Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

SARAH OGAN GUNNING A Girl of Constant Sorrow TSDL171

From  the original LP notes:TSDL171

Like other folksingers, her repertoire encompasses a variety of emotions: anger at needless poverty and exploitation, affirmation of self-help as a way of life, pleasure in love, solace in religion, peace in death. Sarah’s prodigious talent has permitted her to fuse disparate radical elements with traditional forms to create a handful of significant songs beyond the legacy of well-known material left to her by her family.

1 I AM A GIRL OF CONSTANT SORROW
2 LOVING NANCY
3 OLD JACK FROST
4 MAY I GO WITH YOU JOHNNY?
5 THE HAND OF GOD ON THE WALL
6 DOWN ON THE PICKET LINE
7 I HATE THE COMPANY BOSSES
8 I’M GOING TO ORGANIZE
9 CHRIST WAS A WAYWORN TRAVELER
10 WHY DO YOU STAND THERE IN THE RAIN?
11 DREADFUL MEMORIES
12 OLD SOUTHERN TOWN
13 I HAVE LETTERS FROM MY FATHER
14 CAPTAIN DEVIN
15 GEE WHIZ WHAT THEY DONE TO ME
16 DAVY CROCKETT
17 BATTLE OF MILL SPRING
18 JUST THE SAME TODAY
19 SALLY
20 OH DEATH

First issued by Topic Records 1967.

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THE COCK AND BULL BAND Eyes Closed and Rocking TSDL440

TSDL440The Cock and Bull Band were formed in 1979 from the ashes of Hemlock. Members were Brad Bradstock, John Maxwell, Jean-Pierre Rasle and Dave Whetstone. Paul Martin replaced Brad in 1980 and the band recorded their debut album All Buttoned Up on Topic Records in 1981 and began their ascent in the folk festival and ceilidh world. Maxwell, Martin and Rasle then put Cock and Bull on hold for a spell in The Albion Band before returning to record and release their second Topic album, Eyes Closed and Rocking in 1985.

  1. One for Dan
  2. Valse Villageoise – Bourrée à Ruols
  3. The Banister
  4. Sugar on the Doughnut – Advice to the Ladies
  5. The Wonder – Ridotta Rock
  6. Prince Frederick’s – Suky’s Delight
  7. Les Violettes Roses – Hop and Skip – Circle
  8. William Irwin’s I, II & III
  9. The Welch Rabbit – Hotfoot

Produced by Dave Whetstone and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1985.

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IRISH TRADITIONAL CONCERTINA STYLES TSDL1506

TSDL1506From the original LP notes by Neil Wayne:

In this, the sixth Topic/Free Reed release, we present a sample of the playing of eight musicians from various parts of Ireland who play the Anglo concertina.

Today, the richest store of traditional concertina playing is to be found in County Clare, and indeed five of these musicians live and work in that county. However, the instrument’s popularity has been more widespread and Mrs. O’Dwyer, who learnt to play in County Limerick as a young girl, tells of many players in that county.

Also, the instrument is regaining popularity amongst the newer generation of musicians, and we feature on the recording items from two younger Dublin concertina players.

This record, then, surveys the Irish traditional concertina styles that can be heard in and around County Clare today, and includes selections from younger musicians, as well as some of the finest traditional players of the concertina in Ireland.

