Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands

GUEST,Richard I 25 Jan 11 - 07:32 PM
Bounty Hound 25 Jan 11 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,Richard I 26 Jan 11 - 10:53 AM
Bounty Hound 26 Jan 11 - 03:09 PM
Bonecruncher 26 Jan 11 - 08:54 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 27 Jan 11 - 05:31 AM
Wheatman 28 Jan 11 - 04:07 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Jan 11 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,mattkeen 28 Jan 11 - 07:04 AM
treewind 28 Jan 11 - 08:02 AM
Mary Humphreys 28 Jan 11 - 08:28 AM
MGM·Lion 28 Jan 11 - 08:57 AM
treewind 28 Jan 11 - 09:37 AM
Mary Humphreys 29 Jan 11 - 06:28 AM
GUEST,Richard I 30 Jan 11 - 10:07 AM
Mary Humphreys 30 Jan 11 - 06:42 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: GUEST,Richard I
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 07:32 PM

Does anybody know of any songs from the East Anglia Fenlands? I'm particularly interested in songs that emphasise the flatness and (former/periodic/future?) wetness of the place, but to be honest any and all songs from the fens would be of interest to me.

Some google searching has let me to Mary Humphries' website, and I plan on getting her book of songs collected from Cambridgeshire by Vaughan-Williams. But I feel confident that there must be mudcatters who have songs that they've learned from this part of the world...


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 25 Jan 11 - 08:08 PM

Hi Richard,

Not a traditional song, but one I wrote based on a story common across East Anglia, and I chose to set it in the fens.

If you are from around these parts, you may be familiar with the story of Black Shuck, large black dog, with flaming eyes, as the story has it, see the dog and you've had your lot! My spin on it was to take it as a 'bogey man' story, don't go out or the dog will get you.

You'll find it on the 'Hounds' website, www.bountyhounds.co.uk follow the link on the right to 'music' the song is called 'Eyes of Flame'

If you like what you hear and want words, chords etc happy to oblige.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: GUEST,Richard I
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 10:53 AM

I have indeed heard of Black Shuck, so was fantastic to hear the song. Would love to have a set of the words, although I think I can hear most of them quite clearly. (I should perhaps admit that I'm not generally a fan of the more folk rock style, but it doesn't stop me liking the song itself... nicely written)

There are definitely some very good stories of things that prevent you from going through the fens at night. And with good reason - only last week, I was setting off at dusk along a drove and I was told to watch out for fear I'd slip, fall into water, etc. And this is post-drainage, the risks in earlier days would have been immense. Also, I've always thought the story of Tiddy Mun, who will harm none as long as the waters teem the fen, but as the waters are drained becomes more and more malicious, would make a fantastic subject for a folk song (and, indeed, I recently found out that he is referred to in Norscalordie's great song Cursed Cornelius)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: EYES OF FLAME
From: Bounty Hound
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 03:09 PM

Hi Richard, words and chords below for Eyes of Flame, I won't hold it against you that you're not a folk/rock fan, be a boring place if we all had the same taste.

Out of curiosity, what prompted your post in the first place, are you putting together a compilation of fenland songs? I'm of course happy for you to use the song in any way you wish, with the usual proviso that there is a credit.

EYES OF FLAME


F#m                     A                        F#m                      D
Night time falls across the fen, an evil hound creeps from his pen
A                            E                F#m                D          F#m
With blood chilling yelp and bay, out he goes to find his prey


CHORUS
F#m                D                A                         E      
Eyes of flame, eyes of fire, burning out your life's desire
F#m                        D               A                        E                   D   A    E
Don't cross the fen, if you try, see that dog and you will die

F#m             A                        F#m                         D
All alone the poacher goes, to set his snares where no one knows
A                                  E                   F#m                     D       F#m
Stands like stone when eyes of flame leap out from the misty gloom

F#m                              A                     F#m                        D
A howl and shriek ring through the air, throat ripped open, flesh laid bare
       A                           E                               F#m                      D            
With victim's blood dripping from his jaw, this evil hound creeps back to
    F#m
his lair

