Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles


On 19th April we released a beautifully packaged, limited edition 7″ vinyl single for Record Store Day UK – a taster of the forthcoming new album from Martin and Eliza Carthy -  Happiness b/w The Queen of Hearts

‘Happiness’ is a graceful, timeless song written and originally recorded by Molly Drake, Nick Drake’s mother; this is the very first time the song has been officially released by a major recording artist.

 Martin Carthy first recorded ‘The Queen of Hearts’ for his debut album nearly 50 years ago, in 1965, and he revisits the song here with his daughter for a stately rendition that more than equals the quality of that first recording.

The legendary Martin Carthy and his equally legendary daughter Eliza will release their first album together, ‘The Moral of the Elephant’ on 2nd June 2014.

Available now from:


TOPIC Records are very proud to announce the release of four further volumes in the widely acclaimed The Voice of the People series:

TSCD675 – “Good humour for the rest of the night” Traditional Dance Music in Northumberland and Cumberland

TSCD676D The Barley Mow Field recordings and a film made in Suffolk in the 1950s (CD and DVD set)

TSCD677T The Flax In Bloom Traditional songs, airs and dance music in Ulster (3CD set)

TSCD678Orkney Traditional dance music from Orkney

Continuing Topic Records’ widely-acclaimed and seminal traditional music series, Series Editor Reg Hall has selected for the latest four volumes a range of music from the astonishing collection of field recordings made by Peter Kennedy; working part-time for the BBC and the EFDSS, Peter continued with his own recording projects, sometimes collaborating, with Seamus Ennis at the BBC, Alan Lomax and in Ulster with Sean O’Boyle, their work together presented in the third of this new set of CDs.

The geographical spread covered in these four new volumes illustrates the lengths Peter would go to in order to discover the traditional music and dance of the British Isles, and his passion in bringing these to a wider community outside the working rural communities of the people he recorded; Peter’s aim, presenting the voice of the people, is recognised and acknowledged with this essential addition of four stunning new titles to an invaluable catalogue.

Buy Good Humour for the Rest of the Night now from:

Buy The Barley Mow now from:

Buy The Flax in Bloom now from:

Buy Orkney now from:


Field recordings and a film made in Suffolk by Peter Kennedy in the 1950s.
Selected and presented by Reg Hall.

As early as 1949, Peter Kennedy had begun making field recordings of traditional music in the West Country of England on his own initiative and at his own expense with a factory prototype tape recorder lent to him by a friend. During the time the recordings included in this CD/DVD collection were made (1953-1956) Peter was working part-time for the EFDSS and part-time for the BBC, and in his free time he engaged in projects of his own and those he shared with Alan Lomax. Although Kennedy undertook his own recording trips to Suffolk in 1952, he and Lomax did not meet up in Suffolk until October 10th 1953, to record singers at the Ship in Blaxhall, then onto Swefling the following day to record Harry List.

Peter had been keen to record traditional music and dance performance on film, and Lomax attended the first day of filming at the Ship in November 1955.

June 1956 saw Peter in the area again, this time recording Phoebe Smith, her neighbour Jim Baldry, Bob Roberts, Jumbo Brightwell and Edgar Button. With this wealth of recorded material, Peter laid the foundations for future research into a region rich in traditional music, dance and song.

1  CYRIL POACHER : The Nutting Girl
2  FRED LING : Nancy of Yarmouth
3  BOB SCARCE : Newlyn Town
4  GEOFF LING : Maggie May
5  BOB SCARCE : General Wolf
6  ELI DURRANT : The Yellow Handkerchief
7  EDGAR BUTTON : The Oak and the Ash
8  EDGAR ALLINGTON : The Herring
9  JIM BALDRY : The Northamptonshire Poacher
10  HARRY LIST : The Knife on the Window
11  ARTHUR SMITH : The Sailor and his Truelove
12  JUMBO BRIGHTWELL : Muddley Barracks
13  BOB SCARCE : Three Jolly Sportsmen
14  EDGAR BUTTON : Blow the Candle Out
15  JIM BALDRY : Hares in the Plantation
16  WICKETS RICHARDSON : Fagan the Cobbler
17  CYRIL POACHER : The Broomfield Wager
18  JACK FRENCH : Good Luck to the Barley Mow

DVD – contains Peter Kennedy’s original 1954 Here’s A Health To The Barley Mow (Folksinging and Stepdancing in a Suffolk public house) film.