1 reel King of the Clans Sonny Murray
2 set tunes No Title/Behind the Bush in Parkhanna Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
3 jig Kit O’Mahoney’s Paddy Murphy
4 reel The Mountain Road Gerald Haugh
5 Reels Solus Lillis/Tom Carey
6 slow air The Fairy Child Michael MacAogain
7 set dance The Argrume Set Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
8 barn dance The Barn Dance Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
9 reels Chancy Cheory/West along the Road Sonny Murray
10 reel The Morning Dew Sonny Murray
11 reel Spike Island Lasses Sean O’Dwyer
12 jigs Jigs incl. Jenny’s Beaver Hat Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
13 reels Toss the Feathers/Drowsy Maggie Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
14 reel The Mason’s Apron Paddy Murphy
15 flings Sean O’Dwyer’s Fling/The Kerry Hornpipe Sean O’Dwyer
16 jig Kesh Jig Gerald Haugh
17 jig The Clare Jig (Stack’s Favourite) Solus Lillis/Tom Carey
18 air Air from Thomas Moor Solus Lillis
19 hornpipe The Fairy Hornpipe Michael MacAogain
20 March  Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
21 set dance Mrs O’Dwyer’s Fancy Mrs Ellen O’Dwyer
22 jigs Apples in Winter Solus Lillis/Tom Carey

Produced by John Tams, Neil Wayne and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1977.

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JUMBO BRIGHTWELL Songs from the Eel’s Foot TSDL261

From the original LP notes:TSDL261

As at many local pubs, Saturday nights were for singing and the Eel’s Foot was no exception, having a Chairman – Philip Lumpton – who would keep the tiny bar in order with a gavel or the cribbage board and the ruling was that everyone had ‘to sing, say or pay’. Jumbo however remembers one chap, a steamroller driver, who ‘whenever it was his turn to sing someone would generally pay him a tanner not to – he wasn’t all that good.’ The money went into a kitty to supply the singers with beer which had to be brought by hand from the cellar to the bar, one pint at a time.

1 The Flower of London
2 The Derby Miller
3 The Loss of the Ramillies
4 The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea
5 Blow the Candle Out
6 The Bold Princess Royal
7 Newry Town
8 The Indian Lass
9 Muddley Barracks
10 The False Hearted Knight
11 The Lost Heiress
12 Down in the Fields Where the Buttercups Grow
13 Rambleaway
14 The Life of a Man

Produced by Tony Engle and Keith Summers
First issued by Topic Records 1975

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BOB HART, PERCY WEBB, ERNEST AUSTIN Flash Company TSDL243

From the original LP notes:TSDL243

On this present recording the singers are elderly and it is interesting to note what (E J) Moeran had to say on this subject. ‘One of the singers there was a man of about fifty who learned his songs from his father. The latter was also present, singing in the quavering and asthmatic tones of old age, but it was only recently that he had allowed the young man of fifty … to ‘perform in public’ for he was determined that he must acquire the true traditional style, uncontaminated by outside influences, before so doing.’

1 The Bold Princess Royal – Bob Hart
2 Seventeen Come Sunday – Bob Hart
3 The Faithful Sailor Boy – Percy Webb
4 Flash Company – Percy Webb
5 Wheel Your P’rambulator – Percy Webb
6 Go and Leave Me – Percy Webb
7 Rap-a-Tap-Tap – Bob Hart
8 The Song of the Thrush – Bob Hart
9 John Barleycorn – Ernest Austin
10 The Gipsy’s Warning – Bob Hart
11 Hares on the Mountain/The Knife in the Window – Ernest Austin
12 Barbara Allen – Bob Hart

Production by Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1974

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SIMPSON∙CUTTING∙KERR ~ Dark Honey / Ruben STOP2591

STOP2591aWe are releasing a double ‘A’-sided limited edition 7″ vinyl single – Dark Honey / Ruben – in advance of the splendid new Simpson∙Cutting∙Kerr album Murmurs.

‘Dark Honey’ is Nancy Kerr’s reflection on the human influence on our fast-changing ecology, informed by a summer of bee swarms in her inner-city garden, and the story she heard of bees collecting the sweetness from discarded cola cans and subsequently producing the dark honey of the title.

‘Ruben’ is an exclusive non-album track, available only on this single.

A spirited and spiritual banjo-led reworking of the American folk standard ‘Reuben’s Train’ (other versions known as ‘500 Miles or ‘900 Miles’), it is the lament of a traveller riding the railroad, penniless, longing for a home far out of reach.

