Heel & Toe Polka

 

      Fifty years ago The Heel and Toe Polka was regularly danced in bar rooms and village halls across Norfolk. A simple couple dance where couples take ballroom hold and starting with gent's left foot, lady's right foot they perform a heel and toe movement and take two chassee steps. This is repeated with the gent’s right foot and lady’s left and this sequence is done four times. When the music changes the couple polka. When this was danced in a bar room the polka would be very tight as in a two step.

 

Tune notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banks of the Sweet Dundee

 

There was a brisk young damsel so beautiful I'm told,

Her parents died and left her ten thousand pounds in gold,

She lived with her uncle, the cause of all her woe,

And soon you shall hear this maiden fair did prove her overthrow, overthrow, overthrow,

And soon you shall hear this maiden fair did prove her overthrow.

 

Her uncle had a ploughboy who Mary loved full well,

And in her uncle's garden and the tales of love did tell.

There was a wealthy squire who oft came her to see,

But still she loved her ploughboy on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

But still she loved her ploughboy on the banks of the sweet Dundee.

 

Her uncle rose one morning and went to see her straight away.

He knock-ed at her bedroom door and these words to her did say,

"Arise my pretty maiden, a lady you should be,

There's a squire waiting for you on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

There's a squire waiting for you on the banks of the sweet Dundee."

 

"Oh fig for all your squires, the lords and dukes like wise,

Young William appears to me like diamonds in mine eyes."

"Be gone unruly female you never shall happy be,

For I mean to banish William from the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

For I mean to banish William from the banks of the sweet Dundee."

 

Her uncle and the squire rode out one summer's day,

"Young William's in her favour," her uncle he did say.

"Indeed it's my intention to bind him to a tree,

Or else to bribe the press gang on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

Or else to bribe the press gang on the banks of the sweet Dundee."

 

The pressgang come to William when he was all alone,

He boldly fought for liberty but there were six to one.

The blood did flow in torrents, "Pray kill me now," said he,

"For I'd rather die for Mary on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

For I'd rather die for Mary on the banks of the sweet Dundee."

 

As Mary was a-walking, lamenting for her love,

She met this wealthy squire down by her uncle's grove.

He put his arms around her waist "Stand back base man!" said she,

"For you've sent the only man I love from the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

For you've sent the only man I love from the banks of the sweet Dundee."

 

He put his arms around her waist and tried to throw her down,

Two pistols and a sword she spied beneath her morning gown.

Young Mary took the weapons, the sword he used so free,

And she did fire and shoot the squire on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

And she did fire and shoot the squire on the banks of the sweet Dundee.

 

Her uncle overheard the noise and hastened to the ground,

Saying, "You have killed the squire! I will give you your death wound."

"Stand back!" then said young Mary, "undaunted I will be!"

She the trigger drew and her uncle slew on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

she the trigger drew and her uncle slew on the banks of the sweet Dundee.

 

A doctor was then sent for, a man of noted skill,

And then likewise the lawyer, who came to prove the will.

The will did go to Mary who fought so manfully,

And now she lives happy on the banks of the sweet Dundee, Dundee, Dundee,

And now she lives happy on the banks of the sweet Dundee.

 


      Banks of the Sweet Dundee - Reg Bacon Roud 148 In ‘A Book of British Ballads’ Roy Palmer introduces this ballad as ‘Villainy and virtue, blood and tears, innocence triumphant: here are the ingredients of a strong nineteenth-century melodrama. The ballad has remained popular with country singers until recently’. Indeed, it is a song that almost any traditional singer who had more than a few songs would have had in their repertoire. Not suprisingly, it was particularly popular in Scotland, but it also found favour with many English singers and two fine renditions can be heard from Fred Jordan on ‘A Shropshire Lad’ (VTD148CD) and Walter Pardon on ‘A World Without Horses’ (TSCD514). It has been suggested that one of the reasons for its popularity is that the tune belongs to a well-known type of folk-melody, although Reg Bacon’s is even more interesting as it has a few more twists and turns than usual. Sam Steele also recorded the ballad from Billy Rash of West Wratting, Cambridgeshire in 1960 and not many miles away Des Herring recorded it from Stan Steggles at Rattlesden, Suffolk in 1959 and from Charlie Carver at Tostock, Suffolk in 1960. The Steggles and Carver recordings can be heard on ‘Many a Good Horseman’ (VTVS01/02).

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Was I

 

Now a dear old pal of mine named Brown, last Monday called on me,

And he asked me if I'd go with him and have jolly spree.

Now my missus didn't like it but I quickly made a bunk:

We called at nearly every pub and soon old Brown was drunk.

So was I, so was I, for I was just the same, I won't deny.

We both get on alright 'til we both got beastly tight.

Then Brown was soon paralytic - so was I.

 

Now they wouldn't serve us at a pub, they quickly slung us out.

We didn't care we rolled along and then began to shout.

When a man in blue came up and said, "Just stop that dreadful din".

Old Brown said, "I will punch your head" then Brown was soon run in.

So was I, so was I, for I was just the same, I won't deny.

They pitched us in a cell, on our heads we gently fell,

And Brown was soon snoring - so was I.

 

Now next morning we felt shaky, we were in such a state.

They quickly took us both before the magistrate.

When he eyed us both so sternly we both held back a sob,

Because poor old Brown was sentenced to a month or forty bob.

So was I, so was I, for I was just the same, I won't deny.

We paid the fine, you bet, then we went and had a wet,

For poor old Brown was thirsty - so was I.


      Composed and sung by music hall performer Arthur Lennard (1867-1954) and published in B. Mocatta & Co’s ‘Second Comic Annual’ (late 19th century).

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yarmouth /Sailor’s /Yarmouth Hornpipes


     The Yarmouth Hornpipe is the tune for stepdancing in Norfolk and it has its roots
in The Manchester Hornpipe. In Suffolk it is known as The Pigeon on the Gate and can be heard played by many players on the album of the same name (VTVS05/06). The Sailor’s Hornpipe dance is said to date back to Tudor times and the tune is probably one of the best known hornpipes anywhere.

Tune notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Outlandish Knight

 

There came a man from a far off land,

He came a courting me,

And he promised to take me to some far off land,

And there he would marry me.

 

He said, "Fetch me some of your father's gold,

Some of your mother's freeze (food?).

And two of the best horses out of the stable,

Where there stood thirty and three.

 

Now he jumped on a white milk horse.

She on a nether (dapple?) grey,

For six pretty maidens he has drowned there,

The seventh thee should be.

 

He says, "Pull off your silk white gown,

And deliver it unto me,

For six pretty maidens I have drown here,

The seventh thou shall be."

 

She said, "I shall not pull off my silk white gown,

Nor deliver it unto you,

It's not fitting for a man to see a woman stark naked,

Nor a man to see a woman."

 

She plunged him into the water,

She plunged him into the sea.

She says, "Lay there you false hearted man.

Lay there instead of me."

 

Now she jumped on that white milk horse,

Tied the poor nether grey.

She rode 'til she came to her father's house,

Three hours before it was day.

 

"Oh father, dear father tell no tale.

Please tell no tales on me.

For six pretty maidens he has drowned there,

and the seventh she should be."

 


      This well known ballad has a remarkable history, as Professor Child (who called it Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight) pointed out, he knew of versions from Portugal to Poland and from Scandinavia to the Balkans. It can be directly traced back to a German broadside of C.1550 although it was known as a tale long before that date. In many European versions of the ballad there is an episode that has all but vanished from our present story. As the eloping couple reach the waterside, the man persuades the girl to stop beneath a tree. She is asked not to look up into the tree’s branches, but is asked, instead to delouse the man’s hair. As she is complying, she glances up into the branches where she sees the severed heads of his previous victims. Thus warned she is able to outsmart her would-be murderer. Many 19th century English broadside houses published the ballad including Pitts, Fortey, Dever, Hill, Taylor, Carnach and Such in London and Russell and Wadsworth in Birmingham. The ballad became widespread, particularly in America and Canada.
      In East Anglia Ralph Vaughan Williams took down the tune from a Mr Hilton of South Walsham, Norfolk in 1908 and Cecil Sharp again collected just the tune from a William Porter of Ely, Cambridgeshire in 1911. In 1947 E. J. Moeran arranged for the BBC to make a second visit to the Eel’s Foot in Eastbridge, Suffolk where Jumbo Brightwell sang the ballad under his title The False Hearted Knight. That recording can be heard on Veteran VT140CD ‘Good Order’. Seamus Ennis visited Norfolk in 1954 /55 as part of the BBC’s collecting initiative and recorded the ballad from Ben Baxter of Southrepps and Bill Lowne at Cley-next-the-sea, then in 1959 Philip Donnellan recorded the ballad from Sam Larner of Winterton, Norfolk.

     Three other recorded versions from other parts of the country which are worth comparing are from Cornwall’s Charlotte Renals (called A Man from the North Country) on VT119CD ‘Catch me if you Can’, from Shropshire’s Fred Jordan (called Six Pretty Maids) on VTD148CD ‘A Shropshire Lad’ and from Sussex’s Mary Ann Hayes (called the Young Officer) on TSCD661 ‘My Father’s the King of the Gypsies’.

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


College Hornpipe


     This was one of the tunes used by the Little Downham Molly Dancers and in this form doesn’t seem to turn up anywhere else.

Tune notes: John Howson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Banks of the Clyde

 

On the banks of the Clyde stood a lad and a lassie,

The lads name was Georgie and lass's was Jane.

She flung her arms around him and cried, "Do not leave me,"

For Georgie was going to fight for his queen.

She gave him a lock of the bright auburn tresses,

She kissed him, she pressed him once more to her heart.

Still his eyes spoke a line that his lips could not utter,

The last word is spoken, they kiss and they part.

 

(Chorus)

Over the burning plains of Egypt,

Under the scorching sun.

He thought of the stories he'd have to tell to his love,

When the fight was won.

For he treasured with care that dear lock of hair,

For his own darling Jinny he prayed,

But her prayers were in vain,

For she'd ne'er see again,

Her lad in the Scotch brigade.

 

Though the ocean divided the lad from his lassie,

Her Georgie was forced far away o'er the foam,

His roof was the sky, his bed was the desert,

His heart with his Jinny was always at home.

'Til the morning dawned on the famed day of battle,

Found Georgie enacting a true hero's part,

'Til an enemy's bullet brought with it its billet,

And buried the dear lock of hair in his heart.

Chorus

 

On the banks of the Clyde dwelt a heartbroken mother,

They told her how the great victory was won.

The glory to England to her was no comfort,

The glory to her meant the loss of her son.

But Jinny is with her to comfort and shield her,

Together they weep and together they pray,

But Jinny her daughter shall be while she lives,

For the sake of that laddie that died far away.

Chorus

 


     The Banks of the Clyde is set in the Sudan, where British soldiers found themselves fighting between 1882 and 1898. It was issued as a broadside by Charles Sanderson of Edinburgh in the 1800s and was recorded in Scotland by the BBC in 1953 from James MacGravey of Kirkcudbright. The song seemed to be popular in Canada where several renderings have been collected, but it doesn’t seem to have been very widespread in England. Fred Hamer came across it in Bedfordshire and in East Anglia members of the Ling
family of Blaxhall in Suffolk sang the song, as did Walter Pardon of Knapton, Norfolk. Occomore and Spratley collected a version from Mrs Raven in Essex and I also recorded it from Manny Aldous of Great Bricett, Suffolk.

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Jig


     Another unidentified tune from the Bulwer stable. This sounds like it might have been a quadrille tune. Reg Hall has another recording of this and Walter said that he used to have the music for it but hadn’t played it for years.

Tune notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Barleycorn

 

There was three men come from the north,

Their skill all for to try.

They made a vow and a solemn vow,

John Barleycorn should die.

 

They put him in the earth so deep,

They scratched clods over his head.

They made a vow and a solemn vow,

John Barleycorn was dead.

 

There John lay musing under the clods,

'Til the rain from heaven did fall.

John Barleycorn sprung up apace,

He did amaze them all.

 

At Michaelmas time or a little before,

John began to turn yellow and thin,

John Barleycorn he had a long beard,

And soon he became a man.

 

And then they came with their scythes so sharp,

And they cut him below the knee.

They cut him right close to the ground my boys,

They treated him most barbarously.

 

And then they came with pitchforks sharp,

And they stabbed him to the heart,

And after they served him so my boys,

They bound him to a cart.

 

They wheeled him up and down the field,

And this they thought no harm,

They wheeled him up and down the field,

They wheeled him into the barn.

 

And then they came with their crab-stock staff,

And thrashed him skin from bone.

But the miller he served him worse, my boys,

He ground him between two stones.

 

They put him in the tub so round,

And scalded him almost blind.

And after they'd served him so, my boys,

They gave him to the swine.

 

Put brandy in a glass my boys.

Put cider into a can,

Put barley broth into a brown jug,

He'll become the bravest man.

 

     John Barleycorn tells the story of the life-cycle of the barley grain used in brewing beer. It appears in a variety of forms and has been sung to a number of tunes. A black letter version, printed by Henry Gosson (1607-41), can be found in the Pepys Collection and several eighteenth century broadside versions exist. Later on several sequels appeared like Hey John Barleycorn and Little John Barleycorn. Robert Burns even re-wrote it in the eighteenth century. It became a popular song with English country singers and Fred Jordan can be
heard singing it on ‘A Shropshire Lad’ (VTD148CD) but it doesn’t often turn up in Scotland, although a fine exception is the version sung by Duncan Williamson on ‘Travellers Tales Vol. 2’ (Kyloe 101). In Ireland the song has been associated with whisky production rather than ale. In the Suffolk /Essex /Cambridgeshire corner the song was obviously in circulation as apart from this Essex recording, another of Sam Steele’s recordings from Billy Rash of West Wratting, Cambridgeshire can be heard on this CD, and I recorded Tom Smith at Thorpe Morieux, Suffolk (VTC2CD ‘Songs Sung in Suffolk’) and Roy Last at Mendlesham Green (VT130CD ‘Who Owns the Game?’). All four of these recordings tell the complete story from ploughing the ground to serving the beer in a brown bowl, jug or pot, but each is a different word set and with variations of the tune.

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Remember me to ...... 

 

The other day I went to see a dear old aunt of mine,

Who owns a largish family, exactly double nine.

Though I could hardly stand their games, if I the same lot had,

And the thought to recollect their names well it would drive me mad.

(spoken) 'Now my wife's got a wonderful memory for names, and when I was about to set out on this expedition to see my aunt, she says to me, just by way of reminder':

(Chorus)

Remember me to cousin Pat and Lucy, Jane and Phil.

George and Jim and little Tim and Harry, Sam and Will.

Josephine and Emily and Cally, Kate and Chris

Don't forget the little pet and give the babe a kiss.

 

It happened that a troupe of boys were playing round the door,

They dropped their toys and followed me with a bit of fun in store.

They followed me upon my track, as saucy as can be,

And when I turned to drive them back they shouted back at me:

Chorus

 

It's rarely a policeman's found when most he's in request,

But one by chance came on his round to rid me of my pests.

'The boys' he said, 'are banished now, for you've nothing more to fear,'

So making me a stately bow he shouted in my ear:

Chorus

 

The people standing round began the bobby's joke to see,

They caught the name of cousin Pat and shouted it at me.

I couldn't stop their tongues a bit, though very hard I tried.

But a bus came up so I thought quick at once to jump inside.

(spoken) And when I got inside the crowd got in on top and all the way to my aunt's house they did nothing else but yell:

Chorus

 

     This comic ditty has a similarity to The Babies’ Names which comes from the early 1900s but we have not been able to identify the writer of this one.

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebell Polka

 

     Popularised by Jimmy Shand in 1952, this tune actually dates back to at least 1912 when it was recorded as The Little Pet Polka by James Brown in Scotland, whilst in America James Morrison the Sligo fiddler recorded it as The Blue Bell in 1935.

Tune notes: John Howson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bank of England

 

On a dark winter's day when the snow filled the air,

While a poor little urchin with feet cold and bare,

Stepped up to a policemen with an innocent stare,

And asked him the way to the bank.

 

Now the policeman he smiled at a question so strange.

Says, "Why do you ask - have you cheques to change?

Go home to your mother and out of the cold."

'I will,' said that boy, "When I've bought them some gold.

 

Well I heard a toff, reading a paper and say,

That gold was quite cheap in the city today.

