Jon says, “I learnt to ‘fiddle-sing’ by learning half the arrangements off Be Your Own Man by the lime-light-shunning Barry Dransfield. You can see him performing this one on the Anthony Hopkins / Mel Gibson remake of Mutiny On The Bounty.” This threw me a bit when I heard the concertina start us off. Is it just me or is the concertina a fitting accompaniment to the nautical songs? I’m thinking for its ability to roll the notes like the waves rather than in any old-sea-dog sort of a way. I was also thinking this possibly had somewhat of a Scottish lilt to it and note the earliest version here according to a Mudcat postee. This thread, also on Mudcat is illuminating and the suggestion is that the verses are somewhat prone to float in and out, which sort of made sense to me also. There are certainly a few additions offered and even somebody who seems to be collecting them all. Still, the lurch from sea to meadow and back again didn’t quite make sense to me, much as I like the images presented. A lovely tune none the less and not surprising to see a Psalm sharing it, as this, for me anyway, also has something of the church about it. With Pete Seeger and The Kingston trio known to have performed this it clearly has a life across the Atlantic as well.
Water Is Wide