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP and AMAZON



EWAN MacCOLL & PEGGY SEEGER Steam Whistle Ballads TSDL104

TSDL104From the original LP notes:

The British Labour Movement has a rich heritage of songs – songs that convey a sense of history, as well as imagery and emotion for present day industrial workers and their friends.

The force and tang of these songs proves irresistible to modern tastes, and many talented song-makers outside of industry as well as within it have been fired to imitate this kind of do-it-yourself workers’ song. Among the best of these is Ewan MacColl, who presents here a number of songs created by industrial workers, interspersed with songs on industrial themes made by himself.

1 The Wark of the Weavers
2 Droylsden Wakes
3 The Four Loom Weaver
4 The Calton Weaver
5 Oh, Dear Me
6 The Coal-Owner and the Pitman’s Wife
7 Fourpence a Day
8 The Gresford Disaster
9 Will Caird
10 The Iron Horse
11 Poor Paddy works on the Railway
12 Cannily Cannily
13 The Song of the Iron Road
14 The Blantyre Explosion
15 The Collier Laddie
16 Moses of the Mail

Recording by Bill Leader.
First issued by Topic Records 1964.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Lambs on the Green Hills TSDL369

TSDL369County Clare has long been known as one of the richest areas for music and song throughout Ireland. Petrie, writing in his ‘Ancient Music of Ireland’, published in 1855, was enthusiastic about the tunes he heard. His remarks spring from his travels through Clare during the early 1820s and throw into relief musical traditions that clearly go back deeply into the eighteenth century at least. Even if it’s felt that Petrie’s enthusiasm may have run away with him we can’t doubt the more recent, towering figures of Garrett Barry, George Whelan (Kerry born), or Willie Clancy, and the Bobby Caseys, Miko Russells and John Kellys of today; all of whom testify to the strength of the musical heritage of the people of the Dal Cais.

1          The Bold Trooper – Nora Cleary
2          The Grey Mare – Ollie Conway
3          Farewell to Lissycasey – Siney Crotty
4          An Cailín Deas – Siney Crotty
5          The Lambs on the Green Hills – Mick Flynn
6          Lovely Mary to the Sea Do Not Go – Siney Crotty
7          Pat O’Donnell – Mick Flynn
8          Stór Mo Chroi – Mick Flynn
9          Bessie of Ballantown Brae – Nora Cleary
10        Farewell to Milltown – Nora Cleary

Recorded and produced by Roly Brown.
Editing and mastering by Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1978.

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DAVIE STEWART TSDL293

TSDL293

“In a form of music that is mainly about continuity and convention, it is a rarity to come across an innovator, a rule-breaker; Davie Stewart was just such a character.  He deserves the overused word, ‘unique’; they made Davie and then they broke the mould.  His song accompaniments on melodeon or piano accordion have a peculiar otherworldly effect.  It is weird and wonderful stuff.”  Vic Smith

1 MacPherson’s Rant
2 The Jolly Beggar
3 Cantering: The 74th Highlanders’ Farewell to Edinburgh/The Piper’s Bonnet/Mrs
MacLeod of Raasay
4 I’m Often Drunk and I’m Seldom Sober
5 Jigs: Taghter Jack Walsh/The Connaughtman’s Ramble
6 The Overgate
7 The Merchant’s Son
8 The Daft Piper
9 Boolavogue
10 Hornpipe: Harvest Home
11 The Dowie Dens o’Yarrow

Production for Topic by Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1978

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VIN GARBUTT Little Innocents TSDL428

Vin Garbutt’s third album for Topic, from 1983. TSDL428Expecting their third child, Garbutt and his wife, Pat, made a routine visit to their GP. They were stunned when the doctor asked them if they wanted to keep their baby. It was the cold casualness of the question that made Garbutt realise that he had just found an unlikely muse: the unborn child. A rich crop of almost unbearably moving hymns to the unborn baby resulted.

