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Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish

Phil Edwards 04 Jul 10 - 11:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 05 Jul 10 - 02:35 AM
Matthew Edwards 05 Jul 10 - 03:22 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 05 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Jul 10 - 04:36 PM
Richard Mellish 05 Jul 10 - 05:48 PM
Phil Edwards 05 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM
Phil Edwards 06 Jul 10 - 02:44 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 06 Jul 10 - 03:27 PM
Phil Edwards 06 Jul 10 - 03:30 PM
Phil Edwards 07 Jul 10 - 01:21 PM
Phil Edwards 08 Jul 10 - 04:12 PM
Phil Edwards 09 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM
Phil Edwards 11 Jul 10 - 07:57 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 Jul 10 - 09:31 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 11 Jul 10 - 09:40 AM
GUEST,Suibhne Astray 11 Jul 10 - 11:39 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Jul 10 - 04:17 AM
Phil Edwards 13 Jul 10 - 05:01 PM
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Subject: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 04 Jul 10 - 11:57 AM

Hi all,

Under my secret identity of "Phil Edwards", I've recorded some songs which I'm going to upload to MySpace. Like a certain other singer, I'm planning to upload a folk song a day - although unlike him I'm going to stop after about ten!

The songs, together with some more or less relevant comments from me, can be found at http://www.myspace.com/philedwards.

Uploaded today: "The trees they do grow high". (No, not that version, the other one.)


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 02:35 AM

Exlnt, how about 'recorded live at the Horse' this Wednesday?

L back in C


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 03:22 PM

Bravo! What larks, eh Pip? What larks!


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM

What the Dickens?!


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 04:36 PM

Day 2, and here's another traditional number for you: Little Musgrave.

My version started life as a copy of Nic Jones's, but then changed. The tune is basically my own (although it owes something to Shady Grove as sung by Jean Ritchie), while the words include bits from a couple of other variants. Another contrast with Nic Jones's version is that, while this one has the same number of verses (27), it comes in at nearly two minutes shorter - there's value for you.

Share and enjoy!


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 05:48 PM

I've just tried the Little Musgrave link but I get to a page where the play button is greyed out. Does one have to be a Myspace member to listen? If so, sorry but I won't bother.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 05 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM

Richard - try it again now. I don't know what was the matter with it before (it was coming up greyed out for me too) but it seems to have fixed itself now.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 02:44 PM

Hello world! You get a double dose of Radish today.

First, Sir Patrick Spens. Child 58, of course, and needs little introduction. This is the shorter version - the one where they never make it as far as Norroway. Like Musgrave, it has a fairly strong family resemblance to Nic Jones's version. Again, I've amended the words a bit after fossicking around in Child; I have high hopes of bringing the word 'grumly' back into circulation (grumly, adj., "what you don't want the sea to become when you're fifty miles from Aberdeen shore").

I had fun singing this one; I hope it comes across.

Also uploaded today: This is the ballad of Sir Patrick Spens. You don't know this one (unless you've heard me doing it), although you may find some of the lines have a familiar ring to them. It was inspired by the experience of waiting to go on at a folk club while somebody else did Spens... the long version... with all the verses included... and some very clever and dramatic twiddly guitar bits between the verses... all the verses. As an unaccompanied singer I can't directly reproduce the effect of a clever and dramatic twiddly guitar break after each of thirty-odd verses, but I did my best.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM

"I get to a page where the play button is greyed out. Does one have to be a Myspace member to listen?"

Richard, no definitely not. Unless specifically PRIVATE (which would be stated) all Music MySpace pages are open to public view and can be listened to.
But *sometimes* there are the odd few moments where MySpace seems to play up. As Pip says, 99% of the time it's all perfectly easy to access.

Pip what have you done with your Zoom recordings? You've got a nice 'full' sound there I think. I haven't tweaked with software thus far, and though I think the Zoom does a good job, I find it a tad 'thin'. But that might be me!

I think I said I don't usually dig parodies, but your Spens made me laugh!


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:27 PM

"Like a certain other singer, I'm planning to upload a folk song a day - although unlike him I'm going to stop after about ten!"

I'm really quite taken by Boden's idea of folk song blog. I wonder if it could take off more widely? Blogging's what it's all about these days. Rather tempted to do one myself.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Jul 10 - 03:30 PM

Cheers, CS!

I did a *little* equalisation - the EQ function in Audacity is a bit crude, but I think it makes some difference. What I've done, following someone's suggestion on the 'home recording' thread, is to look at the spectrum of a recording that I liked & try to boost my recordings selectively so as to match it.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 07 Jul 10 - 01:21 PM

Day 4, and time for something a bit different. The song I'm uploading tonight is Ewan MacColl's "Ballad of accounting".

It's an extraordinarily angry song - angry with the 'you' being addressed as well as, more obviously, with all the people who have kicked 'you' about -

Did you kiss the foot that kicked you,
Thank them for their scorn?
Did you beg for their forgiveness
For the act of being born?


A young man's contempt for his servile elders? Hardly - Ewan was 50 when he wrote this; he must at some level have been thinking of his own generation, and of himself. We all have our accounting to do.

What did you learn in the morning?
How much did you know in the afternoon?
Were you content in the evening?


I love this song, but I'm conscious that it would be a very easy song to do badly, or to overdo. Taking my inspiration from Tony Capstick's version, I try to let the emotion come through but without any fuss, and above all without hanging about. Singing this song is about getting certain things said, not beating one's own radical chest.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 08 Jul 10 - 04:12 PM

Day 5, and I've uploaded The Plains of Waterloo. After June Tabor's version; I'm sure her influence will be audible! Where it does depart from the source is that I've tried to "bring the beat back" - or at least put the time signature back, so that you can hear the tune without having to reassemble it in your head from separate lines. There's a fine line between sticking to the tune too closely, so that you lose the expression of the words, and putting it all into expressiveness and articulation so that the tune gets lost.

Anyway, see what you think.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 09 Jul 10 - 12:18 PM

Today's upload is Peter Bellamy's song Poor Fellows.

For me there's only a handful of writers who have succeeded in writing anything "in the tradition" - or even within hailing distance of the tradition - and Peter Bellamy is definitely one of them. This song could have come straight off a broadside. My version is after Tony Rose's, only without the accompaniment and with more messing about with the timing (it seemed to be asking for a bit of rubato).

A powerful and moving song - the first few times I practised it I couldn't get through it without filling up - and, sadly, no less relevant now. Let's hope that these hard times will soon pass away...


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 07:57 AM

Into the home straight: three more songs to upload. Song 8 or 3, depending which end you're counting from, is Blackwaterside.

I've loved this song since I first heard Anne Briggs's version, but for a long time I couldn't find my way into it as a singer. Anne Briggs sang it over a rather tight and square 4:4 guitar accompaniment, and simply lifting the melody off the backing didn't quite work. Tony Rose's version (on _Young Hunting_) and Sue van Gaalen's (at the Beech) reshaped the song for me.

It's a fairly full-on rendering, and not entirely easy listening - not that I've done a Diamanda Galas on it, but it's certainly not a pretty song when I've finished with it. But then, listen to the words.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 09:31 AM

Bit of a general aside this..

I sing Blackwaterside too, it's proper bleak little tale of woe isn't it! I sing a couple with similar boy meets girl, boy shags girl, boy buggers orf themes, as I'm sure we all do! But I've also been singing another song about a dumped girl lately - Bonnie Boy (which I first heard on Rapunzel's MySpace) I think what I LOVE about Bonnie Boy by way of contrast to these tales of abandonment however, is her twisted little thoughts at the end, directed at the new girl who's usurped her bonny boy's affections:

"and the girl who's the joy of my own bonny boy, Let her make of him all that she can! For whether he love me - or whether he don't - I'll walk with that boy now and then...

Of course we all know what she means there! I just love being left with that description of her determination for subtle vengeance, much more entertaining than "I'm off to jump in the river now" ;-)


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 09:40 AM

PS I was following a tangential thought following your comment about singing "pretty" songs, which aren't necessarily all that pretty in fact. I find the last verse of Bonny Boy for example wants a dash of spite when singing it.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: GUEST,Suibhne Astray
Date: 11 Jul 10 - 11:39 AM

Bonnie Boy has a curious analogue in The Grey Hawk, which I know primarily from the singing of Bob Roberts, although a very early live recording by the Strawbs turned up a few years back sounding like it was a well established revival favourite in the early 'sixties.

We've done Blackwaterside a few ways now; these days we do it with the banjo (high capo 7!) & fiddle but I still like our Instant Pop Folk version with Rapunzel singing with her electric guitar with me intruding on harmonium and trumpet - hear it on her Myspace Page.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 04:17 AM

New at (Phil Edwards sings) A Folk Song A Day (for ten days): The Bonny Hind. Another Child ballad, in this case learned from Tony Rose's wonderful version.

To my mind this is the saddest song in the world ever, with the possible exception of Sheath and Knife. Never mind Place To Be or Fire And Rain -

But O, sing O! for my bonny hind beneath that hollin tree

It doesn't get much better (or worse) than that.


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Subject: RE: Pip Radish Sings Trad-ish
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 13 Jul 10 - 05:01 PM

Song 10: Lal Waterson's extraordinary song the Scarecrow. Usually I run a mile from anything neo-pagan or Wicca-ish (or Wickerish), but this song breaks down my defences - there's something about it that just strikes home. The sunlit horror of those "twelve jolly dons"...!

It's a strong enough song to stand up to some quite varied treatment. My version, after Tony Capstick, strips away as much as possible and brings the metre to the fore.

With my full complement of ten songs uploaded, that concludes "Pip Radish sings trad-ish". (I may swap some out in future, but I won't post about it.)

Phil Edwards on MySpace:

The trees they do grow high
Sir Patrick Spens
This is the ballad of Sir Patrick Spens (Phil Edwards)
Little Musgrave
Ballad of accounting (Ewan MacColl)
Plains of Waterloo
Poor fellows (Peter Bellamy)
Blackwaterside
The bonny hind
The scarecrow (Lal Waterson)

In the immortal words of John Ebdon, "If you have been, thankyou for listening."


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