to some new areas and aspects of the tradition (old and new), and learned a good deal about singing, oh.. and enjoyed the songs, of course! Thankyou.

  12. James says:

    What an amazing achievement – thank you Jon and everyone involved – I’ve followed throughout and have been constantly astonished at your productivity!

  13. Rainbeaux Moonjean says:

    Many thanks from me too, Jon. It’s been a stupendous effort and a great achievement by you all – and I’ve heard lots of lovely songs along the way. Hope you all take a day off today – the sun’s shining!

  14. John says:

    Many, many thanks Jon for this wonderful project which I’ve enjoyed so much from afar here on Okinawa!

  15. Patrick Rose says:

    Thanks again Jon. I was expecting Rolling Home to finish it 😉

    Thanks for digging out some brilliant gems of songs. I’m looking forward to catching up with everything I missed.

  16. JohnB (Canada) says:

    I can only agree with all the glowing sentiment from the other posters.
    This has been a truly GREAT journey, having been in Canada since 1977 my exposure to a lot of the English Folk material has been a bit limited, so thanks for all the songs I have been missing.
    I also wish to thank Jon for all his companionship, whilst spending many 5K runs together up and down our road and also for the four days we spent together boiling down the sap to make this years supply of Maple Syrup.
    Many thanks too to Simon and all the unknown trolls working diligently in the Folk Mines.

  17. Louise says:

    Thank you – I’ve really enjoyed listening to old and new favourites this year!

  18. Brian says:

    What a fantastic achievement by Jon and all concerned in the project. Looking back,it is incredible what has been achieved and the scholarship that has been written about the songs has been amazing. Thank you,Jon,and I hope to see you at Dungworth sometime this year.

  19. nev perry says:

    this is a real tear jerker of a song! my wife thought that this was such a sad, sad song although very scots there is some irish sentiment here but jons voice certainly gives an english feel to it. A fitting last song of farewell and a very memorable one at that!

  20. John M. Simmons Jr. says:

    I guess this is the fate of all things and the ultimate in global social singing a real milestone for the internet and the art of folksong hats off to a fine young voice in Jon and his fellow Englishmen! Sing long and prosper…

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

    This is a lovely song/singer/guitar accompaniment and a fitting finale……..
    To get my head around the tune…….it is similar to Jock-o-Hazeldean.
    Hey…on a lighter note…a breakthrough….at least we now know John B is from Canada!

  22. SRD says:

    Thanks again to you all.

    Now where’s that Paul Sartin to take up the mantle?

  23. Mark says:

    Just to add my grateful thanks to Jon and team for a wonderful year of folk music. Some of it was familiar, some I’d not heard before, but I enjoyed every song. It’s not going to be the same now, without a daily fix of AFSAD!

  24. Gervase Webb says:

    Another heartfelt thank you from me – I’ve got every one on my iPod and have finally been kickstarted into extending my repertoire. Thank you, Jon, for an inspirational year; a magnificent achievement and a wonderful piece of generosity.

  25. Jane Bird says:

    A fitting end to a fantastic project. Thanks to Jon and all who’ve helped us hear 364+ recording of these songs. It’s encouraged me to learn a few new songs in the past year, too. Cheers!

  26. JohnB (Canada) says:

    That would be in Canada after 26 and a bit years in Manchester and Littleborough Muzza(s.e.England).

  27. Barbara Wogan-Provo says:

    thank you so much Jon & your team. It’s been really special!! A truly amazing undertaking.

  28. I have a common similarity with the folkloristic views of Jon Boden. It is a good idea, that we are able to know some thing about the Western folk culture. The cultural exchange between the two Continent is very important. I personally like to this idea. Our Indian folkculture is very strong, oldest, and traditional, which is very important to establish the peace in the Indian society.

  29. Jane Ramsden says:

    Well-chosen and wonderfully well-sung, Jon. This really is a truly beautiful song; not least because, despite bittersweet life-lessons, sound values have been strengthened rather than lost:

    “Not love, nor gold, nor clothes shall make my estimate of man,
    But when I meet a friend in need, I’ll stretch a helping hand;
    To him I’ll drink, for him I’ll fight, to him my mind reveal,
    And friends we’ll be, whatever way blind fortune turns the wheel.”

    We have come full circle again, we’ve had some larks, and they have been melodious! So no AF-SAD faces, folks!

    “Come fill the cup, let’s drink a health, tonight we’ll merry be…
    …That we all may meet some other night when fortune turns the wheel.”

    I shall have to start wearing a rose in my lapel at folk gigs as a sign to former AFSADDERS to say hello. I think the red cardinal’s hat might be just a tadge too ostentatious!

    Thank you all. It’s been grand!

  30. Jane Ramsden says:

    PS I have completed my AFSAD archive… all 500 pages of it… I jest not! Lol!

  31. Diana says:

    Well it has all been said and I agree with all that has been commented.