1 The Royal Blackbird
2 The Fear of Imperfection ~ Lynda
3 Calum More
4 The Coalman
5 Leslie
6 Dormanstown Jimmy
7 If
8 Blue Sunset
9 Little Innocents

First issued by Topic Records 1983.

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JOHN KELLY Fiddle and Concertina Player TSDL1504

TSDL1504John Kelly was born in the district of Rehy West, County Clare, and for over thirty years was a force in Irish music – he was a member of Seán Ó Riada’s Ceoltóirí Cualainn, of the Castle Ceilidh Band, and of Ceoltóirí Laighean, and regular musician at respected Dublin sessions.
John’s fiddling is in the relaxed Clare style and his concertina playing is spikier, with subtle variations of notes, the occasional harmonic effect, and again that off-beat emphasis.
John taught at the Willie Clancy Scoil Éigse, and supported the Tradition Club held on Wednesdays at Slattery’s, just a few doors away from his Dublin home: he was recorded by John Tams and Neil Wayne in January 1974 and by Tony Engle and Patrick Hayes in March & April 1975.

1 Paddy on the Turnpike – reel (concertina)
2 a The Bunch of Rushes – reel (fiddle), b The Bunch of Rushes – reel (concertina)
3 John Kelly’s Slide/ Tom Keane’s Reel (concertina)
4 a Blackberry Blossoms – reel (concertina), b The Spike Island Lasses – reel (double-reed concertina)
5 The Heathery Breeze – reel (concertina)
6 Delia Keane’s Jig (concertina)
7 The Blacksmith’s Charm – hornpipe (concertina)
8 We were drinking and kissing the Ladies/ Old Tipperary – jigs (fiddle)
9 Rocking the Baby to Sleep – air (fiddle)
10 Eddie Dunn’s – reel (concertina)
11 The Fishermen’s Hornpipe (concertina)
12 The Sister Reels – Carney’s / Gilbert Clancy’s Favourite / The Ravelled Hank of Yarn (fiddle)
13 The Crooked Road to Dublin and The Duke of Leinster’s Wife – reels (concertina)
14 The West Cork Reel (concertina)
15 a The Ivy Leaf – reel (concertina), b The Ivy Leaf – reel (fiddle)
16 The Flogging Reel (double-reed concertina)
17 Scattery Island Slide (double-reed concertina)
18 The Ebb Tide – hornpipe (concertina)
19 The Blackbird – air/hornpipe/set dance (fiddle)
20 The Bunch of Keys – reel (fiddle)
21 Lord Wellington’s Reel (concertina)

Produced by John Tams, Neil Wayne and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic Records 1975.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Travellers: Songs, Stories and Tunes from English Gypsies TSDL395

I’m a stranger in this country,TSDL395
From America I came.

Chris Willett

Well, not quite from America! But gypsies, or travellers to use a preferred term, were strangers when they first set foot in the British Isles over 400 years ago.   To this day many have remained apart from the rest of society. And yet, as this album attests, they have integrated sufficiently to pick up and retain much of the musical heritage that was once common to all. Paradoxically, much of the music performed here was originally the creation of the non-gypsy community. Today this music is often best remembered by the gypsies.

