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A Liverpool Folk Song a Week

15 Apr 11 - 04:43 PM (#3135949)
Subject: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Yeah, I know, it's hardly an original idea! But inspired by Jon Boden's A Folk Song a Day and John Thompson's An Australian Folk Song a Day, I've decided to start my own project: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week

I do apologise for ripping off an excellent idea that's been very well executed by other people, but I was a keen follower of what Jon Boden was singing, and when I saw the Australian Folk Song A Day project born in its wake it got me thinking: could you do the same with songs connected to Liverpool?

I'm just going for a weekly song rather than a daily song, because I don't want to drive myself mad, but the idea is to try and sing 52 Liverpool folk songs: one for every week of the year. I'm going to try and put up a good spread of songs - sea songs, 19th century broadside ballads, songs from the folk revival, some recently written songs, children's songs, football songs, etc. The first couple that I'm putting up are quite well known, but other songs I plan on posting should be a bit more off the beaten track.

You can find the project at http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.com/

It's early days - I'm only on week 2, and so far I've recorded The Orange and the Green and Blood Red Roses.

As I say on the site, please bear in mind that I don't have any pretentions to having a great voice or providing professional level recordings. All of the recordings are going to be unaccompanied and straight through a mic into a minidisc player in my house. I'm just doing this for fun, out of love for my city, and with the hope that people will hear the songs and learn them.


26 Apr 11 - 06:11 AM (#3142533)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Matthew Edwards

Well done Richard! I think you've set yourself a very interesting challenge, and I look forward to hearing more of your songs. I've enjoyed the first three on your blog.

Matthew(from Wirral)


26 Apr 11 - 11:55 AM (#3142711)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Brakn

Good one Richard.


27 Apr 11 - 06:00 AM (#3143252)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: banjoman

Best of luck from an expatriate scouser. Do you need any Liverpool songs 'cos I could help although you probably know as many as me

Pete


27 Apr 11 - 10:00 AM (#3143390)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Chris in Portland

I put you on my Reader. Thanks for your great work.
Any plans for some Liverpool Welsh songs?
My aunt was born in Boodle in 1886.
My grandfather moved there from Wild Wales to make money to take the family to the US.
If he hadn't, I might have been a Beatle!
Chris


27 Apr 11 - 08:11 PM (#3143736)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Hiya Banjoman,

I'm grateful for any help if people have songs to suggest - I haven't sat down and made a proper list, but I'm certain that have at least 35 Liverpool songs in hand. But in order to get to the full 52, I'm going to have to learn some new songs, which I'm looking forward to. Even if people suggest things that they think are obvious, it might still jog my memory, so if you have ideas please do get in touch with me (here or via PM or whatever)


Hi Chris,

Liverpool Welsh songs are definitely a bit of a gap in my knowledge (I'm Liverpool Irish!), but Hugill refers to a couple of things in his books, and provides pointers to other sources like the work of Liverpool-born John Glyn Davies who worked with Welsh sailors songs. So I definitely hope to include some things from Liverpool's Welsh element, although this will hopefully transpire without my having to sing whole songs in Welsh! (Something I wouldn't want to inflict upon anyone) Anyway, if you have any tips for songs or sources for songs, let me know. Otherwise, watch this space and hopefully I'll provide some things of interest in the months to come.


28 Apr 11 - 07:43 AM (#3143946)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: banjoman

A few which you may already know:

Rent Collecting in Speke - Pete McGovern

Seth Davey

Liverpool Home - Pete McGovern

Wish I was back in Liverpool - Stan Kelly

The quality of Mersey   - Stan Kelly

Blow the man down

Ferry across the mersey

Good Luck


28 Apr 11 - 09:47 AM (#3144008)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: nutty

Johnny Todd


28 Apr 11 - 10:04 AM (#3144022)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: threelegsoman

I think you already know my YouTube channel, where there is a playlist of Liverpool songs. I would be grateful if you can let me have some titles I have not covered myself, and of course help yourself to any I have already done.