Buy The Barley Mow now from:


Traditional songs, airs and dance music in Ulster. A 3CD set drawn from the recordings made by Peter Kennedy and Sean O’Boyle during 1952 and 1953.
Selected and presented by Reg Hall.

Traditional music-making in Ireland in 1952 was flourishing well enough in its own social settings, but it was largely hidden from the view of mainstream society. Certainly, radio and the record industry on both sides of the border scarcely knew of its existence. So it is quite remarkable that Peter Kennedy from London and Sean O’Boyle from Armagh should have combined forces and taken upon themselves, with limited resources and technical equipment, to explore and record what they could find in Ulster. This album presents a selection of their location recordings, most of which have never been issued commercially before. Each of the three CDs is presented as a separate programme but, taken together, they give a wide and varied view of traditional music in Ulster in the early 1950s.

1  PADDY TUNNEY : Lough Erne Shore
2  BRIGID TUNNEY : THe Mountain Streams Where The Moorcocks Crow
3  JOE TUNNEY : Untitles Polka
4  JOE TUNNEY : Pat Hart’s (single jig)
5  JOE TUNNEY : Miss Monaghan / The Gree Mountain / The Scholar (reels)
6  ANNIE LUNNY : My Charming Buachall Roe
7  ANNIE LUNNY : Deartháirin ó mo Chroi
8  JOHN DOHERTY : Bundle and Go (single jig)
9  JOHN DOHERTY : Miss McLeod’s Reel
10  JOHN DOHERTY : Gusty’s Frolics (slip jig)
11  JOHN DOHERTY : Moorlough Mary
12  JOHN DOHERTY : Marry When You’re Young (reel)
13  JOHN DOHERTY : Boney Crossing the Alps
14  JOHN DOHERTY : The Last Figure of The Lancers
15  MICK GALLAGHER : The Rollicking Boys Around Tandragee
16  MAUREEN MELLY : Buachaillin Donn
17  MAUREEN MELLY : Paddy Shinaghan’s Cow
18  MAUREEN MELLY : Farewell Green Erin
19  PADDY TUNNEY : The Blackbird
20  NEILIDH BOYLE : The Loughanure Tune (reel)
21  NEILIDH BOYLE : Seán sa Cheo (reel)
22  NEILIDH BOYLE : Pleoid ar an Fharraige is i átá Morl
23  NEILIDH BOYLE : Sráid na mBúrcach (verse and air)
24  SHEILA GALLAGHER : An Seanduine Dóite
25  SHEILA GALLAGHER : In Aimsir Bhaint an Fhéir
26  PAT BELL KEOWN : The Wearing of the Britches
27  MAUREEN MELLY : The Blackbird of Avondale
28  MAUREEN MELLY : My Dark Slender Boy
29  SIMIE DOHERTY : Bonnie Kate (reel)
30  SIMIE DOHERTY : Cuffe Street (reel)
31  SIMIE DOHERTY : The Pigeon on the Gate (reel)
32  SIMIE DOHERTY : The Tullaghan Lasses (reel)
33  SIMIE DOHERTY : Mooney’s Favourite (reel)
34  BRIGID TUNNEY : The Heathery Hills
35  BRIGID TUNNEY : The Soldier and the Sailor
36  BRIGID TUNNEY : Wee Paddy Molloy
37  JOHN DOHERTY : The Altantic Roar (hornpipe)
38  JOHN DOHERTY : Rocking The Cradle