1 The American Stranger – CHRIS WILLETT
2 Bold Keeper – HARRY BRAZIL
3 Go From My Window – WISDOM SMITH
4 Little Footman Boy – ALICE PENFOLD
5 God Killed the Devil-O/Meeting the Devil/Yonder Comes the Devil – LEMMIE BRAZIL/JASPER SMITH/JOE JONES
6 Sally Monroe – HARRY BRAZIL
7 Pepper and Salt – JASPER SMITH
8 Lovely Johnny – MARY ANN HAYNES
9 The Loyal Lover – HARRY BRAZIL
10 Climbing Up the Apple Tree/Tuning/Bird Scaring Cry/Hacking Clover – JASPER SMITH
11 Step Dance Tune – BILL ELSON
12 Barbara Allen – DEBBIE & PENNY HARRIS
13 Hares in the Old Plantation – WIGGY SMITH
14 Rambling Irishman – HARRY BRAZIL
15 Down in the Meadow/Love is Pleasing – JASPER SMITH/BILL ELSON
16 A Blacksmith Courted Me – HARRY BRAZIL
17 Once I Was a Servant – CHRIS WILLETT
18 The Gown So Green – HARRY BRAZIL
19 The Flower Show – HARRY BRAZIL
20 Waxey Candles – JASPER SMITH
21 The Coachman/Bonny Black Hare/The Cuckoo’s Nest – JASPER SMITH/LEMMIE BRAZIL/JOE JONES
22 Hopping Down in Kent/My Lovely Hops – MARY ANN HAYNES
23 Swinging Down the Lane – CHRIS WILLETT
24 Will There Be Any Travellers In Heaven – DERBY SMITH

Production by Mike Yates and Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic 1985.

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BILL HARDIE / SCOTT SKINNER The Music of Scott Skinner – Traditional Scots Fiddling TSDL268

TSDL268It is very appropriate that the artistry of William Hardie should be featured on this disc along with that of J. Scott Skinner, for many authorities believe him to be the finest living exponent of the Scott Skinner style.

William Hardie, accompanied on this record by his son, comes from a family with a long and honoured place in Scottish musical life – his great-great grandfather, Peter Hardie, (1775 – 1863), was a pupil of Niel Gow and a violin maker and composer of note; Peter’s cousin, Matthew Hardie (1755 – 1826), is widely regarded as the doyen of Scottish violin makers, and Charles Hardie (1849 – 1893), the grand-uncle of the present artist, was considered one of the best violinists in Scotland in his day, and held by Skinner to excel particularly in slow airs, light reels and hornpipes.

Bill Hardie / stereo

1 The Marquis of Huntly’s Snuff Mull/Mrs Chree/Carnie’s Canter
2 James F. Dickie’s Delight/The Laird o’ Drumblair/James F. Dickie’s reel
3 MacPherson’s Rant/Tullochgorum/The East Neuk o’ Fife
4 Master Francis Sitwell & variations/Newcastle Hornpipe]
5 Hornpipes: The North Shore/The Liverpool
6 The Dean Brig o’ Edinburgh/Banks Hornpipe

Bill Hardie is accompanied by his son, Alastair Hardie, on piano on tracks 1, 2, 4, 6 – tracks 3 and 5 are solo.

Scott Skinner / 78rpm discs / mono

7 The Laird o’ Drumblair (1683e) (Zonophone X-47905)
(The Laird o’ Drumblair/The Baker Reel/Will ye no come back Again?)
8 The Freebooter
(Is Your War Pipe asleep) (26746) (Rena Double Face 1285) (MacPherson’s Rant/Tullochgorum & variations/The East Neuk of Fife & variations)
9 Birlin Reels
(26749) (Rena Double Face 1283)
(The Auld Wheel/Spinning Wheel/Bride’s Reel/MacKenzie Frazer/Fairy Dance)
10 German Schottische
(26760) (Rena Double Face 1286)
(Bohemian Melodies)
11
(a) Goodbye Gramin (b) Johnny Steele (strathspey) (c) James Hardie (reel) (73072) (Regal G8021)
12 Highland Schottische (26761) (Regal Zonophone G6617
Maggie Cameron/Athole Brose/The Devil in the Kitchen/Forbes Morrison
13 Sean Trews
and Whistle o’er the Lave O’t, and Wha widna Fecht for Charlie? (Antique Dance) (26764) (Regal G6625)

Recorded and produced by Tony Engle.
First issued by Topic 1975.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS Sussex Harvest TSDL258

TSDL258From the original LP notes:

Sussex has long been a county associated with folksong. In 1843 the Reverend John Broadwood published his Old English Songs with tunes, ‘set to Music exactly as they are now sung, to rescue them from oblivion’, and words, ‘in their original Rough State, with an occasional slight alteration to render the sense intelligible’. Broadwood, a Sussex country vicar, had played the tunes on the recorder to his organist, so that the latter might write them down, but was surprised to be told that he had ‘got them all wrong’. It was only when the organist heard the singers for himself that he realised, to his amazement, that supposedly illiterate peasants were singing perfect melodies outside the common major and minor scales.

