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Review: manchester ballads

GUEST,gortoncoley 06 Jul 15 - 08:23 AM
GUEST,JJ 06 Jul 15 - 09:05 AM
GUEST,Mark Dowding (at work) 06 Jul 15 - 09:23 AM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 06 Jul 15 - 12:27 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Jul 15 - 12:52 PM
Steve Gardham 06 Jul 15 - 01:16 PM
Mark Dowding 06 Jul 15 - 01:39 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Jul 15 - 02:31 PM
Mark Dowding 06 Jul 15 - 06:47 PM
Les in Chorlton 06 Jul 15 - 07:14 PM
GUEST,Musket sans McVitie digestive 07 Jul 15 - 02:46 AM
GUEST,henryp 07 Jul 15 - 05:19 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 07 Jul 15 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Derek Schofield 07 Jul 15 - 06:20 AM
Steve Gardham 07 Jul 15 - 01:57 PM
Dave Sutherland 07 Jul 15 - 05:32 PM
Steve Gardham 07 Jul 15 - 06:00 PM
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Subject: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,gortoncoley
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 08:23 AM

My good friend Harry Boardman and Roy Palmer, both sadly deceased published a book in 1984   simply entitled "Manchester Ballads". As it's title suggests, it was a collection of songs gleaned from various sources detailing Manchester's history during the industrial revolution and beyond.Songs about cotton, coal, war,love and a host of other topics, which had a link with Manchester and Lancashire. The collection of songs was originally published by the history dept of Manchester Education Commitee and to my knowledge was never available generally and for a period a number of copies were in our home gathering dust, before being returned to Lesley, Harry's widow, where as far as I'm aware, they remain to this day.
As I say,I become very close to Harry and his family during the seventies and was involved in folk clubs in various locations in the city. Most were, like many a club, short lived until 1977, when Harry opened a club at The Unicorn in Church Street, Central Manchester which ran until his shock demise in 1984.
In common with many people,notably Harp and a money, I always held that Harry gained the recognition he deserved, whereas people like Bernard Wrigley, The Oldham Tinkers and in particular, Mike Harding went on to gain national fame
I had virtually given up and resigned myself to the sad fact that the book would lie in Lesley's house for ever.
Enter Edward 2, a band I have always admired from their very brave early efforts to fuse English folk dance and song with rhythms of the Caribbean. The band has recently embarked on a project which they have christened "Manchester's Improving Daily"after the title of a song in Manchester Ballads and as I understand from a conversation I had with Simon Care, the intention is to release a full cd of songs from the cd, from which a sampler has already been released.Naturally, I
am delighted that Harry's enormous contribution not only to the heritage of his native county,but the national folk scene are finally being recognised. I mustn't forget however forget the hard work that Mark Dowding has put in over the years to keep Harry's name alive.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,JJ
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 09:05 AM

Nice one Chris.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,Mark Dowding (at work)
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 09:23 AM

I think Chris has had a bit too much lemonade in his shandy. I think he meant to say that Harry Boardman NEVER received the national recognition he deserved and I would endorse that view.
Harry passed away in 1987, Roy Palmer a few months ago. Their lasting heritage are the songs and books that they sang and wrote introducing long forgotten industrial ballads to a wider audience and in Manchester Ballads, published in 1983, they give us a fascinating insight into how Manchester developed from a small town to the Cottonopolis it became in the late Victorian period culminating in the construction of the Manchester Canal.
In 2005, Chris Harvey and myself were looking at the Manchester Ballads folder and made the decision to carry on the work we were doing with Harry's songs and embarked on recording all 35 of the ballads in the book. In doing so we found that songs really came to life and we also found original tunes to a few of them - most noteably "The Calico Printer's Clerk" which had found a renaissance in the 60s and 70s when Dave Moran found the words on a broadside but no tune so he made a tune up. The song was actually written by Harry Clifton in 1863 with a very music hall tune put to it by Charles Coote jr.
It's interesting to note that various subjects recur throughout the ballads - the Manchester Ship canal was mooted early on, The Infirmary in Picadilly had a large clock lit with gas which became a tourist attraction and a few ballads mention this in passing, major historical events such as Peterloo and the cotton famine of the 1860s have ballads. There was optimism looking forward with the advent of steam engines and how these would transform how we did things in "Manchester's Improving Daily" and "Ryly's Rambles". On paper these ballads are literally very flat but singing them brings them into life.
The fact that ten years or so after Chris Harvey and I brought our CD out, we are now getting a different style of music being applied to these ballads is great and I look forward to listening to the interpretation of the songs by Edward the Second.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 12:27 PM

Grateful for reading this, all good stuff.