1  JOHNNY PICKERING : The Basket of Oysters (highland) / Jackson’s Rum Punch (jig)
2  JOHNNY PICKERING : Green Grow The Laurels O / Love, Will You Marry Me (highlands)
3  McCUSKER BROTHERS CEILI BAND : Biddy The Bowl Wife / I Lost My Love & I Care Not / King of the Cannibal Islands (jigs)
4  McCUSKER BROTHERS CEILI BAND : Untitled / Untitled / Jenny Lind (polkas)
5 VINCENT & JOHN & McCUSKER : The First of May (reel)
6  VINCENT & JOHN & McCUSKER : 3 untitled mazurkas
7  McCUSKER BROTHERS CEILI BAND : Monymusk / Kafoozalum / Maggie Pickens (highlands)
8  VINCENT & JOHN & McCUSKER : Tatter Jack Walsh (jig)
9  VINCENT & JOHN & McCUSKER : The Princess Royal (set dance)
10  McCUSKER BROTHERS CEILI BAND : The Man from Newry / The Barndance (hornpipe & barndance)
11  VINCENT, JOHN & BENIGNUS McCUSKER : Jockey to the Fair (set dance)
12  JOHN McCUSKER : The Orange Rogue (set dance)
13  McCUSKER BROTHERS CEILI BAND : McKenna’s / The Tinker’s Apron / The Antrim (reels)
14  McCUSKER BROTHERS CEILI BAND : The Sweeys of May (single jig)
15  JOHN MAGUIRE : The Gosson that Beat his Father (reel)
16  JOHN MAGUIRE : The First House In Connaught (reel)
17  JOHN MAGUIRE : Lovely Nancy (jig)
18  JOHN MAGUIRE : The Maid of the House (reel)
19  JOHN MAGUIRE : The Boys of Leefive (reel)
20  JOHN MAGUIRE : The Cuckoo’s Nest (hornpipe)
21  PADDY McLUSKEY : All The Way To Galway (polka)
22  PADDY McLUSKEY : Napoleon Crossing the Alps (march)
23  PADDY McLUSKEY : The Cuckoo’s Nest (hornpipe)
24  PADDY McLUSKEY : The Ewe with the Crooked Horn (reel)
25  DANNY McNIFF : Coming Home from Reilly’s Party (jig)
26  EDDIE MOOR : The Clap Dance / The Soldier’s Joy
27  PHILIP BREEN : Unidentified / Monymusk (highlands)
28  PHILIP BREEN : Woodland Whispers (waltz)
29  PHILIP BREEN : The Flax In Bloom / The Dairymaid / The Galway Rambler
30  SEAN MAGUIRE, LIAM DONNELLY, TOM TURKINGTON & BILL MONTGOMERY : The Sailor’s Bonnet / Kiss The Bride / Roaring Mary (reels)
31  SEAN MAGUIRE & BILL MONTGOMERY : The Flax In Bloom / The Millstone / The Dairymaid (reels)

1   CHRISTY PURCELL : The Dark-Eyed Gypsy
2  MARY CONNORS : What Brought The Blood?
3  LAL SMITH : I Am A Maid That’s Deep In Love
4  MARY DORAN : Here’s A Health unto All Truelovers
5  PADDY DORAN : Three Jolly Old Sportsmen
6  MARY CONNORS : The Lovely Banks of Lea
7  CHRISTY PURCELL : The Bandy-Legged Mule
9  LAL SMITH : Early, Early In The Month of Spring
10  CHRISTY PURCELL : The Lodging-House in Carrick-on-Suir
11  MARY DORAN : The Rambling Irishman
12  PADDY DORAN : Dungarvan
13  LAL SMITH : The Bold English Navvy
14  PADDY DORAN : The Little Beggarman (hornpipe)
15  WINNIE RYAN : Going to Mass Last Sunday
16  PADDY DORAN : Kate From Ballinamore
17  MARY CONNORS & PADDY DORAN : The Miles I Have Rambled
18  CHRISTY PURCELL : The Fair At Spancil Hill
19  MARY CONNORS : Come All You Loyal Lovers
20  WINNIE RYAN : Early, Early In The Spring
21  PADDY DORAN : Blackwaterside
22  MARY CONNORS : I Wish I Was In Newross Town
23  LAL SMITH : Nancy Hogan’s Goose
24  WINNIE RYAN : I Am a Poor Girl and My Life It Is Sad

