Claudy Banks


Jon simply introduces this with “Farewell to May with a favourite from the Coppers. Not long to go now!”

We’ll return to the latter point soon enough!! But have you enjoyed May? I know I have. I thought April was great and was a little concerned when checking we had the correct recordings in place for this month that everything was starting with “As I walked out one May morning…” My concerns proved ill founded as I think there have been a majority of great songs. And here’s another. We’ll ignore the young lass’ myopia as this is another common plot motif and give credit to the Coppers, who seem to be the main source of this. You can see at Mainly Norfolk that both The Young Tradition and Shirley Collins are quick to sing their praises. I’ll also refer you here where there is a list of the many broadside versions. Should you fancy it, there’s a world of Mudcat distraction to finish off the month, with a raging debate about the location of Claudy Banks. Ireland seems most likely, although there’s quite a convincing argument towards the end that it’s Caldy on the banks of the River Dee in Cheshire. The chronology of the broadsides seems to fit the argument and it’s always possible that it started life in England and moved to Ireland, or indeed the other way round. I don’t suppose it’s much to the detriment of the enjoyment, either way, but I do love chasing these songs around to see what we can learn.


22 Responses to “Claudy Banks”

  1. Rich says:

    wish you’d done one may morning early. it would have sounded quite good just with you

  2. John Biggs says:

    One of my (many) favourites, this. I always sense that Betsy knows well what is going on and is happy to play along with his little charade, to prove that she has been faithful.
    It is a lovely song to sing , not least for the line, “Betsy, I’m that man”.

  3. Rosie says:

    Yes, this is indeed a lovely song to sing. I,ll be practicing it while I exercise the horse this morning They don,t like folk songs in my house!
    Another good one Jon.

  4. John Phipps says:

    I remember Andy Stewart commenting there were so many warning banks of the Bann songs that it was amazing a woman would get near the place.

  5. JohnnyEv says:

    Agreed. Always a favourite. I have to say that for me Young Tradition singing this is pure joy! Nevertheless, a great rendition by Jon here.

    “Betsy, I’m your man”……as I have often heard it sung. Always reminded me of Leonard Cohen’s great song!

    Has Jon done a Cohen song yet……???

  6. Sol says:

    Nicely sung, but it seems like this version wanders from first person to third person?

  7. SRD says:

    I’ve never understood why she didn’t give him a slap and tell him to p*** off back to sea.

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ SRD: *Cracking* comment! LMAO. But beautifully sung, Jon.

  9. Diana says:

    A jolly good song, but I am sure she must have seen through his disguise and played him at his game.

  10. Jane Ramsden says:

    As I have been trawling through all previous songs for my AFSAD archive afore it officially finishes (*sob*) I came across a Reinhard-signpost to Fay Hield’s website, which I hadn’t looked at thoroughly before.

    In amongst the other good stuff, I found a pointer to Last Shop Standing – a 60-minute documentary due to be released this Summer & described thus: “…a celebration of the unique spirit of comradeship and entrepreneurial ingenuity that has enabled so many record shops to keep operating successfully against a backdrop of massive changes in the music industry, the biggest recession in years, growth of online file sharing and the explosion of choice in music consumption.”

    Bright Phoebus ran a fundraiser to help finish the editing. The show included performances by Fay Hield, Martin Simpson and Richard Hawley amongst a stella cast. Excerpts of the gig will be included in the film. More info here:

    and at their own website (linked to FB for those that Like):

    Is there no end to you two’s (Fay & Jon) talented involvement in so many interesting & worthwhile projects? Needless to say, I have now signed up to Fay’s mailing list… must get my signed copy of ‘Orfeo’ soonest!

    I’ll never get to the end of mi’ notes at this rate, if I keep diversifying! Having said that, I’m as far back as early August, so only July and June to do. Yeh! Bin an edukashun, yet again. Ta, AFSAD!

  11. Jane Ramsden says:

    ‘Orfeo’ ordered! Yeh, again!

  12. Diana says:

    @ Jane please don’t start with the sobbing or else I may have to join in, and at present am keeping a stiff upper lip. Glad you have got aroiund to oerdering Orfeo – you will love it, I just can’t stop playing it and I am really enjoying the “ironing” for a change. Quite happy with the headphones on and the iron in my hand.

    How far have you got now with your “memoirs”? It is a really daunting task you have undertaken.

  13. Diana says:

    @ Jane I really should pay more attenion. You have answered my query above.

  14. Jane Ramsden says:

    Yup, daunting, but I’m not letting go of all this research, history & song knowledge without a fight! Mi’ arm is dropping off, not to mention mi’ ‘and, & mi’ back is brokken… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! However, I now have over 150,000 worms on 477 pages! Nearly at the end (nearly finished August; just July and part-June to complete.) I can’t finish June except as we go along, so I’ll be ending at the same time as AFSAD itself… *sob, sob, sob*

  15. Diana says:

    A real manuscript then – wow 477 pages and still growing. Well worth having though. I do know the broken back bit as I seem to suffer that when standing reasonably still (ironing) and washing up does not help either. Do stop with the sob please it is onlY 23 days until we are all bereft.

  16. John Bryson says:

    I first heard this sung by Fairport Convention, and took an immeidate liking to the song. Jon’s version is also a real pleasure to listen to.
    If you have a read of this Jon, a big thank you for the pleasure in listening to AFSAD in somewhat trying circumstances for me

  17. Diana says:

    Hi Muzza I popped up for the socks. See comment on yesterdays song!

  18. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Oh Diana ….how we miss your comments….I can say socks and vest to my heart’s content…but it aint the same old gal.

  19. OldMuzza(NWSurreyUK) says:

    Aw….Daina will always be in our hearts as she pops up in AFSAD comments

  20. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Socks, socks, socks, vest, vest, vest!.. just for Daina!

  21. Linda says:

    Hey Muzza the socks worked again and one of us appeared…….

  22. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Ha Lindy Lou….knew I could rely on you….I left this message on 31st but it hasn’t appeared so this is a repeat..hope you keeping well

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