F#m               A                   F#m                      D
In the cottage on fen bank, across the field so dark and dank
A                                  E                   F#m                         D               F#m
The scream is heard, a woman cries, tonight she knows, alone she'll lie

F#m                                 A                           F#m                      D
As morning sun streaks across the fen, this woman warns her children
A                        E                      F#m                         D         F#m
Early to be, stay tucked in tight, don't go through the fens at night


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: Bonecruncher
Date: 26 Jan 11 - 08:54 PM

You might be interested in contacting Bob Hambleton, Mudcatter Hovering Bob, who has written som very good songs about the Fens. I can recommend his CD "Out of Fenland".
Colyn.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 27 Jan 11 - 05:31 AM

I come, originally, from that part of the world and never heard any folk songs sung there - apart from those sung in local Folk Clubs. A couple of friends, who were serious folk song scholars, collected a handful of songs in the late 1960s - but those all belonged to the 'standard' English folk song repertoire. I very much doubt that any songs about 'Black Shuck' or Fenland before drainage or duck hunting or Vermuyden or Oliver Cromwell or Whittlesey, Ramsey or Wisbech ever existed (or if they did they have been completely lost).

What usually happens, when people are searching for regional songs, is that they encounter a lot of poems set to music or recent songs written by local folk song enthusiasts and fondly imagine that those are the songs that they are looking for.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: Wheatman
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 04:07 AM

When we moved to Whittlesey in 1979 I was very disappointed to find a desert of traditional song and music. I thought I was moving to the country and there would be evidence of traditional song. Then I found two singers, "Fotch" (I never knew his proper name) an itinerant Irish labour who lived in an old folks home who escaped from the home once in a while to grab a pint in The Boat. He never sang for me but told tales of singing and music and of the Bothy style life in The Boat. Then there was Jack (Muster) Hailstone who was a fenman true and true but only had one song , Sylvest. He would never sing the song unless I promised to join in with him. The Boat has always been a Mecca for singing but the locals (known as The Boat Chorus) sang mainly rugby songs on a Friday night. Apart for those mentioned in the thread above (there is some good stuff there)there are lots of tales and poetry which could be put to music if you have the skills (I don't) and do as we did with Straw Bear, start with a blank sheet of paper. Don't forget John Clare who lived nearly locally in the hills of Helpston, Peterborough.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 04:45 AM

Yes, John Clare (1793 - 1864)is undoubtedly the most famous poet of the 'Fenland edge'(if you travel from Peterborough to Lincoln, on the present A15, the land to the left tends to show a slight elevation - "the hills of Helpston" - and the land to the right is Fenland - as flat as a pancake). Clare was also a self taught naturalist and a very early folk song collector, and apparently both of his parents were singers. His work on folk song is described in George Deacon's book, 'John Clare and the Folk Tradition'. Nevertheless, his collection mainly consists of 'standard' English folk songs with little, if any, specifically local material.

Gordon Tyrrall has set some of Clare's poems to music (see his CD, 'A Distance from the Town' Fellside FECD129). Others have attempted this as well - with varying success.

The John Clare Society is a very active literary society and you can find out more on their website (I haven't got the link to hand at the moment - but you can Google it). The Society holds a festival in Helpston every year on the weekend closest to Clare's birthday (July 13th) and I have been attending it since 1982. Peterborough Morris always dance at the festival and there are usually folk related events and singarounds.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: GUEST,mattkeen
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 07:04 AM

Its a wonderful day in Clare - we are members of the Society and attend to.

I agree with what you say about Clare's collection of songs - but they are a recprd of what was plyed/sung in Northamptonshire at the time even if they were generally widespread songs

Where's Anahata?
He will know a lot about general Fenland folk song


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: treewind
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:02 AM

Richard says he's already visited Mary Humphreys web site - but I can also suggest Hobson's Voice featuring recently written songs about Cambridgeshire, the city and the fens. Many of them are set to traditional tunes and they are worth a look. We took part in a concert with them recently, where we did the trad. collected songs and Hobson's Voice did John Rees's songs.