Tony


28 Apr 11 - 10:07 AM (#3144025)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Chris in Portland

Thanks for the lead to Davies - Welsh Bios
"Despite his undisputed abilities and his promising early work, his contribution to Welsh scholarship proved to be erratic and uneven. However, his songs for children in Cerddi Huw Puw (1923), Cerddi Robin Goch (1935) and Cerddi Portinllaen (1936), many of which are based on sailors' songs he had heard during his youth, bear the marks of a genius. His posthumous book of poems, Cerddi Edern a cherddi ereill (1955), contains many lyrics which will undoubtedly live. One could add that his reminiscences of the Welsh society he knew early in life, and his comments on it, are always interesting and very penetrating."
Hoping I can get some of his works. We'll be staying near Portinllaen in the Fall, and there is a great Welsh bookstore in Pwllheli!
Chris


30 Apr 11 - 08:25 AM (#3145234)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Thanks to everyone for the encouragement they've given, and the ideas for songs. Keep them coming!

I'm now a month into this project, and I have the first four songs up

Week 1: The Orange and the Green
Week 2: Blood Red Roses
Week 3: Liverpool Lullaby
Week 4: Poor Old Horse

Let's see how the next month goes...


30 Apr 11 - 04:43 PM (#3145432)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: greg stephens

Then there are tunes as well: the two Liverpool Hornpipes for example.


28 May 11 - 08:10 AM (#3161704)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Another month now done, and I'm only just warming up - still plenty of great songs to go. Here are the offerings for May (including one of my own personal favourites, the version of Van Diemen's Land collected from T.W. Jones of Liverpool):

Week 5: Liverpool's an Altered Town
Week 6: Back Buchanan Street
Week 7: Van Diemen's Land
Week 8: The Quality of Mersey

Thanks to all who have made suggestions and given me ideas, I've got loads for the next few months so I'm not going to start running into problems soon - nevertheless, I'm still hoping to discover and collect many more songs because hearing about songs I wasn't aware of is part of what makes the project fun for me.


28 Jun 11 - 12:09 PM (#3177828)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Another month flies by! Here's what I have to show for June:

Week 9: The Bonny Grey
Week 10: McCaffery
Week 11: Johnny Todd
Week 12: Poor Scouser Tommy


29 Jun 11 - 11:28 AM (#3178335)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Also, allow me to ring out once again the usual call for any more suggestions - I think I've got most of the familiar bases covered now, but I think there'll still be room for me to learn a few more songs, so if anybody comes across any interesting/obscure Liverpool songs (or remembers songs that they'd like to pass on), do please let me know! A couple of mudcatters have been very helpful in pointing me towards treasures that I almost certainly wouldn't have found otherwise, so thanks very much to them for that. I'm always keen to talk about the folk songs of the city anyway, so it's been really great to get in touch with new people through this.


02 Aug 11 - 01:13 PM (#3200250)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Time just keeps on passing. One of the more disturbing aspects of running a project like this is to note just how quickly the weeks fly by. Annnnnnnnnnyway... this month has been an interesting one for me as I've had to learn a set of new songs that I'd only heard about since I started digging around for this project, included one helpfully suggested and researched by mudcat regular Matthew Edwards.

Week 13: We're All Bound To Go
Week 14: Marco and Pedro
Week 15: The Testimony of Patience Kershaw
Week 16: I Like An Apple
Week 17: Paddy West


03 Aug 11 - 04:52 AM (#3200767)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Colin Randall

I was going to mention Back Buchanan Street, b ut see it is already on your list. The Jacqui and Bridie archive should yield lots more possibilities. Also, has Pete Hooton's band The Farm recorded anything of Merseyside interest? I know he was steeped in the campaign against the last owners of Liverpool FC so it is possible, but I am not an authority on their music

Good luck with the series. I have been running a Song of the Day series at
Salut! Live , a similar labour of love which I launched in complete ignorance of Jon Boden's fine project, and you can take heart from my experience of the effort mostly seeming worthwhile in terms of response.


31 Aug 11 - 07:39 PM (#3216220)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Hi Colin,

Sorry, didn't see this before. Will click through and check out your own song of the day project now.

