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Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay

The Borchester Echo 04 Jun 09 - 12:42 PM
The Borchester Echo 05 Jun 09 - 01:41 AM
Dave Sutherland 05 Jun 09 - 03:40 AM
The Borchester Echo 05 Jun 09 - 04:04 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 Jun 09 - 03:47 AM
The Sandman 06 Jun 09 - 04:28 AM
Tug the Cox 06 Jun 09 - 04:47 AM
Tug the Cox 06 Jun 09 - 05:33 AM
The Sandman 06 Jun 09 - 06:21 AM
Dave Sutherland 06 Jun 09 - 06:42 AM
The Borchester Echo 06 Jun 09 - 07:32 AM
Vic Smith 06 Jun 09 - 09:21 AM
Tug the Cox 06 Jun 09 - 09:43 AM
The Sandman 06 Jun 09 - 10:14 AM
Steve Gardham 06 Jun 09 - 10:29 AM
Lizzie Cornish 1 08 Jun 09 - 03:42 AM
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Subject: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 04 Jun 09 - 12:42 PM

Writing earlier about the possibility of lashing a day-tripper to Torquay (a southern English resort that fancies itself as a riviera, for those unaware) to one of those palm trees, and forestalling Susie Pye's rescue bid and so altering the course of Child Ballad No 53, it occurred to me it might be sort of educational fun to identify ballads that pop up in different forms and in different locations.

Not many are as far-ranging as Lord Bateman (who goes under a multiplicity of names, some of which are listed in this link:
http://manybooks.net/pages/langandretext00vlttr10/194.html

Thus it seems highly appropriate for Mudcat to start with Bateman (or whatever he's calling himself today) and the equally multi-identitied "Susie". Not many people seemed to know of the version set on the South Devon coast and mistook it for a seagull cull, but hey, that's Mudcat; far too many Peasants and not enough Professors.

My favourite Bateman version for sheer innovation and musicality is on Andrew Cronshaw's Ochre in which the North African musicians were brought to it blind, without being told of its existence in the English tradition, and came up with a story from within their own culture.

I expect people to have hundreds of examples for comparison of their own.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 01:41 AM

Andrew Cronshaw called this version of Bateman, (lyrics by Natacha Atlas & Abdullah Chhadeh) Sophia, The Saracen's Daughter.
Another line of inquiry is that of unfortunate rakes cut down in their primes on or off horseback at diverse locations ranging from Locke or St James' Hospitals to Laredo.
And so on.
Infinitely more interesting than rabbitting on about your own pseudonyms or shedding thereof, I'd have thought.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 03:40 AM

Exactly - that's what Mudcat should be about.
I was first introduced to Lord Bateman via the Topic recording of The Willett (sp) Family however this was an incomplete version ending where Bateman marries a local Northumbrian girl. However there were plenty of printed versions from which to complete the story (the notes to the album with the rest of the ballad did turn up some years later)
Some time later I heard Nic Jones's arrangement and thought his melody far better than the reather plodding tune used by the Willets.
When I joined Traditions at the Tiger some eighteen years ago I found that I was on time share with the ballad with the late John Bloor who had a variant under the title of "Lord Baker" and more recently I heard Chris Foster perform a fine rendition only his version didn't mention Northumberland at all!
I am surprised however that Ms Easby hasn't castigated Bateman for being the biggest male chauvinist in the cannon of British balladry.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 05 Jun 09 - 04:04 AM

Chris Foster doesn't mention Northumberland, nor does the Cronshaw/Atlas one (unsurprisingly). Various versions have the intrepid hitchhiker Susie/Shusha/Sofia knocking on castle doors all over the place demanding bottles of wine from proud porters.

Thing is, it's not Bateman/Baker/Beichan etc's song but that of Susie (© ßhirley Collins). Sure B was a chauvinist but only the biggest in the eyes of the prospective jilted mother-in-law. The almost bride surely realised her lucky escape. And he was Thomas Becket's daddy. Maybe . . .


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 03:47 AM

I was just re-reading the "Two Threads Closed" thread which is, unsurprisingly, also closed. What struck me was the universal unawareness of the plot of Bateman, or the signicance of tying prisoners to trees. For those who, apparently, simply intone the lyric like a pop ditty, this thread is your chance to do an actual Child ballad in-depth study, from Turkey to Torquay.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:28 AM

proud Torquay,as I remember.
Diane is quite right[imo],the song should be interpreted as a story.
was it Sharp, that collected it from a singer who sang proud Torquay?
.still Torquay are now back in the football league,so I suppose they have a smidgeon to be proud of.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 04:47 AM

I've never been proud of my smidgeons, I do have a smidgeon of pride in Exeter City and their back to back promotions.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 05:33 AM

Actually, I just heard the rushes for the upcoming SoH CD, and they do a stunning version. Totally in keeping with the tradition it treads new ground which will win huge new audiences for traditional Folk. Set in Topsham, they can't find a tree, so the heroin becomes entangled in Roots, a fate that not many escape from with their lives.
IMHO, second only to the late lamented 'Equation', where the impeccable Rusby/Dillon collaboration took a version collected by Kate from an old woman in Yorkshire, who, although she could give no references, truly believed it to have been handed down through her family.
   What a wondeerful thing the tradition is, moves me to tears.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 06:21 AM

listen to Pete Castles version.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 06:42 AM

One that I have not yet seen in a collection of Mondegreens is the line:-
"The Turkey had one only daughter, the fairest creature that you ever did see"


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 07:32 AM

Is that the one collected in Norfolk from a family of herring smokers?


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Vic Smith
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 09:21 AM

Go to http://members.chello.nl/r.vandijk2/ChildBallads050-059.html to see a list of over 200 commercial recordings of Child Ballad 053: Young Beichan/Lord Batemen

I reckon that I've heard around 100 of them listed here and of the ones that I have heard my favourites hovers between the powerful ones by Wiggy Smith and by Gordon Hall (who called it "Lord Beckett") and the one that I chose in the end. A maggnificent recording by a much neglected singer:-

Isabel Sutherland "Lord Bateman" - "Vagrant Songs of Scotland" - Topic - 1966


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Tug the Cox
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 09:43 AM

I remeber Isabel coming to Catford folk club in the Seventies, ended the night with a great version of Wild Mountain Thyme.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: The Sandman
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 10:14 AM

Iliked her version of King Farewell,I believe she has been neglected because she was arevival singer,as a singer[imo] she is in a far superior league to Gordon Hall.
her club at Groombridge[in which Iwas privileged to do aguest spot] was agreat club


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jun 09 - 10:29 AM

Moving away from great versions of Susie for the moment, if you want to see some absolutely rubbish versions with 20,000 verses (slight exaggeration) there are plenty of these in the BL's 18thc garland collection. I know, I've just copied two of them out by hand with pencil, and on reflection I wish I hadn't bothered. What one does for research!!! While the folk were judicially shortening the ballads and polishing them up, the broadside hacks were gleefully lengthening them in the 18thc.


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Subject: RE: Songs & Settings or Bateman In Torquay
From: Lizzie Cornish 1
Date: 08 Jun 09 - 03:42 AM

I've heard that Lord Bateman was down on the harbourside on Saturday, talking with John Henry Lee. He'd caught the bus down from Babbacombe....

"And may the Lord have mercy on your soul...."


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