Anahata


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:28 AM

There are some really good songs:
Harold Covill - Happy Families, William Taylor
Ernest Jeffrey - All Jolly Fellows that Follows the Plough
that were recorded by Peter Kennedy for the BBC & released on the Folktrax label during the 50s or 60s - I can't remember which.
They are no longer commercially available, but there are tape recordings in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House. Well worth a listen.Plenty of others, Anna Bidder - recorded & published by Fred Hamer ( also in C# House. )
The Vaughan Williams songs collected in 1906-8 - Roy Palmer published several in his various books. None were recorded except on paper. The MS notebooks are in the British Library, and available to see & touch.Microfilm in C#H.
Cecil Sharp collected songs in 1911 from Ely, Littleport & one or two other places - they were published in Maud Karpeles' 2-volume work - also available in C#H. Again, not recorded on phonograph.His notebook are in Clare College archives, available to look at & study by arrangement.
Ella Bull from Cottenham (partly in asssociation with Percy Merrick) collected loads of songs - from 1904 onwards - from servants & family acquaintances. She would have published them in the FSJ if they hadn't been so hard to notate musically ( many were in 5/4 time - rather obscure for a novice musician.) All in the Lucy Broadwood archives in C#H - worth a look. PM me for further details.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 08:57 AM

Ella Bell & Percy Merrick collected the version of Lucy Wan in Penguin Bk of English Folk Songs from Mrs Dann of Cottenham, slightly edited and augmented as related in the notes, which claim it as the only version found in oral tradition in England.

Cottenham happens to be just a few miles from where I live, between here & Cambridge. As I pause momentarily from typing this I look out of my study window at literal Cambridgeshire Fenland.

~Michael~


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: treewind
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 09:37 AM

"the version of Lucy Wan in Penguin Bk of English Folk Songs from Mrs Dann of Cottenham, slightly edited and augmented"

Yes, that's one of them. We have a copy of the collected notes and Mary sings the song from that version. As with many songs collected in that area, the last two lines of each verse are repeated, but I believe there's no mention of that in the Penguin book.

Fenlandia has five songs from Cottenham, including Lucy Wan.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 06:28 AM

By the way, Ella Bell is a mis-reading of the original manuscript. The name should read Ella Bull - you will find her in the census returns in 1901 and 1911 living at Bernards in the High Street, Cottenham.The house is still there, near the Church. ( No 41 I think, these days) Ella did the collecting and then sent her manuscripts to W Percy Merrick - a colleague of her father's who was likewise interested in developing Braille. Merrick then sent the songs on to Lucy Broadwood for publication in the Folk Song Journal. It didn't happen in Ella's lifetime, sadly.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: GUEST,Richard I
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 10:07 AM

I'm very grateful for all of the helpful responses. Thanks especially to Mary Humphries for the many leads to follow up - will get in touch shortly.

In response to Bounty Hound (and thanks for the words/chords), it's not really my intention to put together a compilation, I don't really know enough to do that anyway - I'm just looking for songs to sing at singarounds etc. As for why this topic, I'm a Cambridgeshire resident for a decade now, and I'm currently working on changing land use/ peat shrinkage/ flooding in the fens, and being immersed in that kind of environment has given me an appetite for the kind of music I was asking for.

In fact, in the course of getting some historic context about the fenland landscape, I have come across anti-drainage songs in 17th century sources of the kind that Shimrod refers to - however, I think it's likely that the tunes have been lost (or at least, I can't see any clues as to which tunes would have been used). There are also some very interesting Fenland songs in Enid Porter's Cambridgeshire customs and folklore, which I would be happy to happy out - but again, it's just words, with no indication of tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Songs from the East Anglia fenlands
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 30 Jan 11 - 06:42 PM

A song you would like is Fred Rooke's The Water in the Dyke, available on the Peter Kennedy Folktrax LP in C#House.
There are farmers a-living in the fens
which once was the floor of the sea
And it might very well be sea again
if the water in the dyke get free.
Chorus:
So beware of the hour that the captive power
of the water in the dyke get free. etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 21 September 5:40 PM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.