I have many of the Manchester ballads on vinyl and tape, mainly sung by The Beggarmen and later, The Two Beggarmen.

Nice to hear the origins of Calico Printer's Clerk. A fussy old sod I know sings it, and claims that only traditional songs are folk songs and that's all he sings.

Can't wait to piss on his chips...


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 12:52 PM

I went to a couple events featuring Mark and Chris. One at the Central Reference Library and one at the Portico Library - both on the theme of Manchester Ballads and I have a couple of CDs of those songs and can't rate them or recommend them to highly. Are they still available Mark?

I have just one concern about Broadside Ballads in general. They were obviously written by wordsmiths, so to speak, and they tend to be ...... erm .............. wordy. I have found it difficult to wrap the words around some of the tunes that are recommended and wonder if a bit of judicious editing or perhaps finding another tune might help some of the Ballads along a bit?

Best wishes


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 01:16 PM

Hi Musket,
What made your friend think that the song had come from oral tradition? It was put to music in the 60s by the likes of Stefan Sobel or Barry Dransfield who used to sing it. Ironically many of Harry Clifton's songs WERE collected from oral tradition but I don't think this one was.

Les,
I can't think of anyone who could possibly object to broadside ballads being judiciously edited. Those wordsmiths you talk about did plenty of editing of other wordsmiths' texts.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 01:39 PM

Hi Les

Yes - the CD "Manchester Ballads" is still available from me for a tenner. PM me for more details.

I agree with you that some of these ballads are wordy and I had to make slight adjustments to get some of the lines to scan and give me a chance to sing them without having an asthma attack!

Hi Steve - it's thanks to you that we got the sheet music for "The Calico Printer's Clerk" or to give it its proper title "She was very fond of dancing". I was singing the original version at Boscastle singaround and said that probably no-one had heard this version. When I'd finished the song the lady in fron of me turned round and said that her mother used to sing it and it was the only version she knew!

Cheers
Mark


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 02:31 PM

I thought Nic Jones wrote the tune to CPC/SWVF of D


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Mark Dowding
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 06:47 PM

It was Dave Moran of the Halliard Folk Group (which included Nic Jones) who wrote the tune.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Jul 15 - 07:14 PM

Thanks Mark


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,Musket sans McVitie digestive
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 02:46 AM

Hi Steve.

I have no idea.. My comment was slightly tongue in cheek. He possibly heard it unaccompanied and made a mental leap. Me being lazy, I took it on the chin.

Thinking of the words, it now seems daft to imagine it anything other than a music hall song.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 05:19 AM

Lancashire Lads

http://www.goldilox.co.uk/engfolk/frames/nicjones4.htm

Dave Moran writes "Nic and I and mandolin/guitar player Nigel Patterson made up the Halliard. We decided to add tunes to Broadsides that we discovered, uncovered or collected – we checked out the Harkness Collection at Preston and the collections in Manchester etc.

Nic and I wrote all the tunes together usually sitting in the front of the Mini and singing and working out tunes as we drove – as the mandolin was the smallest instrument and Nigel was in the back, he always played the tunes.

'Jones and Moran' wrote a heap of songs like this including Lancashire Lads, Going for a Soldier Jenny, Miles Weatherhill, Calico printers Clerk etc.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRBnGkToXjA; SueEGeneris 3 years ago; Nic Jones uses a different tune which I think is a version "In Good Old Colony Times" a.k.a. "Three Roguish Chaps of Lynn."

www.tobarandualchais.co.uk; Music is an adaptation of a traditional tune/song called 'Three Jolly Rogues of Lynne'.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 06:18 AM

I have a copy of the Book and CD "Broadside Songs of the Halliard: being a Short Historie and a Complete Songbook" (2005, Mollie Music). Each of the songs has details of words and tune. For Calico printer's Clerk, "Words: H.Clifton, Music: Dave Moran".
Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: GUEST,Derek Schofield
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 06:20 AM

Sorry I didn't see you in the audience Chris.... what you say is true!

What did anyone who was there think of the E2 treatment?

Derek


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 01:57 PM

Yes, I suspected The Halliard would have had a hand in adding the tune but in the 60s I'd never heard of them or Nic and the people who were making the songs popular on the folk scene up here were Stefan Sobel, Barry Dransfield and a few others.


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 05:32 PM

As I recall Stefan Sobell always credited The Halliard as the source of "Calico Printers Clerk"


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Subject: RE: Review: manchester ballads
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 07 Jul 15 - 06:00 PM

He very likely did, Dave. I wasn't questioning his integrity. I probably wasn't interested in sources so much in those days.


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