Banks Of Sweet Primroses


Jon recalls “This I learnt for a tribute concert to Fred Jordan at Cecil Sharp House shortly after his death. I missed out on hearing him sing sadly, but love his voice. This narrowly lost out to Larks They Sang Melodious for Midsummer’s day last year and then I thought about putting it last, but figured a farewell song might be more appropriate…”

One from the Coppers, although widely collected across Southern England. It strikes me as mildly curious in and I find it hard to follow the sense of it. I was pleased therefore to find I’m not alone in that and there is some debate about the last verse being a bolt on. It seems to be remarkably robust in all other ways, however, with very few lyrical variations. It seems to start off jolly enough with the spying of a pretty young maid, but then she seems to be unhappy and less than chuffed with the attention. But quite why she blames him for her unhappiness isn’t clear and despite her intention to wallow in her misery it ends up being a “bright sunshiney day.”  Am I missing something, or is the suggestion that this is an incomplete broken-token ballad, as you’ll see at Mainly Norfolk, on the mark.


57 Responses to “Banks Of Sweet Primroses”

  1. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey-UK) says:

    Naughty old Lindy Lou……….you snatched a peek at tomorrow’s song beforehand….I thought only I did that!!!

  2. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey UK) says:

    Our annual fear……will the site continue for another year!

  3. Ray Padgett says:

    Yes Jon Banks of Sweet Primroses does seem somewhat disjointed summat missing and penultimate verse is this the woman or man saying this and final verse similarly! Open to interpretation and could be part of a longer song


  4. Love this – sang it at Soundpost last weekend! 🙂

  5. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Blimey…..this is the first comments column to overflow to page two!
    My finger poised for tomorrow’s song (will it? wont it?)
    and this year’s summer solstice was colder than the winter solstice in the UK!
    Yup….that’s summer in the UK….hang in there boys and gals!

  6. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK)) says:

    Lovely gentle little song……..some of the words could be taken with a bit of euphemism if your mind works that way (oh-just me then)

  7. Linda says:

    Just catching up with your comments Muzza been to the lovely island of Symi first week thunderstorms second week beautiful …..

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