The Larks They Sang Melodious


OK folks, this is where we started and for the time being I will be rescheduling the streams, but not the podcasts. I won’t be adding to or changing or editing my introductions (unless anything really vital crops up) and the original comments will come over with the day’s post. I know not everyone has been with us from the start, so here will be a chance to catch up with what you missed. For those that have seen it all before, I hope a refresher might prove enjoyable given the extraordinary journey we have been on with Jon as our guide. It will be interesting to see if the original comments or just the chance to hear the songs again provoke you to continue the discussions. I’d love to see the comments build now that we’ve had a chance to develop our own knowledge and will join in myself where appropriate. I think some of you have become bolder, adding your own links to alternate versions and helping to build the stories of the songs for which, I for one am very grateful.

Anyway, I’d ask you all to stay in the loop as if we can work out a way to get another year’s worth going, it will be announced here first.

Reading this first introduction, I’m immediately struck by my naive promise of “links to find out more about each song.” This project would become much more than that. I am on the right lines, however, in identifying that this would not be straightforward. Anyway, without further ado, here it is…

The first of the songs goes up today The Larks They Sang Melodious and just to settle any dispute, the 24th is midsummer’s day, rather than the solstice (or longest day) based on the Roman calendar and because it falls six months before Christmas.

We start things off in fine style and summer mood with bird song to wake us and a well known song (or possibly not), as Jon explains… “This is one of those songs you’re not supposed to sing because everyone sings it. Only problem is nobody does because you’re not supposed to. If you follow me. Fortunately it is still sung with great gusto on Forest School Camps which is where I learnt it. I think this may have been the song that first switched me on to English traditional singing.”


You can buy the digital album now from the following stores:

One of the challenges we’ve set is to bring you links to find out more about each song. This gets complicated as many of the songs are known by more than one title. So you can link to the Mudcat folk forum here, where you’ll find this song is known as Pleasant And Delightful. I’ve  read elsewhere that it is sometimes called The Dawning Of The Day, but then so is another completely different song … You get the picture.


76 Responses to “The Larks They Sang Melodious”

  1. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Espanyolgas: Yes, probably! I did not collect the songs the first time round as had deleted iTunes off my aged pc. I wasn’t keen on it, and the pc was on its last legs anyway, but then AFSAD came along and I didn’t understand about RSS feeds so didn’t think I could download the daily tracks when I could. I’d have lost them all when my pc died anyway. So, to make up any shortfall, look for Joe Offer’s comments under the Podcast heading above and you will be able to obtain the full compliment of songs. However, each one will start with Jon’s preface of ‘I’m Jon Boden and this is AFSAD,’ followed by the song. If you don’t want this intro you will now need to purchase digital copies of each month’s songs. If you are not bothered, at least in the first instance, you can still obtain the full year’s songs in a format good enough to inform and instruct! This month’s songs will stil be available via Goo

  2. Jane Ramsden says:

    I still do not understand this RSS feed properly! I have just looked again and realise I have got it the wrong way round! It is Joe Offer’s link that gives you the last month’s songs and Google Reader that gives you the full year’s songs, but with both those routes, you get Jon’s intro statement to the songs. Sorry, Espanyolgas! Shoot me now, Skyman!

  3. Karen Storey says:

    Hi, I’m completely new to folk music, so I’ve never heard this before! Also, alas, only just heard of this folk song a day site, so am grateful for chance to hopefully hear all the songs you put on over the last year. Thank you so much – haven’t really had a chance to sing since school days, so really appreciate it.

  4. Mike New says:

    I am not new to folk music – I have this on a vinyl LP sung by “The Spinners,” “Ten Of The Best” from 1965. I am sure Cliff Hall makes reference in the line, when the sailor is “bound far away … to the West Indies…” It still plays as good as the day I bought it! Nice one Jon.

    Music Mike

  5. Espanyolgas says:

    Thanks Jane. I’ve gradually been buying the albums on iTunes anyway, but am a bit of a completist so will look for the podcasts as well.