    A lovely song and as usual beautifully sung by Jon.

    Jane glad have finished archive – excellent work. Have a rest ha ha ha.

  32. Vivien says:

    Thank you Jon and Simon for repeating AFSAD for this second year. What a treat! Thanks to all the wonderful contributors too. Best wishes to you all.

  33. Linda says:

    @Diana good idea from Jane, red rose in the lapel, see you in the bar? Best Wishes to you all.

  34. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Linda: Hoped you might pick up on the flower suggestion! Red rose fine for Lancashire too! Tip: a quick look on ebay for ‘fabric flower brooches’ might yield attractive re-usable lapel brooches of all kinds! We need one with AFSAD embroidered on it!

  35. Jane Ramsden says:

    Just so youse know I haven’t given up…

    Letter sent to Ameriky, Library of Congress, Music Division:

    Hello from Yorkshire, England!

    I am trying to find the lyrics to a song called ‘She Got It Where McDooley Got The Brick’ by W.R. Williams, which I believe is in v. 10 of the Leo Feist Collection. I can find them nowhere else through searching the internet and you appear to be the sole possible holder of this information. Could you please supply me with the lyrics? I must at least know where she and McDooley got it/the brick, if not the reason for either occurrance!

    (This query arises out of a 2-year participation in a web project [just ending] to promote traditional music called A Folk Song A Day by Jon Boden, a musician, singer and songwriter. He is most well-known here for fronting an ensemble called Bellowhead. Feel free to Google for further clarity!)

    Many thanks, Jane.

  36. Jon Boden says:

    Hi All. Many thanks for keeping up with the comments – I’ve been following with interest! Not sure what’s going to happen with AFSAD but I’m pretty sure there will be a follow up at some point, so do keep checking in. In the meantime I’d recommend Andy Turner’s excellent A Folk Song A Week to keep you going

    Many thanks to Simon, as ever, for keeping up with moderating and scheduling.

    See you around!

    Jon x

  37. Phil says:


    52 Folk Songs (currently up to week 41).

    It’s not as excellent as Andy’s site, admittedly!

  38. Diana says:

    Good for you Jane, I know how determined you are to complete your archive. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. They should have the decency to reply at the very least.

  39. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Phil: Your 52fs will be getting a few visits and now I see I’ll have to fit in A Folk Song A Week as well!

    @ Jon: Thank you for dropping by with the above information to help those of us with addiction withdrawal problems! I do hope you have had as good a time out of our comments as we have had researching, posting, addding, comparing, debating and bantering! It’s made my life richer and I look forward to any follow-up project. Thank you for all the songs (even ‘Waltzing Matilda,’ but perhaps less ‘Goodnight Irene!’) and a special thanks to Simon Holland and crew. Don’t think a better choice could have been made for the job he undertook. Imput from Nick Hallam, Jo Breeze, Reinhard & his Mainly Norfolk, Joe Offer & Mudcat thread contributors, Fay for the duets (to come on an album for sure!), guest singers et al has made for a great team event and product.

    @ Diana: I have had 2 replies from the American Library of Congress Music Division already! Good, or what?!! I now know how to order what I want. There will be a small consideration, but I am thinking worth the cost to solve the mystery!

  40. Diana says:

    That’s great news Jane – you must be delighted. I do hope it will not prove to be too expensive. It was nice of Jon to write such a lovely message and I am sure that some of our comments must have made his smile.

  41. Linda says:

    ‘@Jane thank you for the suggestion.
    @Diana we’ll have to play spot the brooches!
    Hopeful at some point as Jon say’s there will be a follow up and we will all be able to catch up with one another.

  42. Linda says:

    Jon thanks for the link to Andy Turner’s site

  43. Diana says:

    Linda I do hope you get this belated message. Who knows we may meet with a little luck.

  44. Jane Ramsden says:

    Farewell, farewell! Or maybe not? All been lovely! Thankee!

  45. Jane Ramsden says:

    Keep playing this! It’s so lovely…

  46. Diana says:

    Another year of folk songs over. Enjoyed the journey and the friends I made. So thanks to all.

  47. Jon Boden says:

    Yes I think that’s all folks! Thanks to everyone who has kept posting over the three years. AFSAD may be back in some form at some point and I think this site will stay up for a while for browsing. Thanks again all. Jon x

  48. Linda says:

    Just back from a holiday on Symi sad to see the end has finally come to the nightly visit to folk song a day Thank you Jon for opening many new doors . All the best everybody

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

    Of all the good times ‘er I’ve had, I’ve spent most in this company
    And all the harm that ‘er I’ve caused, I trust it was to none but me
    But harm I’ve caused through want of wit, To memory now I can’t recall
    So raise with me the parting glass, Goodnight and joy be with you all

  50. Linda says:

    @Muzza. so glad you made it back in time to leave a farewell comment. Brill !

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