To Broadwood, as to almost every subsequent collector, the folksongs were to be collected because it was believed they would be gone from us within a generation. This record attests that this was not to be so, that songs and singers were to remain active, if not exactly common.

1 Canadee-I-O     Harry Upton
2 The Female Drummer     Mrs Haynes
3 Poor Leonard     Mrs Haynes
4 The Freckless Young Girl     Harry Upton
5 The Basket of Eggs     Bob Blake
6 The Old Miser     Mrs Haynes
7 Riding Down to Portsmouth     Mrs Haynes
8 Will the Weaver     Rabbidy Baxter
9 The Wreck of ‘The Northfleet’     Harry Upton
10 Long a-growing     Mrs Haynes
11 The Bonny Labouring Boy     Bob Blake
12 Poison in a Glass of Wine     Harry Upton
13 The Ball of Yarn     Mrs Haynes

Produced by Mike Yates and Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1975

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HARRY BOARDMAN, DAVE HILLERY Trans Pennine TSDL215

TSDL215Harry Boardman sang both unaccompanied and accompanying himself on the anglo-concertina or banjo. He wasactive as a folk singer and collector of Lancashire folklore from the late 1950s with some collaboration from his wife Lesley. Dave Hillery appeared regularly with Harry at the Pack Horse Hotel in Bridge Street, Manchester in the early 1960s, developing his interest in Yorkshire regional material through their association.

Although most of the songs in this album represent well the character of their respective counties, there has been no attempt to create a definitive programme – they are simply the personal choice of two men from either side of the ‘backbone of England’.

  1. Scarborough Sands
  2. I’ll have a Collier for my Sweetheart
  3. Forty Miles
  4. Tommy Stroo’s Ghost
  5. Cowd Stringy Pie
  6. Tha’s Welcome, Little Bonny Brid
  7. Nellie o’ Bob’s o’t’ Crowtrees
  8. Weaver’s Song
  9. Happy Sam
  10. The Manchester Canal 
  11. Instrumental Dance-Tunes T-auld Wife of Coverdill/Lass O’ Dallogil/My Love, My Love
  12. The Cockfight
  13. Haley Paley
  14. With Henry Hunt We’ll Go
  15. The Ensilver Song

Recorded by Dick Swettenham in Manchester
First issued by Topic Records 1971

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VARIOUS ARTISTS When Sheepshearing’s Done TSDL254

TSDL254From the original LP notes:

‘… and there would be calls for old David’s ‘Outlandish Knight’; not because they wanted particularly to hear it – indeed, they had heard it so often they all knew it by heart – but because, as they said, ‘Poor old feller be eighty-three. Let ‘un sing while he can’.’
Flora Thompson perfectly described a village singsong of the 1880s when she wrote of her childhood in the book Lark Rise (1939). The village stood among wheatfields in a north east corner of Oxfordshire and Miss Thompson felt that she was describing a way of life that had passed for ever.
But certain values have remained, as the singers on this record attest, and in their own way these singers are the direct descendants and carriers of ‘old David’s’ past.