And I've just an ha'penny to buy some, no hank,

So please come and show me the way to the bank."

 

(Refrain)

"Where is the Bank of England?

That place where they keep all the gold,

Brother and mother are so ill, hungry and cold.

Now I've never seen any gold in my life,

It's a wonderful thing I've been told.

It perhaps may cure mother and cheer up my brother,

If I buy them a nice purse of gold."

 

Now he held tight to his ha'penny and he hastened along,

He was hustled and pushed by the hurrying throng.

Thus wending his way, for he knew nothing wrong,

And soon found his way to the bank.

 

But when he got there they were closing the gates,

He stood there awhile in a pitiful state,

'Til a carriage dashed by, knocked him down with a scream,

That boy was run over just ending his dream.


     We couldn’t find the origins of this song. The phrase 'no hank' at the end of line three in verse three is interesting, as according to Partridge’s Dictionary of Slang
this was added to the end of a sentence and means 'truthfully /I am not deceiving you' or some such thing. Partridge dates it from c.1870 and says that it was common Cockney usage in the 1920s.

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whistling Rufus

 

     Written in America by Kerry Mills in 1899, who also wrote Redwing in 1907.

Tune notes: John Howson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Nothing to Do With Me
 

Dear friends, for what I'm going to say I will not on you frown.

I do dislike the nasty way of running people down.

My maxim is to do what's right where ever I may be,

Let other people do what they like, it's nothing to do with me.

(Chorus)

For I never interfere wherever I may be,

Let other people do what they like, it's nothing to do with me.

 

Last night as I was walking down by a country road,

I overheard someone talking and to the hedge I strode.

There was a loving couple there, by moonlight I did see.

But what they were a-talking about was nothing to do with me.

Chorus

 

There's Sarah Scrubbins over the way, she is very proud,

She goes about on Sundays and is stared at by the crowd.

On Mondays too she goes out with bundles two or three.

But where she carries them to it's nothing to do with me.

Chorus

 

There is our next door neighbour she lodges four or five,

And to make a tidy job of it of course she does contrive.

The lodgers they complain and say they lose their sugar and tea,

But whether she has it or not, of course it's nothing to do with me.

Chorus

 

There's Mr Jones the bobby, he is so very fine,

His wages are only eighteen bob and mine are twenty-nine.

He has a gold watch, a beautiful chain and gold rings two or three,

But how he became a-hold of them it's nothing to do with me.

Chorus

 

I know a nice lady, her age is twenty- four,

She married a rich old gentleman of ninety-five or more.

And lately she's been blessed with a baby and the old man's filled with glee,

But I can't say its much like him, but its nothing to do with me.

Chorus

 

     Nothing to Do With Me was printed as a broadside by both Sanderson of Edinburgh and Disley in London. In 1985 it was recorded by Nick and Mally Dow from 85 year old Dorset singer Bill House who had learned it from his father. Under the title It’s Nowt to do With Me, Mike Yates recorded it from George Fradley in Derbyshire and that was also what Irish fiddle player Martin Gorman called it when he was recorded by Reg Hall singing at the Fox in Islington in 1966. His tune has a modal feel to it and can be heard on TSCD664 ‘Troubles They are But Few’.

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Hand Reel

 

     Just the A part of this popular dance tune. In East Anglia it was particularly popular in Norfolk where fiddler Herbert Smith played it to Peter Kennedy in 1952, and Percy Brown’s version can be heard on VTVS05/06 ‘The Pigeon on the Gate’.

Tune notes: John Howson
 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dulcie Bell


     This was one of Billy’s party pieces which he played not with his usual wool- bound beaters, but with his finger nails. It is an unusual waltz which doesn’t seem to crop up anywhere else. He learned it from his father who may have written it.

Tune notes: John Howson


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lamkin

 

What care I for false Lamkin or any of his men,

When the doors are all bolted and the windows painted in,

Except the back kitchen window - false Lamkin crept in,

And he pricked one of the older babes with his bright silver pin.

 

"Oh nursemaid, oh nursemaid, how sound you do sleep,

Can't you hear one of the older babes, how loud it does weep?"

Says the nursemaid to the lady, "How do I dare go down

In the dead of the night with no fire a-kindling or no candle alight?"

 

Now the lady went down not thinking no harm,

And false Lamkin he caught her so tight in his arms.

"Oh spare my life, oh spare my life, my life is so sweet,

And I'll give you as many guineas as there's stones in the stream."

 

"So many bright guineas is no use to me,

For I'd rather see your own heart's blood running down to your knees."

 

There was blood in the kitchen. there was blood in the hall,

There was blood in the parlour where the lady did fall.

Now pretty little Betsy up at window so high,

When she saw her dear father came a-riding close by -

 

"Oh father, dear father, don't lay the blame on me -

False Lamkin has killed her bold lady and thee."

Bold Lamkin shall be hanged on the gallows so high,

And his body shall be burned in that fire close by.

 

     Known by a variety of titles sometimes with prefix of Bold, Young or False, and as Lamkin, Lambkin or Lankin this is a rare ballad in England although there are
numerous collected versions from America and Canada. It crops up in Northern Ireland where it was collected by Sam Henry from Alexander Crawford and Gavin
Greig collected it from Miss Bell Robertson in Scotland.
 

     Interestingly Cecil Sharp has three versions in his manuscripts collected in 1911 which came from not that far away from where Hockey Feltwell lived: from Yarrow
Gill and William Murfitt of Ely and George Crabb from Littleport, Cambridgeshire. The story is a gory one about a mason who builds a castle for a lord who later refuses to pay. Lamkin then enters the lord’s home and with the aid of the nurse, brings the lord’s wife downstairs where he kills her. Lamkin and the nurse are
hanged or burnt at the stake. There have been several studies of the ballad made but very little is known of it’s origins or original meaning.
 

     There are few recordings of this ballad and the only others from England seem to be a fragment of Lankin recorded by George Fradley (Derbyshire) on VTC6CD ‘It was on a Market Day - One’ and False Lankin sung by George Frosby (Hants.) on Rounder 1775 ‘Classic Ballads From England and Ireland Vol. 1’.

 

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Unidentified Polka

     Another unusual tune from their large repertoire, which again we couldn’t trace.

Tune notes: John Howson
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Barley Mow
 

I drunk out of a half pint boys, success to the Barley Mow.

The half a pint pot, pinikin and a brown bowl.

Then so boldly we will drink me boys, success to the Barley Mow.

And so boldly we will drink me boys, success to the Barley Mow.

 

I drunk out of a pint boys, success to the Barley Mow.

The pint pot, half a pint pot, pinikin and a brown bowl.

Then so boldly we will drink me boys, success to the Barley Mow.

And so boldly we will drink me boys, success to the Barley Mow.

 

then accumulative adding:

 

Quart pot

Half gallon

Gallon can

Four and a half

Niner

Eighteen

Barrel

Hogshead

River

Thames

Ocean

 


     It was usual to finish a bar-room singing session with a drinking toast and all over rural England The Barley Mow must have been the most popular. The text appears
in James Henry Dixon’s ‘Ancient Poems, Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry in England’ (1846), where it is described as ‘sung at country meetings in Devon and Cornwall’, whilst the tune appears in William Chappell’s ‘Popular Music of the Olden Time’ (1859). Not that the tune is always standardised and here Reg Bacon’s is certainly not the norm. Most versions of this song are accumulative, starting with good luck to a pint (or half pint) pot and finishing with a wish of good luck to the assembled company. Good recordings of this standard form can be heard from Harry Chambers (Suffolk) on VTC2CD ‘Songs Sung in Suffolk’ as well as from George Spicer (Sussex) on TSCD663 ‘They Ordered Their Pints of Beer & Bottles of Sherry’ and George Fradley (Derbyshire) on VTC6CD ‘It Was on a Market Day - One’. Reg Bacon’s is a more unusual version which takes the whole story a lot further and he ends up drinking the Ocean!
 

Song transcribed by John Howson

Song notes: John Howson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step Dance Medley

 

     This sort of medley of hornpipes (a ‘breakdown’) was useful as stepdancers followed one after another onto the floor or stepping board - this could often become quite competitive. The tunes here include Yarmouth Hornpipe, Harvest Home and The Flowers of Edinburgh.

Tune notes: John Howson
 


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