Pete Hooton and The Farm are a good shout, I will dig around a bit and see if I can find something ideal. The Farm's track "News International" was going through my head a lot during the recent NOTW/Murdoch scandals, and although it was before my time, Hooton's editorship of The End magazine has been massively formative in what I think of as Liverpool culture now.


02 Sep 11 - 12:47 PM (#3217150)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

August's set of songs is now complete - unusually for me (I mainly sing trad stuff), only one song with the "trad." attribution this month: a Wirral version of Child ballad #3. The other 3 songs written by known authors in the past 50 years. Having said that, Pete McGovern's Rent Collecting in Speke is a new-town era masterpiece, and you could put up a good argument that Seth Davy (AKA Whiskey on a Sunday) at the very least has passed into the tradition, and like many well known songs from this side of the Irish Sea, it's often mistaken for an Irish song...

Week 18: Rent Collecting in Speke
Week 19: The False Knight
Week 20: St Mary of the Angels
Week 21: Seth Davy


02 Oct 11 - 02:13 PM (#3232671)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Right, I've reached the halfway point. Another month of songs, with a couple of rarities, including an especially fitting song by Stan Kelly for this weekend's Everton v Liverpool derby, and also a version of "The City of Baltimore" via Bruce Scott (learned by him from Noel Scanlon) with a different tune to that offered by Hugill, Roy Palmer, et al.

Week 22: The Deck of the Baltimore
Week 23: The Bootle Air Raid Shelter Song
Week 24: Haul the Bowline
Week 25: The Liverpool Barrow Boy
Week 26: Romeo and Juliet


02 Nov 11 - 04:24 PM (#3249306)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

October's set of songs:

Week 27: Liverpool Judies
Week 28: Robin and Gronny
Week 29: My Liverpool
Week 30: Old Mother Lee


02 Nov 11 - 04:39 PM (#3249317)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Matthew Edwards

Enjoyed Old Mother Lee, an incongruously chirpy version of 'The Cruel Mother' collected from Liverpool schoolchildren.

Congratulations on keeping this project going, and on finding so many interesting songs. I've been following the blog, but I've had problems with adding feedback using my Google account. (Maybe that is the early 21st century secular equivalent of eternal damnation - if Google doesn't recognise your existence!)

Matthew


03 Nov 11 - 11:38 AM (#3249702)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,Paul Slade

http://www.planetslade.com/broadside-ballads-the-liverpool-lodger.html

Here's one I'd love to hear you tackle. It's a genuine Victorian Gallows ballad about a notorious Liverpool murder of 1849. Please drop me a line at the site above if you ever decide to do it.


03 Nov 11 - 05:43 PM (#3249932)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: scouse

Don't forget "Liverpool Lou." although written by Dominic Behan the sentiments of Liverpool are all there!!
As Aye,
Phil.


01 Dec 11 - 06:05 AM (#3266577)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Will have a look at The Liverpool Lodger ballad; the major issue with these broadsides is finding appropriate tunes, but I'll see if I can find something appropriate that fits.

Hiya Phil - I do love Liverpool Lou, in fact I sing it as a lullaby to my kid. But being a Dominic Behan song, I can't quite bring myself to claim it for this project - very much a Dublin song for me, no matter how much I might wish it otherwise!

And Matthew - I'll be back in Liverpool shortly, so hopefully will be able to make it to the Lion and the December Woody Guthrie folk club for a change. Looking forward to catching up with everyone again!


01 Dec 11 - 07:21 AM (#3266614)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,Paul Slad

For what it's worth, The Liverpool Lodger is written in traditional ballad metre, alternating four-beat and three-beat lines, just as Barbara Allen and many other familiar old ballads do. Not the only consideration to be borne in mind, I know, but it may help.

I'm trying to encourage people to bring as many as possible of PlametSlade's 16 genuine gallows ballads back to life as fully-performed songs.