1 The Fox and the Grey Goose – Freda Palmer, Witney, Oxfordshire
2 The Wandering Girl – Freda Palmer
3 All For the Grog – George ‘Tom’ Newman, Clanfield, Oxfordshire
4 The Broken Down Gentleman – Bill Whiting, Longcot, Oxfordshire
5 I’m Going to the Woods – Bill Whiting
6 Sing Ovy and Sing Ivy – George ‘Tom’ Newman
7 The Warwickshire R.H.A. – Freda Palmer
8 Oxford City – Freda Palmer
9 The Galloway Man – Wisdom Smith, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire
10 When Sheepshearing’s Done – Bob Blake, Horsham, Sussex
11 As I Was A-Walking – Freda Palmer
12 Up in the North – Freda Palmer
13 (a) The Life of a Man – Harry Holman, Copthorne, Sussex and
(b) Toast – Harry Holman
14 The Thrashing Machine – George Spicer, West Hoathly, Sussex
15 The Lily White Hand – George Spicer
16 The Grey Hawk – Bob Blake
17 The Bailiff’s Daughter of Islington – Freda Palmer
18 William and Mary – Freda Palmer
19 Maria Marten – Freda Palmer
20 Jolly Jarge – Bill Dore, Leafield, Oxfordshire

Produced by Mike Yates and Tony Engle
First issued by Topic Records 1975

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FRANK HARTE Dublin Street Songs TSDL172

TSDL172Frank Harte (1933-2005) was a traditional Irish singer, song collector, architect and lecturer; a great exponent of the Dublin street ballad and widely known for his distinctive singing, his Dublin accent having a rich nasal quality complementing his often high register.

From the original LP notes:

The material is all his own, gathered from the abundant cornucopia of traditional Anglo-Irish folksong. He has been collecting since he was twelve years of age and his infallible ear and prodigious memory have recorded nearly a thousand songs, most of them unpublished, though many of the songs on this disc are in Colm O’Lochlainn’s Irish Street Ballads 1939 (C.O’L.,1) and More Irish Street Ballads 1965 (C.O’L.,2).

To explain in detail the history, the language, the music of these songs would require not a note which would fit on a record sleeve but a small book; but these are ballads of the Dublin streets, commonplace once, now remembered by a few. They were not all made in Dublin, but Dublin preserved their life.

1 The Traveller all over the World
2 The Shamrock Shore   acc
3 The Rag Man’s Ball   acc
4 Henry My Son   acc
5 The Bold Belfast Shoemaker
6 The Night That Larry was Stretched
7 The Twang Man   acc
8 The Finding of Moses
9 Father Murphy

Recorded by Bill Leader
First issued by Topic Records 1967

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CHRIS DRONEY The Flowing Tide TSDL1503

TSDL1503Chris Droney’s repertoire, unlike that of many musicians, is not dominated by the reel and the jig; his playing is well leavened with the set dances, marches, polkas, hornpipes and slow airs of Clare, music that epitomizes the true traditional repertoire of one of the finer concertina players of County Clare.

1 Bellharbour Reel/Tim Maloney’s Reel
2 The Cuckoo Hornpipe
3 Three Little Drummers/The Eagles Nest – jigs
4 Burren No.1/Chris Droney’s favourite – reels
5 Sliam na Gapall/The Lakes of Sligopolkas
6 The Blue Gentian Waltz
7 Roddy McCorley’s March
8 The Treble Jig/The Battering Ram
9 The Union Reel/The Kilfenora Reel
10 The Three Part Jig/The Moate Hunt – jigs
11 The Templehouse Reel/Matt Molloy’s Reel
12 The Killy Hornpipe/The Flowing Tide (Ann’s favourite) – hornpipes
13 The Sailor’s Polka/The Old Time (Rakes of Mallow) – polka
14 Untitled Slow Air
15 Down the Broom Reel/Sheehy’s Reel

Produced by Tony Engle, John Tams and Neil Wayne.
First issued by Topic Records 1975.

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BERNARD O’SULLIVAN, TOMMY McMAHON Play Irish Traditional Music of County Clare TSDL1505

TSDL1505This is the second Topic LP of the music of Tommy McMahon and Bernard O’Sullivan. Like the first record it illustrates the richness, depth and variety of Clare concertina music. The selection here is very varied and includes reels, jigs, hornpipes, set dances, polkas and waltzes. Anyone in search of good concertina music may find it in West Clare. This is really concertina country. Every village has a traditional musician and in many cases it is a concertina player. The concertina as a traditional instrument has been in Clare for well over a hundred years. With the decline of the pipes and fiddle the concertina was a practical replacement. It was ideal for playing the newly composed sets of the last century. Though it was not capable of the embellishments or expressiveness of the pipes it was nevertheless an excellent little reed instrument for playing for country dances.

