Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

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A two CD set of songs by Southern English Gypsy Traditional singers.

I’m A Romany Rai is selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic field recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy.
Series Editor – Reg Hall.

Amongst he 59 historic recordings on these two discs are powerful recordings of many of the finest Southern English Gypsy traditional singers including Tom Willett, Phoebe Smith, Charlie Scamp, Sheila Smith and Rebecca Penfold. The second CD is entirely devoted to recordings of Carolyne Hughes and her family.

CD1: I Were Borned in an Old Gypsy Wagon
1. Phoebe Smith: I’m a Romany Rai
2. Tom Willett: The Roaming Journeyman
3. Janet Penfold: Won’t You Buy My Sweet Blooming Lavender?
4. Rebecca Penfold: The Banks of Sweet Primroses
5. Charlie Scamp: How Old Are You, My Pretty Fair Maid?
6. Mary Fuller: Oh, What a Life
7. Wally Fuller: The Game of Cards
8. Charlie Scamp: Come, Father, Build Me a Boat
9. Sheila Smith: Dear Father, Pray Build Me a Boat
10. Phoebe Smith: Higher Germany
11. Tom Willett: The Rose of Ardene
12. Rebecca Penfold: Meeting is a Pleasant Place
13. Jack Fuller: Briny O’Then
14. Wally Fuller: The Bold Drunkards
15. Chris Willett: The Little Ball of Yarn
16. Jack Fuller: Green Grow the Laurels
17. Rebecca Penfold: The Banks of the Sweet Dundee
18. Charlie Scamp: Young Leonard
19. Phoebe Smith: Down by the Sheepfold
20. Chris Willett: Thorny Park
21. Wally Fuller: The Bold Poachers
22. Tom & Chris Willett: Down by the Tanyard Side
23. Wally Fuller: I Am a Man That’s Done Wrong to My Parents
24. Charlie Scamp: Barbary Allen
25. Charlie Scamp: A Blacksmith Courted Me
26. Phoebe Smith: A Blacksmith Courted Me

CD2: Carolyne Hughes and her Family
1. Carolyne Hughes: The Soldier and the Lady
2. Carolyne Hughes: The Sprig of Thyme
3. Carolyne Hughes: A Blacksmith Courted Me
4. Carolyne Hughes: The London Murder
5. Carolyne Hughes & daughter: As I Was A-walking One May Summer’s Morning
6. Carolyne Hughes: Once I Had a Colour
7. Carolyne Hughes: My Father He Built Me a Shady Bower
8. Carolyne Hughes: Georgie
9. Carolyne Hughes: Young Willie
10. Carolyne Hughes: My Black Dog and Sheep Crook
11. Carolyne Hughes: If I Were a Blackbird
12. Carolyne Hughes: Down by the Old Riverside
13. Carolyne Hughes: A Wager, a Wager
14. Carolyne Hughes: The Brake of Briars
15. Carolyne Hughes: The Bird in the Bush
16. Carolyne Hughes: Flash Girls and Airy
17. Carolyne Hughes: The Game of Cards
18. Carolyne Hughes: Catch Me, Bold Rogue, If You Can
19. Celia Hughes: Jealousy Thoughts
20. John Hughes: The Long Lost Child
21. Carrie Warren: Henry My Son
22. John Hughes: Barbry Allen
23. Carolyne Hughes & Daughter: Billy Boy
24. Carolyne Hughes: The Cuckoo
25. Carolyne Hughes: Died for Love
26. Carolyne Hughes: Lord Thomas and Fair Ellender
27. Carolyne Hughes: The Little Boy
28. Carolyne Hughes: Adieu to Old England
29. Carolyne Hughes: The Butcher Boy
30. Carolyne Hughes: My Truelove Was a Sailor Lad
31. Carolyne Hughes: Meet Me Tonight in the Moonlight
32. Carolyne Hughes: Tuning
33. Carolyne Hughes: The Draggle-Tail Gypsies

Available now from:


Drawn from recordings made during the 1950s and 60s these four volumes capture the music making of working people. This is the home-spun art and entertainment that enriched the lives of working people in pubs and cottages, in social clubs and village halls and on the street, and was made “by people with dirt under their finger nails.” This is music that has been largely ignored by the vagaries of the commercial recording industry. The emphasis in the presentation of this series has been weighted towards the social lives and values of the performers.

Series Editor Reg Hall has chosen individual experts to select and compile these four volumes – Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling.

TSCD671 YOU NEVER HEARD SO SWEET : Songs by Southern English Traditional Singers.
Selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy and Bob Copper
TSCD672D I’M A ROMANY RAI : Songs by Southern English Gypsy Traditional Singers.

Selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy
TSCD673T  GOOD PEOPLE, TAKE WARNING : Ballads by British and Irish Traditional Singers.
Selected and presented by Steve Roud from classic recordings made in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s
TSCD674  SARAH MAKEM : The Heart Is True

Classic recordings of this important Northern Irish Traditional singer selected and presented by Rod Stradling

“Topic’s original 20-volume The Voice Of The People series in 1998 provided a plethora of superb material for UK folk’s productive new wave to gorge on. Now, courtesy of another goldmine of 1950s field recordings salvaged largely from the late collector Peter Kennedy’s archive, Reg Hall, Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling have compiled a cracking new series with detailed, illuminating booklets shining a revelatory light on Britain and Ireland’s ‘old music’. Hopefully it will inspire future generations… Magnificent” ★★★★ Colin Irwin, MOJO

“The Voice Of The People is the most important and rewarding series of British folk song recordings ever issued.” fRoots Magazine

★★★★★ Songlines    ★★★★★ Record Collector   ★★★★ Q   ★★★★ MOJO