Fakenham Fair


Following on from Yarmouth Town, we’re once again in Bellowhead, Bellamy and Bullen territory and Jon Says,   “Bellamy got this from Peter Bullen, along with Yarmouth Town. It seems very C20th in syntax so it’s possibly written by Bullen or someone in his family?” Jon is referring to the sleeve notes from Bellamy’s original release. You might want to have a quick look at this Mudact thread, which includes a post or two from Jon. I’d have to agree that it has a C20th feel to the lyrical details, but whoever wrote it, it’s still a fine song and worthy of its place here.

You can buy the September digital album now from all good download stores:


41 Responses to “Fakenham Fair”

  1. muzza says:

    OOer….I’ve upset somebody…………..I’m not allowed access to the Mudcat thread!!!!!!
    I liked the singer, the song and the concertina……..but this time the matching level of voice and concertina made it difficult to hear the words………or is it me!…Old Blokes…I ask yer……never bloomin’ satisfied!

  2. Phil says:

    In style it’s very Revival – if someone told me it was by Jez Lowe I’d believe them instantly. Nice song though.

    One of my more boring habits is going up to singers and saying appreciatively, Was that in 5:4? (It usually turns out that they don’t read dots and have no idea what I’m talking about.) Still, we’re among musos here, so… er… was that in 5:4?

  3. Phil says:

    Something went wrong with the Mudcat link. Here’s the right one: Fakenham Fair: origins

  4. John Wigley says:

    I deeply love this tune and would concur about it’s 20c-ness (especially when the singer’s eyes are popping out of his head). I hear it’s echo around Christmas when ‘Fairytale of New York’ is on the radio.

  5. Alison McKee says:

    Always loved this and it really suits Jon’s voice….

  6. Steve says:

    Each morning it’s a delight to see what the latest offering is. Today is no exception. Very different to Bellowhead’s version, obviously, but I think I prefer this one. One gripe, I wish itunes would get their act together. Today and previous two days not available.

  7. Simon says:

    Sorry for the broken link there. I did have the right one 90963, but for some reason it didn’t stick in the post. I’ve updated now, so hopefully that’s fixed it. One of our surprisingly rare technical glitches on the blog!

    I’ll ask Ben to look into i-tunes and post back.

  8. Fred Cojones says:

    Not available with Juice – its not iTunes/Juice, its the feed that’s not working

  9. Fred Cojones says:

    Working now on Juice!

  10. Val bagnall says:

    Love this song saw Bellowhead sing this live at Shrewsbury Folk Festival – is was great.

  11. Dave Rogers says:

    Phil said, “Still, we’re among musos here, so… er… was that in 5:4?”

    Dunno. I’m a *folk* muso – what are “dots”? 😉

  12. Phil says:

    My fingers started ornamenting the other day when I was in the middle of a tune and wasn’t thinking what I was doing – most peculiar it was, they usually only contribute wrong notes. Maybe one day I’ll be a folk muso too.

    I play by ear – I have done since I got my first recorder at school, got bored with blowing As and Bs and worked out God Save the Queen – so I find it hard to imagine needing the dots. On the other hand, I still mostly learn tunes from the dots – I’m deeply impressed by anyone who can hear a tune once and start playing along. On the other other hand, I’m really deeply impressed by anyone who can play from the dots on sight – I don’t know how their brain can work that fast.

    What was the question again?

  13. John Bryson says:

    A great song, in my view superbly sung here

  14. Shelley says:

    Phil, yes it is in 5/4 of course. You can almost waltz to it, but it would involve some falling over. Nice to hear another Bellowhead standard stripped down (as it were).

  15. Karl Mallett says:

    My brother and his good girlfriend help to organise the real Fakenham Fair in Norfolk. What are the chances. Great song and great version.

  16. Nick Passmore says:

    Bringing back fond memories of the late great Peter Bellamy: my vinyl copy of “Mainly Norfolk” would be worth a bob or two now if I hadn’t lent it to someone back in the ’70s… I’m pretty sure that Bellamy sang it in waltz time (which also sounds good…) but the 5/4 timing sounds great – even without the rest of Bellowhead!

  17. Phil says:

    I don’t know, on repeat listening I’m sure there are some bars of 6 lurking in there… shall we split the difference and call it 11:8? (I can’t write time sigs with a ‘/’, possibly because I was told off at school for writing them with a horizontal line – “it’s not a fraction!” Which is ironic, considering that a time signature actually is a fraction.)