So far, I've got Elsa Lanchester's recording of Mrs Dyer from a long-forgotten music hall LP of hers - the only one of the 16 songs ever recorded commercially from what I can see - and my own little field recording of The Hammond School in Chester singing Gallows Child as part of their 2011 Christmas show. I'll be posting both of those audio tracks on-line soon, and I'd love to add a link taking people to your site for The Liverpool Lodger too.

If anyone else fancies joining in, you'll find full lyrics for each ballad, plus my own research on the crime that inspired it, at the PlanetSlade link above.


02 Dec 11 - 11:39 AM (#3267325)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Another mix of styles for November, with a broadside ballad, a modern song, a shanty, and a bit of a mystery song thrown in for good measure.

Week 31: Bonnet So Blue
Week 32: Tommy's Lot
Week 33: The Banks of the Mersey
Week 34: Whip Jamboree

Onwards and upwards - will have a couple of seasonally appropriate selections later on in December.


05 Jan 12 - 04:28 PM (#3285424)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

2011 is over and done with, and here were my 5 songs for cold and dreary mornings in December - 3 of which are local variants of carols.

Week 35: I Wish I Was Back In Liverpool
Week 36:
Paddy Lay Back
Week 37:
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks
Week 38:
Christ Was Born In Bethlehem
Week 39:
The Bitter Withy

3 more months to go!


06 Jan 12 - 07:42 AM (#3285820)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Mr Happy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKg3VjBSRPo


07 Jan 12 - 04:36 PM (#3286715)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

arrrgh, can't believe I was tricked into clicking on that. You're a bad man, Mr Happy.


08 Jan 12 - 10:11 AM (#3287000)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Mr Happy

Tee-hee!


16 Feb 12 - 01:27 PM (#3309602)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Coming into the final stretch now. What with the unfamiliar pressures of having to do some work, I seem to have got slightly out of time, but I will have it all sorted by the end of the year! Anyway, here's the most recent batch of songs, which includes another version of a Child ballad (#10 this time) as well as a true Scouse classic:

Week 40: Back Home To Bootle Again
Week 41: The Swan Swims So Bonny
Week 42: Maggie May
Week 43: The Rambling Royal

I think I have enough good songs to finish off the project in some style, but we will have to see!


16 Feb 12 - 02:11 PM (#3309625)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,Paul Slade

thread.cfm?threadid=143241&messages=31

Sure I can't tempt you to join us over on the Gallows Ballads thread, Richard? The Liverpool Lodger is still available!


16 Feb 12 - 03:00 PM (#3309660)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Owen Woodson

Richard,

Nice to see that you've managed to track down the Swan Swims So Bonny. I remember mentioning that one when we spoke a few months ago.

Also The Rambling Royal. Not realising that Phil Colclough had also collected a version, I'd always imagined that Bert Lloyd had rewritten it from The Bold Belfast Shoemaker. That will be a nice one to confound the naysayers with anyway.

I know it's stretching a point but Southport is part of Merseyside. So I'd suggest that any of the splendid maritime folksongs which Anne Gilchrist collected from W(illiam?) Bolton in 1906/7 would be worth including.

BTW. I think someone has done some research into the background of Mr Bolton, but I'm damned if I can remember who. Anybody else able to help?


16 Feb 12 - 05:16 PM (#3309740)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield

Mike Yates wrote an article on William Bolton in Traditional Music magazine, No 7, mid 1977. I seem to have read something more recently but can't remember where ... it was sufficient for me to think I must go and look for his house next time I am in Southport (where my mother lives....) but thinking about it, I may have got this confused with another Southport singer who was in the workhouse.... now I am confused!!


17 Feb 12 - 10:07 AM (#3310030)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Owen Woodson

Thanks Derek. I shall lift the very article down from my shelf and read it.


20 Apr 12 - 02:41 PM (#3340964)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

After an unfortunate hiatus, this project is now back on track. Here are the latest songs:

Week 44: M.V. Statesman
Week 45: Poor Paddy Works on the Railway

Sadly, temporary loss of hearing meant I missed my goal of 52 songs in 52 weeks, but now that I've been freed from this arbitrary target I plan on continuing this project through to 60 songs. (So any suggestions of songs I haven't yet covered would be well received!)


20 Apr 12 - 06:42 PM (#3341045)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Gibb Sahib

Good to see you back.


27 May 12 - 12:47 PM (#3356176)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Finally hit 50 songs! Still a few more in the tank.

Week 46: The Ellan Vannin Tragedy
Week 47: Every Other Saturday
Week 48: A Double Thick Marmalade Butty
Week 49: Go To Sea Once More
Week 50: Blow the Man Down


27 Jun 12 - 12:47 PM (#3368699)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,bradyp

A Liverpudlian expat friend of mine who lives in Nashville Tennessee has written and recorded some great songs you will enjoy. Check out skellysongs.com. All great songs but look for Liverpool Blues.


27 Jun 12 - 01:44 PM (#3368735)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,bradyp

Also..... Little Terraced Houses, Dandy Vernon and Irish Girls and many many more.


27 Jun 12 - 08:11 PM (#3368878)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST

Rich is off to Mongolia today for 2 weeks. I don't know what internet access will be like out there.


16 Sep 12 - 08:49 AM (#3405569)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Apologies for yet another break in the schedule - as my dad posted above under the guise of "guest", I was away in Mongolia for a while... and then when I got back I couldn't find the device I've been using for recording because the house is such a tip. Kind of stalled things a bit. But I recently uncovered the machine during a much needed tidy up, so I can get going AGAIN! May well post something later today, and I have a few interesting songs lined up for the next month or so. In the meantime, here are the last couple I posted before the break:

Week 51: Little Jimmy Murphy
Week 52: Last Night We Had a Do


17 Sep 12 - 04:50 AM (#3406012)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: scouse

I have a very old book called "Lancashire Stories." and there's either a poem or song in it called.....
"The Liverpool Tragedy or, A warning to disobedient children and covetous parents ; showing how one John Fuller, left his father's house to go to sea against his will and was shipwrecked but preserved on a rock; how he was fetched by the ship's boat and put ashore at Bengal, where he married; how he returned home, when he, not informing his parents who he was, they murdered him for the sake of his gold; with their tragic end."
   It's set into five parts an I'm sure must have coursed quite a stir when it came out.Could even be a "Catchpenny." !!

As Aye,

Phil.


17 Sep 12 - 08:03 AM (#3406085)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

That has to be one of the longest song titles in history!

I think I've seen that in "Ballads and Songs of Lancashire" (from which I took "The Bonny Grey")


17 Sep 12 - 09:30 AM (#3406132)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Owen Woodson

Ah, eh Richard. And you a scholar and all. Surely you've seen longer titles than that.

How about

Epithalamium; Or a Wedding Song On the Supposed Marriage of the Supposed Prince of Wales, to the supposed Grandchild of the French King, the Supposed Son Of Louis the 13th, as it was with the consent of his holiness, (or rather his wickedness), the Pope of Rome, Solemnized From Paris to Purgatory the third of the Last Greek Calends 1689. To the Tune of, Lulla by baby, &c. Licensed and Entered According to Order.

From Pepys Ballads. Surprisingly enough I couldn't find it in Roud. Perhaps the Song Title box hadn't got room for him to key it all in. -:)


18 Sep 12 - 05:49 AM (#3406637)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: scouse

Ahh.... but that's not about Liverpool!!

As Aye,

Phil.


18 Sep 12 - 12:10 PM (#3406788)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Owen Woodson

How do you know? Have you never heard the saying, Liverpool is the pool of life?

Actually, the only reason it's not about Liverpool is because Liverpool was just a fishing village in the days when black letter broadsides, bore those enormous titles. If things had been otherwise, and Liverpool had come to prominence a couple of hundred years earlier, we might have found a familiar Liverpool anthem printed as ye following.

"Ye Leavinge of Liverpoole; being a proper new account of a poor sailor who, on spending his wages from a previous trip, is forced to sign on board a notorious vessel, the Davy Crockett with cruel master Burgess. With salutary farewells to girl friend and other local landmarks."

