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Somerset songs and tunes

quantock 13 Apr 02 - 12:26 AM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Apr 02 - 07:30 AM
greg stephens 13 Apr 02 - 07:35 AM
Mr Red 13 Apr 02 - 01:08 PM
Bat Goddess 13 Apr 02 - 01:44 PM
Malcolm Douglas 13 Apr 02 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,quantock 13 Apr 02 - 03:30 PM
greg stephens 13 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM
Gareth 13 Apr 02 - 06:59 PM
greg stephens 13 Apr 02 - 07:23 PM
cyder_drinker 14 Apr 02 - 07:07 PM
eloise 15 Apr 02 - 12:32 PM
wildlone 15 Apr 02 - 01:08 PM
Hawker 15 Apr 02 - 06:01 PM
wes.w 16 Apr 02 - 08:25 AM
*#1 PEASANT* 16 Apr 02 - 09:14 AM
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Subject: Somerset songs and tunes
From: quantock
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 12:26 AM

Hi, everyone,

I just joined! I am a native of Taunton, Somerset in SW England, and have been living in the US for 13 years. I am interested in gathering as many songs and dance tunes as possible that have been collected in Somerset. What I would like is to get hold of the original versions as they were first noted down by the collectors rather than the versions that were modified and published later.

I know that Cecil Sharp collected much of this material and that I could research it if I went to the library at Cecil Sharp house in the UK. The problem is that I do not get over the pond too often these days, and at best I will probably only be able to spend a day or two there.

Does anyone know any other ways to get hold of this material or have any other suggestions of places to look, other collectors, web sites, etc.

Looking forward to seeing your responses...


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 07:30 AM

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House has some of Sharp's field notebooks, and a lot of other material on microfilm; his handwriting has a reputation for being difficult to decipher, though. You should probably try to get hold of a two-volume book called Cecil Sharp's Collection of English Folk Songs, edited by Maud Karpeles (Oxford University Press, London, 1974); this is by no means the full collection, but is the most comprehensive selection available. The material is given as originally noted -so far as I know; I haven't seen a copy yet, though I've just ordered one- not as modified for commercial publication. The book is hard to find, as the original print-run was not large and it's never been re-issued, but Inter-Library Loans or whatever the U.S. equivalent is may turn it up for you.

Issue No.6 of the Journal of the Folk Song Society (first part of Vol.II, 1904/5) was mostly devoted to songs from Somerset and Devon collected by Sharp. The tunes will have been given as noted, but the texts may be incomplete (I don't have a copy); again, libraries may be able to turn it up.


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 07:35 AM

Strongly recommend "Yon Poor Bitch Fox"( As I was down in Somersetshire);perhaps a computer search would find it. Or "Richard of Taunton Dean".


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: Mr Red
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 01:08 PM

Don't forget the old trad song - Trouble Over Bridgewater".
try making contact with other Zummerzet folkies, they may have been down that road many times.
cresby.com lists for Somers and has links to other similar sites. No resource links, principally venue lists but that's where you will find the local folkies.


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 01:44 PM

Look up the book "The Chime Child: or Sommerset Singers" ("being an account of some of them and their songs collected over sixty years) by Ruth L. Tongue. Published 1967 in London by Routledge & Kegan Paul. And thanks to Ed Cray who suggested the book to me!

Ruth Tongue spent her childhood near Taunton and, as one born between midnight on Friday and cockcrow on Saturday, was regarded in West Somerset as a 'gifted' being -- and welcomed by many of the singers who usually kept their songs to themselves.

It's a WONDERFUL collection of songs, with the music and notes about the singers such as 'Old Shepherd,' 'Gillavor' of Taunton Barracks, 'Annie's Granny,' 'Cordelia Cooper the Gypsy,' and 'Mr. Barry the ballad singer.' Eminently readable, a real delight with a wealth of information.

Linn


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 02:13 PM

It's a lovely book, and some of the songs are very interesting and unusual; but it can't be considered a reliable source of traditional song. Consensus seems at present to be that Miss Tongue made most of them up herself; though there's no way of proving it one way or the other, balance of probability suggests that to be the case.


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: GUEST,quantock
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 03:30 PM

Thank you all very much for your great suggestions. I will follow up on as many as possible. Let me know if anything else comes to mind.


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 05:34 PM

Yes,be suspicious of the Tongue book.If you likethe songs, sing'em by all means.But traditional? Weeeeeeeelll????


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: Gareth
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 06:59 PM

Worzell's

Worzell's

or as Terry Pratchett puts it - " West Country Music "

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: greg stephens
Date: 13 Apr 02 - 07:23 PM

ADGE LIVES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: cyder_drinker
Date: 14 Apr 02 - 07:07 PM

Scrumpy & Western


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: eloise
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 12:32 PM

You may like to contact these: http://www.rootsquartet.com/press/jonreview.html

I'm not certain if I've put that link in right, I'm new here - but Roots Quartet have researched and sing some traditional Somerset songs. Don't be alarmed. Despite the name there are only 2 of them. Their show is very good and they are both fine singers. The CD is certainly worth buying.


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: wildlone
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 01:08 PM

Yer tis then Amy Ford Click here
dave from next door[dorset]


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: Hawker
Date: 15 Apr 02 - 06:01 PM

There are a couple of lady singers from the Taunton area called Yvette Staelens and Michelle Hicks who are known as Roots Quartet, they recently did a sort of presentation using source singers material from that area called Somerset Sisters. They have beautiful voices and I am sure would be happy to help, they also have a CD. If you type Roots Quartet into your search engine, you should find them, they have their own website. Good luck!
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: wes.w
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 08:25 AM

Some of the Sharp stuff has been recorded by Eddie Upton. Folk South West (Montacute,Somerset) have this and various other books and CDs. Email: folksw@folksw.org.uk.


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Subject: RE: Somerset songs and tunes
From: *#1 PEASANT*
Date: 16 Apr 02 - 09:14 AM

of course dont forget the wassail songs.... http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/5567/wassail.html

Conrad


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