Of course we’re in Bellowhead territory here and Jon says, “I heard this on a Frankie Armstrong Fellside CD and couldn’t quite believe my luck – surely everyone must have had ago at it? Steeleye? Jim Moray? Eliza? But no it’s just Frankie and Bellowhead (and now me I s’pose.) Roy Palmer put the verses together and he and Frankie were both tremendously gracious about Bellowhead having a crack at it.” You’ll find Frankie’s take on Lovely On The Water and her notes offer…
“This curious and rare song with its rollicking and defiant humour, was used to make political and social comment and a variety of jokes. This version seems to date from the 1850s or early 60s, because of its reference to the campaigns against slavery in America, which were going on at that time. The text comes from a broadside and the tune sung “by an old labourer now dead,” collected by Baring-Gould in Holcombe Burnell, North Devon.”
You can read more including Bellowhead’s notes on Mainly Norfolk. I’ll say no more except that I always enjoy this as part of Bellowhead’s live set and feel privileged for getting a bit more up close and personal with it.
You can buy the August digital album now from all good download stores: