Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Battle of the Somme

Albion Country Band

Ian Campbell the noted musician had this to say about this tune:

Dave [
Swarbrick] learnt this noble tune from his friend and teacher. Beryl Marriott, who, before emigrating to Canada, worked hard for many years, keeping traditional dance music alive in the Midlands of England. Dave says it was composed by the late Pipe Major Robertson of the
Gordon Highlanders, an almost legendary figure in the world of piping, who created many other striking melodies. Some of them have had words put to them by Hamish Henderson.
from the liner notes of the album

Contemporary Campbell's
1966—Transatlantic TRA 137 LP

[trad. arr. Albion Country Band]

Reaphook and Sickle

Albion Country Band

The Albion Country Band recorded Battle of the Field in 1973 but the album was shelved when the band folded. When it was finally released on Island's budget label HELP in 1976, one track (All of a Row) was deemed unfit for inclusion as the band were not particularly happy with it and anyway, Martin Carthy had by then re-recorded it in a different arrangement for his album Sweet Wivelsfield. As the original band could not be re-convened, John Kirkpatrick and Sue Harris quickly recorded a new track, Reaphook and Sickle, to fill the vacant slot on the album. They were assisted by Dave Mattacks on percussion and also hammer dulcimer tuning, according to John Kirkpatrick!

Now come all you lads and lasses
and together let us go
Into some pleasant cornfield
our courage for to show.
With the good old leathern bottle
and the beer it shall be brown.
We'll reap and scrape together
until Bright Phoebus does go down.

With the reaphook and the sickle,
oh so well we clear the land,
And the farmer cries, “Well done,
my lads, here's liquor at your command.”
With the good old leathern bottle and
the beer it shall be brown.
We'll reap and scrape together until
Bright Phoebus does go down.

Now by daybreak in the morning
when the larks begin to sing
And the echo of the harmony
make all the crows to ring
With the good old leathern bottle
and the beer it shall be brown.
We'll reap and scrape together until
Bright Phoebus does go down

Then in comes lovely Nancy
the corn all for to lay,
She is a charming creature
and I must begin her praise:
For she gathers it, she binds it,
and she rolls it in her arms,
She carries it to the waggoners
to fill the farmer's barns.
With the good old leathern bottle
and the beer it shall be brown.
We'll reap and scrape together until
Bright Phoebus does go down.

Well now harvest's done and ended
and the corn secure from harm,
Before it goes to market, lads,
we must thresh it in the barn.
With the good old leathern bottle
and the beer it shall be brown.
We'll reap and scrape together until
Bright Phoebus does go down.

Now here's a health to all you farmers
and likewise to all you men,
I wish you health and happiness till
harvest comes again.
With the good old leathern bottle
and the beer it shall be brown.
We'll reap and scrape together until
Bright Phoebus does go down.

Trad. arr. John Kirkpatrick & Sue Harris

Hanged I Shall Be

Albion Country Band

Now as I was bound apprentice, I was 'prentice to the mill,
And I served me master truly for more than seven year.
Until I took up to courting with a lass with that rolling eye
And I promised that I'd marry her in the month of sweet July.
And as we went out a-walking through the fields and the meadows gay,
Oh it's there we told our tales of love and we fixed our wedding day.

And as we were walking and talking of the things that grew around
Oh I took a stick all out of the hedge and I knocked that pretty maid down
Down on her bended knees she fell and loud for mercy cry,
“Oh spare the life of an innocent girl for I'm not prepared to die.”
But I took her by her curly locks and I dragged her on the ground
And I throwed her into the river that flows to Ekefield town,
That flows so far to the distance, that flows so deep and wide,
Oh it's there I threw this pretty fair maid that should have been me bride.

Now I went home to me parents' house, it being late at night.
Mother she got out of bed all for to light the light.
Oh she asked me and she questioned me, “What stains your hands and clothes?”
And the answer I gave back to her, “I've been bleeding at me nose.”
No rest, no rest all that long night, no rest there could I find
For there's sparks of fire and brimstone around me head did shine.

And it was about three days after that this pretty fair maid was found,
Floating by the riverhead that flows to Ekefield town.
That flows so far to the distance, that flows so deep and wide.
Oh it's there they found this pretty fair maid that should have been me bride.
Oh the judges and the jurymen all on me they did agree
For a-murdering of this pretty fair maid oh hanged I shall be.

[Trad. arr. Albion Country Band]

Cheshire Rounds/The Old Lancashire Hornpipe

Albion Country Band

Cheshire Rounds (1)

English, Country Dance Tune (3/4 time). D Major. Standard. AABB (Chappell, Raven): AABBCCDD (Plain Brown). This melody appears in Playford's Dancing Master (2nd and subsequent editions), Walsh's Compleat Country Dancing Master (vol. i), and Gay's Polly and other ballad operas. The Cheshire Rounds was also a once‑popular dance, and Chappell (1859) found several references to its performance:

In Bartholomew Fiar, at the Coach‑house on the pav'd

stones at Hosier‑Lane end, you will see a Black that dances

the Cheshire Rounds to the admiration of all spectators."

(Play‑bill by Dogget, 1691. In fact, the only known portrait

of Dogget shows him dancing the Cheshire Round.)


John Sleepe now keeps the Whelp and Bacon in Smithfield
Rounds, where are to be seen a young lad that dances a
Cheshire Round to the admiration of all people." (Playbill)


It is one of the tunes called for by "the hobnailed fellows"

in A Second Tale of a Tub (8vo, 1715).


The name Cheshire is an ancient contraction of Chestershire. See also the melody “Our Cat Has Kitted” from the Joseph Kershaw manuscript for a 19th century version from North West England. Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), Vol. 2, 1859; pg. 167. Plain Brown Tune Book, 1997; pg. 5 (Chappell’s setting, preceded by two other parts). Raven (English Country Dance Tunes), 1984; pg. 15.


T:Cheshire Rounds [1]



S:Chappell – Popular Music of the Olden Time (1859)

Z:AK/Fiddler’s Companion


fe/f/ g/f/e/d/ f/g/ab e2 d cAfe/f/ g/f/e/d/ f/g/aA d2 A FD:

:BA/B/ =c/B/A/G/ F2E e2 d ^cB/A/BA/B/ =c/B/A/G/ F>ED d2 A FD:

Cheshire Round (2)

English, Country Dance Tune (3/2 time). C Major. Standard. AABBCC. A different tune than “Cheshire Rounds [1]." The melody was published in Walsh’s third collection of Lancashire tunes (Lancashire Jiggs, Hornpipes, Joaks, etc.) around the year 1730. Source for notated version: Edward Jones’ 1798 publication Popular Cheshire Melodies. Knowles (A Northern Lass), 1995; pg. 8.

T:Cheshire Round [2]





c4 B4 A4 A2 d4 A2 BcdB c4 B4 A4 G2 c4 A2 BcdB::e2 g4 B2 A4 A2 a4 A2 BcdB\

d2 g2 B2 g2 A4 G2 c4 A2 BcdB::cdec BcdB ABcA A2 d4 A2 BcdB c2 g4 B2 ABcA\ G2 c4 A2 BcdB:

College Hornpipe

AKA and see "Duke William’s Hornpipe," "Jack's the Lad [1]," “Lancashire Hornpipe [1],” “Sailor’s Hornpipe [1].” English, Scottish, Irish, Canadian, American; Hornpipe. D Major (Ashman, Colclough, Huntington): G Major (Johnson, Perlman): C Major (Harding, Howe, Raven): B Flat Major (Athole, Burchenal, Cole, Cranford, Emmerson, Honeyman, Howe, Hunter, Kerr, McGlashan, Skinner, Vickers). Standard. AABB (most versions): AA’BB’ (Cranford). A country dance and tune which was extremely popular both in England and in America. In the latter country it appears, for example, on page 28 of a dance MS of the Pepperell, Massachusetts, maid Nancy Shepley, c. 1766, and in the music manuscript copybook of Henry Livingston, Jr. (as “Colledge Hornpipe,” set for the German flute). Livingston purchased the estate of Locust Grove, Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1771 at the age of 23. In 1775 he was a Major in the 3rd New York Regiment, which participated in Montgomery’s invasion of Canada in a failed attempt to wrest Montreal from British control. An important land-owner in the Hudson Valley, and a member of the powerful Livingston family, Henry was also a surveyor and real estate speculator, an illustrator and map-maker, and a Justice of the Peace for Dutchess County. He was also a poet and musician, and presumably a dancer, as he was elected a Manager for the New York Assembly’s dancing season of 1774-1775, along with his 3rd cousin, John Jay, later U.S. Chief Justice of Governor of New York. Carr published in America the tune in Evening Amusement (pg. 15) about August, 1796, and, some one hundred and fifty years later, the tune was still popular for New England dances. Burchenal (1918) printed another contra dance of the same name to the tune, as Howe (c. 1867) did earlier. A variant is familiar to most modern people as the theme to the mid-20th century cartoon “Popeye the Sailor Man.”
In England, Chappell's editor concludes that it cannot date from earlier than the second half of the 18th century, and Chappell himself believes that the tune was an old sailor's song called "Jack’s the Lad." The melody has become associated with the nautical hornpipe type of dance which became popular solo step‑dance on the stage at the end of the 18th century, and, in fact, it is popularly known as "The Sailor's Hornpipe" today. One of the earliest printings of the tune appears in a volume entitled Compleat Tutor for the German Flute, published by Jonathan Fentum, London, c. 1766, the same year as Nancy Shepley's American dance MS. Another early British printing appears (as “Colledge Hornpipe”) in Thompson's Compleat Collection of 120 Favourite Hornpipes (London, Charles and Samuel Thompson c. 1764‑80.) and the title was entered at Stationers' Hall in 1798 by J. Dale, London, as "The College Hornpipe." William Vickers printed the tune in his Great Northern Tune Book under the title “Old Lancashire Hornpipe,” and the tune is contained in the 19th century Joseph Kershaw Manuscript (appears twice, as “Duke William’s Hornpipe” and “Collidge Hornpipe”). Kershaw was a fiddle player who lived in the remote area of Slackcote, Saddleworth, North West England, who compiled his manuscript from 1820 onwards, according to Jamie Knowles. Ken Perlman (1996) dates the tune to the 17th century or earlier and states that it was used by Henry Purcell (c. 1658-1695) in his opera Dido and Aeneas. Perlman does not cite any substantiating data, nor where he obtained this information, and at present his assumption seems unlikely.

Two Lancashire Hornpipes

(1) English, Hornpipe. North‑West England. D Major. Standard. AABB. The name Lancaster is derived from the Roman occupation of England, with ‘–caster’ stemming from the Latin word castra (in Old English, ceaster) and the first part of the word referring to the river Lune; thus Lancaster is the ‘settlement on the Lune’. Knowles (Northern Frisk), 1988; No. 41.

(2) Scottish, Country Dance Tune (3/2). The melody, in the old hornpipe metre, appears in the Bodleian Manuscript (in the Bodleian Library, Oxford), inscribed "A Collection of the Newest Country Dances Performed in Scotland written at Edinburgh by D.A. Young, W.M. 1740." The old hornpipe metre survived particularly in the English midland counties, especially Lancashire.

[Trad. arr. Albion Country Band]

Gallant Poacher

Albion Country Band

The lyrics of Gallant Poacher were notated from the Ashley Hutchings songbook
A Little Music.

Now come all you lads of high renown
That like to drink strong ale that's brown
And pull the lofty pheasant down
With powder, shot and gun.
He's a gallant youth, I will tell the truth,
Oh he's crossed all life's temptations ways,
No mortal man his life could save
Now he's sleeping in his grave,
His deeds on earth be done.

Now me and five more a-poaching went
To get some game was our intent
Our goods were gone and our money all spent
We had nothing left to try.
Now the moon shone bright, not a cloud in sight,
Oh, the keeper heard us fire a gun,
To the spot he quickly run,
He swore, before the rising sun
That one of us should die.

Now, the bravest youth amongst our lot
'Twas his misfortune to be shot
His dees will never be forgot
By all of us below.
Now for help he cried, but he was denied
Oh his memory ever shall be blessed
For he stood up, he fought the rest,
While down upon his gallant breast
The crimson blood did flow.

Now this youth he fell down on the ground,
In his breast a mortal wound,
While through the woods the shot did sound
That took his life away.
In the midst of life he fell in suffering full-well,
Deep was the wound that the keeper gave,
No mortal man his life could save,
Now he's sleeping in his grave,
His deeds on earth be done.

Now the murderous man that did him kill,
Caused his precious blood to spill,
Must wander far against his will
And find no resting place.
Destructive things, his consience stings,
He must wander through the world forlorn,
Ever feel the smarting thorn
Be pointed at with the finger of scorn,
And die in sad disgrace

[Trad. arr. Albion Country Band]

New St. George/La Rotta

Albion Country Band

Now is the time for action,
Leave your satisfaction:
Can't you hear St George's tune?
St George's tune is calling you on!
Freedom was your mother,
Fight for one another:

Leave the factory, leave the forge,
And dance to the new St George!

Don't believe pretenders
Who say they would defend us,
While they flash their teeth and wave
The other hand is being paid,
They choke the air and bleed us,
These noble men who lead us:

Leave the factory, leave the forge,
And dance to the new St George!

The fish and fowl are ailing,
The farmer's life is failing,
Where are all your backroom boys?
Your backroom boys won't save us now!
We're poisoned by the greedy,
Who plunder on the needy:

Leave the factory, leave the forge,
And dance to the new St. George!

New St George © Richard Thompson 1973/ La Rotta trad. arr

I Was A Young Man

Albion Country Band

Martin Carthy commented on this song:
"The capacity to work things out to everybody's satisfaction is sadly lacking in I Was a Young Man where the unfortunate husband, dominated from the start, begs Death to come in as a release. Her Death."
(Duncan collection of songs from NE Scotland).

I was a young man, I was a rover
Nothing would satisfy me but a wife
Soon as I reached the age of twenty
Weary was I of a single life

The very first year my wife I married
Out of her company I could not stay
Her voice was sweet as the lark or the linnet
Or the nightingale at the break of day

Now she's fairly altered her meaning
Now she's fairly changed her tune
Nothing but scolding comes from her mouth
So the poor man's labour's never done

The very first year that we were married
Scarce could I get one half hour's sleep
With her two heels she rubbed my shins
Cries husband dear, put down your feet

The baby cried, she bitterly scolded
Down to the door I was forced for to run
Without trousers, wig or a waistcoat
The poor man's labour's never done

I went up to the top of the hill
For to view me sheep that had all gone astray
When I came back she was lying in her bed
At twelve o'clock on a winter's day

When I came back both wet and weary
Weary and wet now where could I run
She was lying in her bed the fire up beside her
She said young man is the kettle on

I'll go home to my aged mother
She'll be sitting all alone
Says there's plenty young women to be had
Why should I be tied to one

All young men that is to marry
Though they'll grieve you ever more
Death o death, come take my wife
And then my sorrows will be o'er

trad. arr. The Albion Country Band

Morris Medley

Albion Country Band

Morris Medley:
Mouresque/London Pride/So Selfish Runs the Hare/
Maid of the Mill/Sheriff's Ride

This medley of five Morris tunes was recorded in 1973 for the album
Martin Carthy sings the tune in the middle, So Selfish Runs the Hare.

Oh, so selfish runs the hare
And so cunning runs the fox.
Who would think this little calf
Would grow to a noble ox?
To live among the briars
And to run among the thorns,
And die the death that his father did
With a large pair of horns.


Horns, large horns,
Horns, large horns,
And die the death that his father did
With a large pair of horns

[Trad. arr. Simon Nicol / Martin Carthy / Ashley Hutchings]

Albion Sunrise

Albion Country Band

When the sun comes up in the morning and you hear the dancing boys
Mother leave your pots and pans, sister leave your toys
If you have to break a camel’s back or pull the crowds apart
You’ll find a way to get there when that old time music starts

Just down the street
There’s a rattling sound
There’s a country band
Playing hand me down
And it’s a jamboree

It was in my father’s father’s time they new a rolling air
And the Albion boys will show you how, they sang it everywhere

And if you come along with us you’re numbered as a friend
And the faded flower of England will rise and bloom again

Just down the street
There’s a rattling sound
There’s a country band
Playing hand me down
And it’s a jamboree

The dancers standing three and three are a most illustrious sight
If someone saw a better one then you surely know he lied

You can hear the bells a-ringing as the singer calls them on
They can dance away the night and day and never step it wrong

[Richard Thompson]

© Richard Thompson 1973