All Of A Row


Three full months in already, with a weeks worth of June as well. As we’re in the harvest season, this seems appropriate and Jon says, “My favourite track from Larkrise To Candleford (the Albion band version, not the BBC thing). I’ve only ever heard Carthy sing it so not sure where it comes from.” Interestingly I found Jon on Mudcat asking questions about this, which brings up a couple of alternate versions. Mainly Norfolk has Martin Carthy covered. Finding further information has more or less foundered on the rocks of the popular country-rock troop The Eagles and I note even Mudcat is heading that way with the bizarre inclusion of Joe Walsh’s lyrics at the end of the thread. A last minute saving grace is this link, which is a collection of Harvest songs in one place that some of you might like to explore. You’ll find  a couple of other familiar entries there.

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


29 Responses to “All Of A Row”

  1. Nige Rivers says:

    Well timed inspiration for going along to Folly Bridges open night this friday… now can my old brain remember a harvest song in time?

  2. Jan says:

    Yes, this site is a brilliant inspiration for what to sing at the next singaround session!

    This one is already in my repertoire – like Jon, I enjoy singing songs at the appropriate time of year – although I learned it from Martin Carthy’s singing and haven’t heard it anywhere else.

    A minor point, but Jon (and Reinhard) have ‘in mirth let us talk’ and I’ve always thought it was ‘toil’. Have another listen to Martin on Rigs of the Time and see what you think!

  3. Reinhard says:

    Jan, ‘in mirth let us toil’ might make more sense here, but I just re-listened very carefully to both the ‘Sweet Wivelsfield’ and the ‘Lark Rise’ version, and I’m quite sure Martin Carthy sings ‘talk’.

  4. Jon gives this a great rhythm – must go on the to-learn list before the season passes

  5. Alistair says:

    It’s a song I am singing at present and thoroughly enjoying. A written version can be found on the Take Six website as “As Harvest Comes On”, collected by H.E.D.Hammond, from George Roper, in August 1906. It’s also on the website (which is ‘down’ at the moment) as ‘All of a Row’. “In mirth let us talk” is what Hammond wrote from the singing of Roper, who was in Blandford’s workhouse at the time.
    In Roy Palmer’s English Country Songbook (from Baring Gould’s Minstrelsie Vol 2) is a version with a different tune. The “toil” line is omitted but later in the first verse there is “The foreman goes first in the hot summer glow, and sings with a laugh, my lads, of a row.” Do I detect the pen of Baring Gould in these lines?

  6. Jane Ramsden says:

    Being several songs behind, I am playing catch-up again today. But this is very appropriate as, not only do I love Lark Rise To Candleford, having not long seen Ashley Hutchings do Lark Rise Revisited, but John Tams came to my local folk club 3 days ago. Only 37 years since the last time! I didn’t see him then though, I hasten to add! (Though I am old enough!)
    Lovely seasonal ballad and, as Ashley H said at Lark Rise Revisited, ‘You either get Lark Rise, or you don’t.’ I do! Lovely, Jon.

  7. Slag310 says:

    Thank you for posting the link to my site with the list of traditional Harvest Songs. I have a new page which I just got opened a couple of days ago for traditional Songs and Stories for Halloween and Samhain. It includes some actually traditional stuff and some new songs in a traditional style, and some things just for the fun of celebrating Halloween. I hope that you like it!

    I like your site, it is very much the type of thing that I am interested in.


  8. Slag310 says:

    Oh, for heaven’s sake, I forgot to include the new link. It’s


  9. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Nice Timing Jon. This is Harvest Festival week-end in our little community. Tomorrow we are joined by the wonderful ‘Village Quire’ for a concert, and afterwards we shall, “Take a good supper and drink strong beer”. I am sure this song will get an airing. Then on Sunday it is the Harvest Festival. As I write this, the church is being decorated for both events. ( )

  10. John Biggs (Welsh Marches) says:

    Another great month of songs and hard to pick a favourite, but ‘All Of A Row’ would be up there along with ‘On Board A 98’, ‘Fakenham Fair’ and ‘Sleep On Beloved’.
    I was lucky enough to see the original stage production of ‘Larkrise’ and like Jane, caught Ashley Hutchings’ recent ‘Larkrise Revisited’ and in both cases, it does it for me. Far better than any T.V. series. The pictures are so much better !

  11. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ John B: Thanks for posting a link to the Village Quire website. Just had a quick tour, sampled the medley, learnt about shape notes and read the comment stream. All very lovely, and have bookmarked for a return & deeper exploration.

  12. Linda says:

    Lovely and seasonal

  13. Muzza(NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Linda…………..You are up late…….looks like thee and me have just got in from a hard days harvest in the fields……
    listening to this song makes you think of idyllic, sunny, plentiful days(ala Larkrise) and nothing like todays floods in the country and poor old Spain getting a bashing now.