1 Polkas: I Have a Bonnet Trimmed with Blue, The Rakes of Mallow  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
2 Reels: Farmer Moroney’s and Mulvihill’s reel  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
3 Reels: Maud Millar’s and Morrison’s  Tommy McMahon
4 Reel: The Bucks of Oranmore  Bernard O’Sullivan
5 Waltzes: My Heart’s in the Highlands and The Dewdrop  Bernard O’Sullivan
6 Jigs: The Blooming Meadows, Mullagh Jig, Ballinakill Jig  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
7 Reels: The Merry Sisters, Quilty Reel  Tommy McMahon
8 Hornpipes: The Cliff, The Derry Hornpipe  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
9 Jigs: The Rose in the Heather selection  Tommy McMahon
10 Reels: Flowery Mountains, Kiss the Maid Behind the Barrel, The Milliner’s Daughter  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
11 Reel: A Trip to Durrow  Tommy McMahon
12 Polka: Stack Ryan’s Polka  Bernard O’Sullivan
13 Set Dance: The Garden of Daisies  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan
14 Jigs: Andy Keone’s, Saddle the Pony, Tulla Jig  Tommy McMahon
15 Set Dance: The Three Sea Captains  Tommy McMahon
16 Reels: The Boys of Ballysadare, The Five Mile Chase  Tommy McMahon & Bernard O’Sullivan

Produced by Tony Engle, John Tams and Neil Wayne
First issued by Topic Records 1976.

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THE HOUSE BAND Word of Mouth TSDL451

TSDL451

The last Topic album recorded by The House Band, by this time (1988) a three-piece after the departure of Brian Brooks; ‘Word of Mouth’ was recorded at Ideal Sound in London.

1 WALLS OF TROY
2 THE DUSTY MILLER/THE COUNTY GROUND
3 LADY MARY HAY’S FAVOURITE SCOTCH MEASURE/TRITI PUTI
4 WILD ROVING
5 AN DRO D’OGHAM/AN DRO/AU PLACE DE SERBIE
6 THE HAPPY ONE STEP/GREEN WILLIS
7 FROM A DISTANCE
8 THE PEACOCK/MOLDAVIAN SONG
9 THE BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN/THE HIGHLAND BRIGADE AT MAGERSFONTEIN

Produced by The House Band and David Kenny
First issued by Topic Records 1988

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SAM LARNER A Garland For Sam TSDL244

TSDL244This record celebrates one of the finest folk singers of our time, Sam Larner, born in Winterton, Norfolk, in 1878. Winterton is just north of Yarmouth, on the coastal edge of a stretch of flat watery country that, half a century ago, within a few square miles, sheltered a remarkable nest of singing birds, including Harry Cox of Barton (later Catfield), Ted Goffin of Catfield, Bob Miller of Sutton, and Jimmy Sutton (called ‘Old Larpin’) of Winterton. The composer E J Moeran noted fine songs from all these men during and shortly after the first world war, but he missed Sam Larner, who was perhaps away at sea.

  1. Alphabet Song
  2. Merry Month of May
  3. Napoleon’s Dream
  4. London Steamer
  5. Bonny Bunch of Roses
  6. Barbara Allen
  7. The Smacksman
  8. The Lofty Tall Ship
  9. Raking the Hay
  10. Will Watch
  11. The Outlandish Knight
  12. Haisboro Light Song
  13. Old Bob Ridley-o
  14. The Bold Princess Royal
  15. In Scarboro’ Town

Produced by Tony Engle.

First issued by Topic Records 1974.

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