Buy The Flax in Bloom now from:

“Good humour for the rest of the night” TSCD675

A selection of Traditional dance music in Northumberland and Cumberland
Field recordings made by Peter Kennedy in 1954
Selected and presented by Reg Hall

1   Ned Pearson : The Soldier’s Joy (Country Dance)
2   Ned Perason : The Ribbon Country Dance
3   Ned Pearson : We All Go A-Hunting Today
4   Ned Pearson : Ned’s Father’s Strathspey
5   Ned Pearson : The Ladies’ Hornpipe
6   Ned Pearson : Barbara Bell
7   Billy Ballantine : The Coquet Reel
8   Billy Ballantine : The Lads of North Tyne
9   Billy Ballantine : The Mosstroopers Polka
10  Billy Ballantine : The Wild Hills of Wannies
11  Bob Clark : My Love She’s But A Lassie Yet
12  George Taylor : The Clinch Polka
13  Bob Clark & George Taylor : The Clinch Polka
14  Geordie Armstrong : George Foreman’s Hornpipe
15  Geordie Armstrong : The Sylph
16  Geordie Armstrong : Highland Laddie
17  Geordie Armstrong : The Keel Row
18  Geordie Armstrong : Duncan Gray
19  Geordie Armstrong : Proudlock’s Hornpipe
20  Billy Conroy : Patrick Conroy’s March
21  Billy Conroy : Patrick Conroy’s Waltz No. 1
22  Billy Conroy : Patrick Conroy’s Waltz No. 2
23  Billy Conroy : The Rollicking Irishman
24  Jake Hutton : Corn Riggs
25  Jake Hutton : Jake Hutton’s Strathspey
26  Tom Hunter : Durham Rangers / The Rights of Man
27  Billy Ballantine : Good Humour
28  Billy Ballantine : The Time for Step-dancing
29  Billy Ballantine : Russian Ballet
30  Geordie Armstrong : Nancy
31  Geordie Armstrong : Drops of Brandy
32  Geordie Armstrong : The Maltese Schottische
33  Geordie Armstrong : Roxburgh Castle
34  Billy Ballantine : The Lancers, figure 1
35  Billy Ballantine : The Lancers, figure 2
36  Billy Ballantine : The Lancers, figure 3
37  Billy Ballantine : The Lancers, figure 4
38  Billy Ballantine : The Lancers, figure 5
39  Billy Ballantine : The Last Figure of the Lancers
40  Jim Rutherford : The West End
41   Jim Rutherford : Corn Rigs
42  Jim Rutherford : The Garden House
43  Jim Rutherford : Louden’s Bonny Woods and Braes
44  Willy Taylor : The Gilsland Hornpipe
45  Willy Taylor : Peter Robson’s Polka
46  Adam Gray : The Roman Wall
47  Billy Ballantine :Billy’s Father’s Polka
48  Billy Ballantine : The Whinshields Hornpipe
49  Billy Ballantine : Whinham’s Reel
50  Geordie Taylor : The Triumph
51  Geordie Taylor : Corn Rigs
52  Geordie Taylor : The Ribbon Dance
53  Geordie Taylor : Cock Your Leg Up
54  Geordie Taylor : The Self
55  Geordie Taylor : The Circassian Circle – first figure
56  Geordie Taylor : The Circassian Circle – second figure
57  Jimmy Hunter : Roxburgh Castle
58  Jimmy Hunter : Caddam Woods
59  Jimmy Hunter : Jack Heron’s Waltz
60  Jimmy Hunter : The Circassian Circle

Buy Good Humour for the Rest of the Night now from:

ANNE BRIGGS : The Hazards of Love STOP2014

To celebrate Record Store Day  – April 19th 2014 – Topic Records released a 50th anniversary limited edition 7” vinyl facsimile of this historic early recording from Anne Briggs.