  14. Diana says:

    Very seasonable – but the weather is atrocious for the harvesters. The poem “Rain rain go to Spain” has certainly caused that country some strife. It always seems ironic to me that the rain never seems to fall where it is most required.

  15. Muzza(NW Surrey-UK) says:

    All together now………….Why are we waiting….whyyyyy are we waiting
    Happy October everybody.
    yep it’s raining (It was scorching hot 1st /2nd/3rdOctober last year!)

  16. Diana says:

    It is a “pinch me” day isn’t it Muzza? You are right as per usual. Hot last year and raining again today interspersed with sunshine. April yet again – wish it was then there would be a prospect of a summer ahead. Have joined in with your refrain. Popped on earlier but no luck and still no sign of “Prickle eye bush”

  17. Muzza(NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Diana……….I have a dreadful feeling that our extended run (3rd year) of the wonderful AFSAD has come to an end.
    Admin Simon said that it could happen some day…either that or he is away on holiday…or worse -not well and unable to check the site…..we will find out eventually.

  18. Diana says:

    Hi Muzza had the same feeling when I logged on in the evening. All good things come to an end and this was a good thing – really enjoyed the songs, the chatter (silly or otherwise) and the friends I made. All will be sorely missed. I don’t know hoe long we will be able to communicate on this page but perhaps there will be a little time for messaging. Anyway keep in touch with Jane then I can find out how you and Pewter are doing.

  19. Jon Boden says:

    Hi All. Simon and Ben (site admin) are both on holiday at the moment, but hopefully they’ll be able to sort the glitch out when they get back. Cheers, Jon

  20. Diana says:

    Thanks Jon for giving us an update. It will certainly be appreciated by your regular fans. At least we can all look forward to a return of AFSAD in the future. Hope Simon and Ben have a good holiday – weather premitting that is!

  21. Muzza(NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Jon……………Hi Jon……..good news indeed……and don’t think that we haven’t noticed that you are moonlighting under the ‘assumed’ name of Alex langsdown (the one in the trilby)in the TV programme ‘Wartime Farm’!

  22. Diana says:

    Muzza that is great news isn’t it? Meanwhile we can carry on here by the look of it. It was really good of Jon to let us know and put us out of our misery.

  23. Linda says:

    When all else fails use the archive. Oct 1 Prickle-eye bush. Beautiful!!!
    Oct 2 The Huntsman, what can I say Muzza your in for a treat in K9 seen Fay twice Bury met and the Folkeast festival Brill.
    Don t forget Bellowhead day on Oct 4th ?? Glad to know Jon is still keeping an eye on us.

  24. Muzza(NW Surrey-UK) says:

    @Linda……………….Thanks for the hint Linda…………I didn’t know we could hear songs from the archive…when I have tried before I have just seen the list that ‘don’t play!’….but they did this time……Huzzah.

  25. Jane Ramsden says:

    Hello all! Whilst we’re waiting for the Admin Skymen to return, here’s a newly-posted YouTube vid of my FB friend Jon Palmer and his Acoustic Band doing one of his own compositions, ‘Working For The Gangmaster.’

    There are also other musicians to check out from Ont’ Sofa described thus:

    “Ont’ Sofa’s mission is to bring quality musicians and artists to your ears and eyes! We are asking REAL talented musicians and artists to sit Ont’ Sofa and show the world what real music is all about!”

    One of their featured artists is original singer-songwriter Lucy Spraggen (from Sheffield, Yorkshire!) of recent X Factor fame. Here’s her comical audition song about ‘beer fear’ called ‘Last Night:’

    OK, not exactly folk, but good to know lots of young British talent still out there! I’ll return to trad, mills and strikes later… hahahahaha!

  26. Jane Ramsden says:

    PS Got my tickets for Bellowhead in Bradford and Fay & the Hurricane Band in Otley. Yeh!

  27. Diana says:

    Well fellow AFSADDERS nice to see us all gathered here. My you are living it up Jane. Two outings on your list. Good for you.
    @Linda not too long till our meeting at the Lowry all being well. Don’t forget your rose. I have used the archive often – it is good to listen to and to read the messages.

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

    It’s probably too late to warn you all NOT TO CLICK onto the link for the ‘harvest song collection’ as mentioned in Simon’s notes at the start……the site has been hacked and closed down

  29. Linda says:

    Well Muzza 9 years on and we’re still going round see comments 2012 and still looking forward to Prickle Eye Bush tomorrow….

Your Reply

Warning: Undefined variable $user_ID in /customers/a/0/f/ on line 121