Oh hell. Wouldn't it be easier just to sing the bleep bleeping thing?


18 Sep 12 - 12:48 PM (#3406804)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Artful Codger

Not when it has 40 verses--and a chorus.


01 Oct 12 - 05:04 PM (#3412701)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Here are the September 2012 offerings:

Week 53: Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?
Week 54: Blow the Candle Out
Week 55: In My Liverpool Home


10 Nov 12 - 03:54 PM (#3434357)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Surely I've run out of Liverpool songs, you ask? No! There's still a barrel to be well and truly scraped. These were the October 2012 scrapings:

Week 56: Ranzo
Week 57: The Battle of the Boiling Water
Week 58: Buckets of the Mersey


06 Dec 12 - 01:00 PM (#3448131)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

3 more for the month of November:

Week 59: My Johnny Has Gone For a Soldier
Week 60: The Cruise of the Calabar
Week 61: O Scottie Road


24 Dec 12 - 04:09 PM (#3456649)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Two seasonally appropriate songs for the month of December:

Week 62: The World Was In Darkness
Week 63: Birkenhead Wassail Song

Happy Christmas, and see you next year!


25 Dec 12 - 07:24 AM (#3456813)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,Fred McCormick

Now there's a thing. I've lived on the Wirral for most of my life and have long taken an interest in the history and folklore of the place. It's not an overly explored area, but there's several books which contain commentaries on pace egging and souling and such, and I've had a description of a May Queen ceremony from my mother, who used to live in Birkenhead. But this is the first I've heard of a Birkenhead Wassail Song!

Richard. Do you have any idea whereabouts in Birkenhead the song was collected? Also, whether Mrs Haigh and Miss Kelk were actually from Birkenhead, or had they moved there from some other part of the country and brought the song with them?


03 Jan 13 - 07:29 PM (#3461057)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

Hiya Fred

Was good to see you in The Belvedere earlier today! Matthew Edwards (who it was also good to see in The Belvedere earlier today!) has passed on what he has found out about the ladies the song was collected from, and I've updated the post on the blog.

http://aliverpoolfolksongaweek.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/63-birkenhead-wassail-song.html


04 Jan 13 - 06:36 AM (#3461163)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST

Hi Richard and Matthew. Yeahh. Good session.

The bit below should have been added to the blog, but as I'm having signing in problems, this is probably the next best place. I've got Green Blade interested in learning the song by the way.

........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Thanks Matthew. As you say there's precious little chance of finding out where it originated. We have no tradition of wassailing on the Wirrral that I ever came across. In fact there's damn all in the way of apple trees in this part of the world.

Therefore, I presumed at first that the two ladies must have moved here from some other part of the country and brought it with them.

Evidently not, although how it came into the hands of "child waits" is a bit of a mystery.

However, and bear in mind that I'm no expert on wassailing, but there are other apple treeless parts of the country where wassailing songs have been collected. EG South Yorkshire. There, I suspect the songs would have formed part of house visiting customs.

Could it be that Birkenhead saw an influx of people from such a place, and did they bring their wassailing/house visiting custom with them? If so it must have happened very early on in the town's history. In fact, Birkenhead, as an industrial town instead of a collection of hamlets, only dates from 1815 and industrial development would have been later still. As the sisters didn't hear it until about 1880/1890, that doesn't leave much time for the custom to have arrived, become established and then presumably to have passed from being an adult custom to one performed by children.

BTW., I haven't had much chance to get my head round the text yet. But am I hearing interesting parallels with the Cheshire Souling Song?
........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................


04 Jan 13 - 11:39 AM (#3461258)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: GUEST,Yvonne

Was good to hear you sing it on Thursday, Richard. Sorry I didn't get chance to have a word but have been listening to a lot of your songs. I have really enjoyed them. Hope to see you again at The Belvedere.

Yvonne


05 Jan 13 - 02:52 PM (#3461832)
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
From: Richard from Liverpool

I'm heading back down south again tomorrow, so sadly won't be at the Belvedere or any other sessions for a couple of months. But looking forward to my next return home.