  6. Linda says:

    Hello. still here!!!!

  7. Diana says:

    Here am I too – really happy as well.. I have only had about 7 or so months of AFSAD so am really pleased to carry on listening. It really lovely of whoever has arranged it so thank you very much for your kindness.

    I do realise it is a huge undertaking for everyone concerned but I am sure that it is appreciated by a lot of people – perhaps only some of us choose to write our opinions (and other stuff) but speaking for myself I have made friends as well as hearing the songs and reading all the interesting comments.

    The song was lovely and as usual sung well by Jon.

  8. Vivien says:

    Wonderful singing of a beautiful song, Jon.

    I’m delighted that we’re going round again, thank you.

  9. Jane Ramsden says:

    I’m pleased too, for however long it all lasts! Thankee, Simon, & I have now garnered song-relevant comments from ‘The Larks’ above and my AFSAD archive is complete, save any new postings from now on. This is therefore effectively my fourth circular tour!

    Loved the song. It is only now I better appreciate what Jon was also trying to do on AFSAD ref Peter Bellamy. As Christopher John Bridgman commented above: “Perhaps a reminder of the great exponent of folk music, Peter Bellamy, whose signature song this was?” I did not get that at the start, but now see why it was the start, aside from it being a midsummer-suitable and very well-known, English traditional song.

    Right, I am thinking of taking missen off to the local park now to see the passing of the Olympic Torch! Big bonus is Jon Palmer’s Acoustic Band playing in the bandstand. Yeh!

  10. silv says:

    Brilliant still here

  11. Linda says:

    @Diana, got your message from yesterday.

  12. Diana says:

    @LInda: Hoped you would. Only approximately five months to go to the Lowry and must remember the Bold Robber That is the right song isn’t it?

  13. Linda says:

    Jolly Bold Robber 29/02/2012

  14. Linda says:


  15. Linda says:

    Morning Muzza hope your larks are melodious this morning…….

  16. Linda says:

    Are you there Muzza are we going to make another trip through the 365…..

  17. Barbara Scrivens says:

    Here we go for another trip around the sun!
    Still listening to you Jon, keep it going, it’s my daily tonic!

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

    Just think…….23 June all those years ago…..we had never heard of each other!

  19. Linda says:

    To think 10 years next year how time flies and still enjoy dipping into the site re-reading the comments and noticing songs you’ve missed in the past,
    Here we go again Muzza!

  20. Linda says:

    Are you there Muzza? …. year 11…. I think hope your being melodious

  21. OldMuzza (NWSURREY UK) says:

    Ha….here I am Lindy Lou….you obviously worked out how to jump to the 24th….bet it was an easier route than the tortuous hints I put in comments on 23rd!
    Wow….scorching hot weather…how long will it last.
    Good to hear this old melodious song again.
    Last night on the Yateley Morris Zoom gathering we gave a toast to Cecil Sharp (Who brought to the attention of the general public, folk songs and morris tradition…and died on 23rd June 1924. I also put my tuppence worth in for a toast to Mary Neal…….the lady who did so much for folk dancing and died on 22nd June 1944 .

  22. Linda says:

    Here we go again Muzza,

  23. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Hey Lindy Lou…you are so cheeky (and a bit of a techie)..I was glad to use my own link as a short cut to jump to 24th …..and you had already done it your way on the 22nd!!!!
    Yup…here we go again thank goodness…our special library of songs that we take off the shelf every day.
    Hey….Our lovely Jane the cat bothering lady has just had a new boiler fitted…..I feel a folk song about it coming on!

  24. Linda says:

    Got here Muzza….lets be melodious for another 12 months…..year 13 I think??

  25. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Hi Lindy Lou and Jane (Maryland) good that you both made it to 24th and settle in for yet another 365 day journey around the sun with AFSAD!

  26. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Well done to all who made it..I’m here a day early to check the transition still works and to welcome you…here we go again for another splendid collection of folk songs and the ‘occasional’ banter!!!!
    Ha….I’ll bet Diana is already here waiting for us!

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