  18. Nothing has appeared in my iTunes since Sept. 4th, and I keep refreshing it. Is there a problem there?

  19. OK – fixed now, thanks!

  20. Maureen Musson says:

    Some people have been known to pogo dance to it! (Shelley?)

  21. Shelley says:

    More of a bobbing up and down than a pogo dance Maureen!

  22. Ellie Dunsdon says:

    This is the song we came home from Cropredy singing! I absolutely love it (my dad even began to write out the score for it…) And Jon sings it beautifully – between Bellowhead’s version and this I couldn’t choose 🙂

  23. schlimmerkerl says:

    5/4. Must be traditional— so’s “Barbara Allen”

  24. Angie says:

    This song is just lovely – just what I was longing for. Thank you so much. Now where can we come and listen to you?

  25. Jane Ramsden says:

    00.30 and file not found, Admin… I’ll call back later…

  26. 09:00 hrs in Germasny

    “File not found” on http://www.afolksongaday.com


  27. Phil says:

    Hi all,

    This is to announce 52 Folk Songs – http://www.52folksongs.com – a Web site where, inspired by Jon’s amazing project, I shall be posting a folk song every week for the next year. There are two songs up there at the moment; one’s my version of Lord Bateman, the other isn’t a folk song. Have a look!

  28. John Bryson says:

    File not found – and its one of my favourites of the AFSAD project – I’m having withdrawal symptoms!

  29. Simon says:

    Sorry folks, I’ve no idea what that File Not Found was all about. I went into the admin area and there it was, as it should be. I’ve uploaded it again and it’s fixed the problem but it looks exactly the same as the one that didn’t work!! I’m a bit preoccupied with Properganda magazine again as well as some other stuff, so thanks to Reinhard for the tip off. I do try and keep an eye on things, but please will those of you that can e-mail me with any further problems as soon as you see them.

  30. Jane Ramsden says:

    Will do, Skyman. Bit preoccupied missen today, so never got back ’til now! Plus, I’m enough of a pest normally… hahahahaha!

  31. Jane Ramsden says:

    Oh, well done, Phil, on 52 Folk Songs! I’ve signed missen up fer notification!

  32. Diana says:

    Great song – well sung. Also like Bellowhead’s version.

  33. Linda says:

    Enjoyed this again….

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

    Ref the very first comment I made way back 7Sep 2010……….
    I can hear it perfectly 9 years on………it’s a miracle I tell yer!

  35. Linda says:

    So miracles do happen glad you can hear this lovely song beautifully sung by Jon….

  36. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Got a smattering of ‘Maid of Australia ‘ and ‘Santa Fe Trail’ in this song….can still hear it ok.
    After all these years (9)I still seem to be the only one giving a slight indication of how far AFSAD reaches(location)….I would find such informatin jolly interesting!

  37. John Bryson says:

    Jon now includes this is his solo concerts, saw him back in March just before lockdown at the Y Theatre in Leicester and this was in his set

  38. Jane says:

    OldMuzza, I am in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Just found this site a few months ago, and it’s been one of the saving graces of this strange year.

  39. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Well Jane, great to hear from you…..thank you for giving your location…and you have been on site for a few months……very quietly………..you have made an old man very happy .
    Oooooooer,………I must make sure I don’t get USA Jane mixed up with our ‘Yorkshire Jane’

  40. Jane (Maryland, US) says:

    Hi Muzza. Just now saw your response from last year. This site is even better the second time through, now that I’ve learned some about Peter Bellamy, Cyril Tawney, the Coppers, the Watersons, Cecil Sharp, Les Barker (as well as a certain singing Morris dancer). Not to mention our new Bellowhead and Fay Hield CDs.

    I’m not in Yorkshire Jane’s league as a researcher, but I’ve scurried down a few rabbit holes over the past year+ learning about the Padstow ‘Oss and pace egging and Apple Tree Wassailing. Looking forward to adding further to my knowledge of English folk music and customs.

  41. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Jane (Maryland US of A)
    Whey Hey there-Good to see that you are still dipping in to the old AFSAD
    Wow you have certainly named a few old favourites there.
    Yorkshire Jane has slowed down a bit with the old research, bless her, but she still actively cat bothering…..(rescue cats) Unfortunately, it is a lifelong commitment to gals such as she.
    Nice to know that you and others are still out there.

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