One of many jewels in Topic Record’s extensive catalogue, The Hazards Of Love EP has been an important touchstone for myriad singers, songwriters and performers – on a rare visit to London, June Tabor was bought a copy by her older sister: “She took me to Dobell’s and said she’d buy me a record. I got that Anne Briggs EP, Hazards of Love… I was captivated by this woman’s voice and what she did with it…”

The Hazards of Love became the calling card for Anne Briggs – one of the most influential figures in the English folk revival, with Bert Jansch, Jimmy Page, The Watersons and Sandy Denny all acknowledging that influence, and it continues years after its release, with The Decemberists 2009 album title directly taken from the EP which inspired it.

“…a brilliant singer, really brilliant, very natural.”  BERT JANSCH

We have endeavoured to faithfully match the original Topic EP sleeve with a leaflet of song notes by A.L. Lloyd inside a beautiful gloss-laminated limited edition flip-back sleeve.

1  Lowlands Away
2  My Bonny Boy
3  Polly Vaughan
4  Rosemary Lane

Buy The Hazards of Love now from:


Traditional dance music from Orkney, field recordings made by Peter Kennedy in 1955.
Selected and presented by Reg Hall.

The BBC, for whom Peter Kennedy was working part-time in 1955, had more or less left Orkney alone in its recording activity, except for some recordings about local customs and beliefs made on location in 1954. At the time, Orkney was seen as being at the extreme edge of Great Britain, and was virgin territory for a music collector such as Peter, who travelled there in 1955, recording singers and musicians in informal circumstances, amassing a wealth of songs, dances and some speech excerpts that still exist, and this CD presents a representative selection of the instrumental pieces from that treasure trove of traditional music.

1  The GARSON TRIO : The Greeny Hill March
2  The GARSON TRIO : King William’s March
3  The GARSON TRIO : The Victoria Waltz
4  JOHN FRASER : Napoleon Crossing The Rhine
5  JOHN FRASER : (Jig) Rory O’More
6  JOHN FRASER : The Foursome Reel
7  JOHN FRASER : Two Wedding Marches
9  BILLY & JIMMY MELL : Untitled Waltz
10  The ORKNEY STRATHSPEY & REEL SOCIETY : (Hornpipes) Byrne’s / The Elk’s Festival
11  The ORKNEY STRATHSPEY & REEL SOCIETY : (Polkas) Untitled / Untitled
12  PETER PRATT : Two Quadrille Tunes
13  PETER PRATT :  Miss Brown’s Horning
14  PETER PRATT : The Morning Star
15  PETER PRATT : (Strathspey) Kitty My Navel
16  PETER PRATT : (Barndance) Paddy Carter
17  BILL GRIEVE : Bob Johnstone’s Stathspey & Reel
18  TOM THOMSON : Deerness Quadrille Tune
19  The GARSON TRIO : The Venus Polka
20  The GARSON TRIO : (Jigs) Off She Goes / Dumfries House / Unidentified
21  JIM LESLIE : The Red House
22  JIM LESLIE : The House On The Hill
23  RONNIE AIM : The Glimps Holm March
24  RONNIE AIM : Untitled March
26  JOHN BURGESS , MARY ORMAND & TOM THOMSON : (Strathspey) Smith’s A Gallant Fireman
27  JOHN BURGESS , MARY ORMAND & TOM THOMSON : (Two Quicksteps) Unidentified / Patience Quadrille
29  PETER PRATT : (Stathspey) Archie o’ Lamb Holm / (Pipe March) Unidentified
30  PETER PRATT : The Bride’s Reel
31  PETER PRATT : Tune for the quadrille (The Rose Tree)
32  The GARSON TRIO : (Strathspeys) The Monymusk / The Iron Man
33  The GARSON TRIO : (March) The House of Skene / (Strathspeys) The Four Stringer / MacDonald Black

Buy Orkney now from: