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Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band

DigiTrad:
BLACK VELVET BAND
BLACK VELVET BAND (2)
BLACK VELVET BAND (NEW ZEALAND VERSION)
BLUE VELVET BAND (2)
THE BLUE VELVET BAND
THE BLUE VELVET BAND (3)


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(origins) Black Velvet Band (22)
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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Black Velvet Band


GUEST,Martin Perry 01 Apr 00 - 08:26 AM
Dale Rose 01 Apr 00 - 08:43 AM
JedMarum 01 Apr 00 - 10:24 AM
Mrrzy 01 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM
Joe Offer 01 Apr 00 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Michele 01 Apr 00 - 07:42 PM
GUEST,ernest 01 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM
Mbo 01 Apr 00 - 08:43 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 01 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM
Bob Bolton 02 Apr 00 - 07:08 AM
JedMarum 02 Apr 00 - 10:58 AM
dick greenhaus 02 Apr 00 - 11:44 AM
Art Thieme 02 Apr 00 - 11:49 AM
Mbo 02 Apr 00 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,ernest c 02 Apr 00 - 12:43 PM
JedMarum 03 Apr 00 - 07:50 AM
GUEST,Bill Bailey,piano,25 yrs,DurtyNellys,SanAnto 04 Apr 00 - 01:00 AM
IanC 07 Apr 00 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,zander 07 Apr 00 - 02:47 PM
GUEST,Adrienne 07 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM
Bob Bolton 08 Apr 00 - 07:19 AM
GUEST,Martin Perry 09 Apr 00 - 09:18 AM
GUEST,marc 09 Apr 00 - 03:52 PM
Bob Bolton 09 Apr 00 - 11:29 PM
IanC 11 May 00 - 09:36 AM
IanC 04 Jul 00 - 12:17 PM
Bob Bolton 05 Jul 00 - 12:15 AM
IanC 05 Jul 00 - 05:38 AM
Bob Bolton 06 Jul 00 - 12:02 AM
IanC 06 Jul 00 - 03:53 AM
IanC 06 Oct 04 - 11:37 AM
pavane 06 Oct 04 - 12:57 PM
Dave Bryant 07 Oct 04 - 05:28 AM
IanC 07 Oct 04 - 07:04 AM
Richard Mellish 25 Sep 10 - 10:33 AM
GUEST,CJB 30 Aug 14 - 05:01 AM
Jim Carroll 30 Aug 14 - 05:09 AM
GUEST 30 Aug 14 - 07:47 AM
Dave Hanson 30 Aug 14 - 08:22 AM
Lighter 30 Aug 14 - 09:15 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 30 Aug 14 - 10:33 AM
meself 30 Aug 14 - 11:24 AM
Richard Mellish 30 Aug 14 - 04:21 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Aug 14 - 04:49 PM
Steve Gardham 30 Aug 14 - 05:05 PM
Lighter 31 Aug 14 - 08:41 AM
GUEST,CJB 21 Jul 16 - 12:49 PM
meself 21 Jul 16 - 02:52 PM
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Subject: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,Martin Perry
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 08:26 AM

Hello

Is there anyone that know where I can find versions of the old English broadside song "Black Velvet Band". I want to know how far back the song can be traced.

Thanks Martin


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Dale Rose
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 08:43 AM

Put the word VELVET in the filter box and set the age to three years, you'll pull up a couple of previous discussions of the topic. There are also several versions of both the BLUE and BLACK Velvet Bands in the DT. Just enter either [blue velvet] or [black velvet] in the blue DigiTrad Lyrics Search box. Be sure to use the brackets to narrow the search to the phrase rather than the separate words.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: JedMarum
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 10:24 AM

Peter Rowan does a great version of this song ... his is the early American tune - the Blue Velvet band.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Mrrzy
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 03:05 PM

Contemplator.com has lyrics, but I don't know how old they are. That site usually has really good historical material, though, so you might want to look there if you haven't already.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 03:12 PM

The Traditional Ballad Index (click) has a bit of information, too, including the information that the Digital Tradition indexes the song as #313 (click).
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,Michele
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 07:42 PM

Check under the name Irish Rovers. You should come up with something. They recorded this song back in the "70's. If you push me I can give you most of hte lyrics.

Starts with:

In sweet little town they call Belfast not meaning to go very far when I met with a..... a sweet colleen .... he wares at the bar.

it goes on.. is this the correct version you seek??


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,ernest
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 08:36 PM

Mild complaint. Some people just are not reading. An earlier poster pointed out that the lyrics are right here at mudcat and how to get them. A later poster even provided a link to them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Mbo
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 08:43 PM

Someone else did some new lyrics with a different take on the song. You may want to look at them here.

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 01 Apr 00 - 10:54 PM

Ernest, I think you're right. Judging by the responses, only one or two people seem to have read that Matthew is looking for the older Broadside version of Black Velvet Band.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 07:08 AM

G'day Martin,

I have in my collection a set of facsimiles of broadsides from England, Scotland, Ireland with reference to the Australian colonial era - researched by Ron Edwards, some years back. There would be a version of the The Black Velvet Band for almost every major city in the UK, varying only in locality name and the odd local detail.

If you are interested, I could see how well they scan in (given their provenance in old worn-out type ... and sunsequent copying and reproduction). The version I published in Singabout - Selected Reprints, Bush Music Club, 1985, ed. Bob Bolton, is from a broadside version and typical of the genre. This particular version is set in London.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: JedMarum
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 10:58 AM

sorry - it was not that I didn't read the previous posts, I simply decided a little thread creep was OK.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 11:44 AM

As far as I can tell, the earliest publication date known for Black Velvet Band is 1910; the earliest for Blue Velvet Band is 1927. Any earlier ones (for either) would be much appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 11:49 AM

Hank Snow did a great variation of this song on an extremely early recording by him.

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Mbo
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:22 PM

The Music Library here at ECU has a several-volume collection of broadside tunes from the British Isles. I'll look up The Black Velevt Band when I'm over there on Monday!

--Mbo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,ernest c
Date: 02 Apr 00 - 12:43 PM

Jed, your post was not what I meant. I am not wishing to offend anyone, but reading the other messages and checking links saves duplication.

I just noticed that Lonesome EJ's name is Ernest, so I added the initial to avoid confusion.

Mbo's suggestion sounds like a good idea.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: JedMarum
Date: 03 Apr 00 - 07:50 AM

No offense taken ... I love this song. I am interested in its history, but know very little.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK VELVET BAND
From: GUEST,Bill Bailey,piano,25 yrs,DurtyNellys,SanAnto
Date: 04 Apr 00 - 01:00 AM

BLACK VELVET BAND (as taught me by an Irishman 25 years ago, in Durty Nelly's Irish Pub, Hilton, Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX)

In a neat little town they call Belfast
Apprentice to trade I was bound
And many an hour's sweet happiness
I spent in that neat little town

(Think I forgot something right here!)

CHORUS: Her eyes they shone like diamonds
They say she's the queen of the land
And her hair hung over her shoulders
Tied up with a black velvet band

As I went a strollin' one evening
Not meaning to go very far
I met with a ficklesome damsel
Who was selling her trade in the bar
When a watch she took from a customer
And slipped it right into my hand
Then the law came and put me in prison
Bad luck to her black velvet band. CHORUS

Next morning before judge and jury
For trial I had to appear
And the judge he said young fellow me lad
The case against you is quite clear
And seven long years is your sentence
Your going to Van Dieman's Land (Prison/Australia)
Far away from your friends and relations
To follow her black velvet band. CHORUS

So come all ye jolly young fellows
I'll have ye take warning from me
Whenever you're out on the liquor me lads
Beware of those pretty colleens
They'll treat you to whiskey and porter
Till ye are not able to stand
And the very next thing you know me lads.
You're going to Van Dieman's Land. CHORUS

bailey@hctc.n

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 1-Dec-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK VELVET BAND (from Bodleian)
From: IanC
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 10:54 AM

I found 2 versions of this in the Bodleian library's online collection.

The first is from Swindells (Manchester) who published broadsides between 1796 and 1853. Since it mentions Victoria, it is unlikely that it is before about 1825 or so, though she was quite a fashionable young lady before she became queen in 1837, so it could have been printed earlier than that. The second version, more or less exactly the same words as the first, was published by H. Such of 177 Union Street, Boro, London SE. Such published broadsides between 1863 and 1885, so it is certain that this was a copy of the Swindells broadsheet.

BLACK VELVET BAND (tune "Tars of the Blanch")

To go in a smack, down at Ba[r]king, when a boy, as apprentice I was bound
And I spent many hours in comfort in that pleasant little town;
At length future prospects were blighted, as soon you may all understand,
So by my downfall take warning – beware of a black velvet band.

One day, being out on a ramble, alone by myself I did stray,
I met with a young gay deceiver, while cruising in Ratcliffe Highway;
Her eyes were as black as a raven, I thought her the pride of the land,
Her hair, that did hang o'er her shoulders, was tied with a black velvet band.

She towed me in port and we anchored, from virtue she did me decoy,
When it was proposed, and agreed to, that I should become a flash boy,
With drinking and gaming and plunder, to keep up the game was soon planned,
But since, I've had cause to remember the girl with a black velvet band.

Flash girls, if you wish to turn modest, and decent connexion to gain,
Do not wear a band o'er your forehead, as if to tie in your brain;
Some do prefer Victoria fashion, and some their hair braided go grand,
Myself, I do think it much better than a girl with a black velvet band.

Young men, by my fate take a warning, from all those gay ladies refrain,
And seek for a neat little woman that wears her hair parted quite plain;
The subject that now I do mention, though innocent, soon me trepaun'd,
But still I've a strong inclination for the girl with the black velvet band.

For she towed in a bold man-of-war's man, her ogle she winked on the sly,
But little did I know her meaning, when I twigged her a faking his cly;
He said, I'm bound for the ocean, and shortly the trip will be made,
But still I've a strong inclination for the girl with the black velvet band.

A snare was invented to slight and banish me out ofher sight,
A fogle she brought of no value, saying, more I will bring this night;
She slipped it into my pocket, false girl! And took me by the hand,
They gave me in charge of the sneezer – bad luck to the black velvet band!

I quickly was nai[l]ed and committed, and cast in the jug for a lag,
For a wipe that she pinched and bunged to me, and valued no more than a fag;
The judge said to me, You are sentenced to a free passage to Van Diemen's Land,
Far, far away from relations so adieu the black velvet band.

What I hadn't realised, until looking at this version, is the similarity between this and other "rakes progress" style ballads including "Ratcliffe Highway".

Obviously, by the end of the century, this song has been transformed into a much tighter and shorter ballad similar to its modern form. I have a recording from the famous "Ship Inn" in the 1920s or 30s from someone who said his father sang it. It is to some extent intermediate between the broadside version and the modern ballad, though it resembles the modern version much more closely.

By the way, I think this is one of the few completely traditional songs now sung as everyone who I know sings it has certainly learned orally. Very few would take the trouble to learn it any other way, I think.

For those whose geography of Essex isn't too good, Barking is a medium sized town in the part of Essex now within Greater London. Ratcliffe is nearby. ^^ Cheers! IanC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,zander
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 02:47 PM

Ewan MacColl does' a fine old English version of this song when I find out which record it is on I will let you know, regards, dave


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK RIBBON BAND (from Emily Mitchell)
From: GUEST,Adrienne
Date: 07 Apr 00 - 02:56 PM

I know a completely different version, actually called "Black Ribbon Band", from Emily Mitchell's "Irish Harp Songs" CD. She has good versions of some really obscure old songs, so I'd guess it's a relatively early version (though Irish), but I don't know; it's just different enough that I thought it was worth posting.

It was in the town of Tralee, an apprentice to trade I was bound,
With a plenty of bright amusements for to make the days go round,
Till misfortune and ruin came over me, which caused me to stray from my land,
Far away from my friends and companions, to follow her black ribbon band.

Oh, her eyes they shone like diamonds, you would think she was queen of the land,
With her hair at the top of her shoulders, tied up with a black ribbon band.

As I went down a broad way, not intending to stay very long,
I met with a ticklesome damsel as she came tripping along.
A watch she pulled out of a pocket, and slipped it right into my hand,
And the very first day that I met her, bad luck to her black ribbon band!

Before judge and jury next morning, we both of us did appear,
And the gentleman swore to the jury, and the case against us was clear;
For seven years transportation, right into Van Diemen's Land,
Far away from my friends and relations, to follow her black ribbon band.

Come all you young Irish lads, a warning take by me:
Beware of those ticklesome colleens that are knockin' around in Tralee.
They'll treat you to whiskey and porter, until you're unable to stand,
And before you have time for to leave them, you're into Van Diemen's Land.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 1-Dec-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 Apr 00 - 07:19 AM

G'day Martin,

I got around to checking the Ron Edwards broadside research books I mentioned above. The books are The Convict Maid, Australian Folklore - Occasional Paper No 16, Ron Edwards, Rams Skull Press, Kuranda, 1985 and The Transport's Lament, Australian Folklore - Occasional Paper No 17, Ron Edwards, Rams Skull Press, Kuranda, 1985.

The Black Velvet Band only appears in the first, in versions from Glasgow and Dublin collections and dated after 1838 (which would agree with the "Victoria fashion reference). All three examples give the home town as Barking (as in IanC's posting above) and Ron Ewards gives the first two examples as being printed by (Ryle) & Co, Printers, 2 & 3 Monmouth Court, Seven Dials.

The interesting question is whether the change to all the different home towns ever occurred in the broadsheets, or only in the subsequent singing - and folk transmission.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,Martin Perry
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 09:18 AM

Thanks all, this is fantastic!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,marc
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 03:52 PM

Would any one be familiar with the Tars of the Blanch tune mentioned in IanC's post?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 Apr 00 - 11:29 PM

G'day Marc,

An interesting question, and one I hope to see answered, but the fact that the 'Barking' version of Black Velvet Band starts to look like the original (there being no other locale on the early broadsheets), suggests that the tune may be the familiar (at least here in Australia and in the UK) one that has survived to be collected in several variants.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK VELVET BAND (from Cyril Poacher)
From: IanC
Date: 11 May 00 - 09:36 AM

I've just (finally) found this version on a recording of Cyril Poacher (Broomfield Wager, Topic 12TS252) taken from his singing in 1974. He says that he learned it from Alf Moseley of Harwich in the 1950s.

I was born in the fair town of London,
A printer I once served my time;
Many happy hours have I spent there,
I spent there in fair London town.

Ch.
And her eyes they shine like diamonds,
I thought her the pride of the land,
Her hair hung over her shoulder,
Tied up with a black velvet band.

Repeat Ch.

One day as I was out walking,
A damsel passed me by the hand;
Her hair hung over her shoulder,
Tied up with a black velvet band.

Ch.

I was taken before the Lord Justice,
He said "Your case is quite clear",
"If I'm not much mistaken,
You're doomed for seven long year.

The gold watch she took from my pocket,
She gently slipped into my hand;
I was given in charge to a bobby
Bad luck to the black velvet band

From the lack of logical order of the verses and other indications (including the mondegreen in the 2nd line of the first verse) there is every indication that he learned it very quickly and that he didn't know any other version (as far as I know, no other singer at "The Ship" sang it).

What's interesting is that it seems to me to have some aspects in common with the Swindells broadside. Particularly, being "given in charge" and the slipping of the watch into his pocket.

By the way, does anyone have any ideas about the suggestion, which I seem to have read somewhere recently, that the "Irish" versions have mainly arisen from Harry Cox's version which was picked up by Christy Moore, then The Dubliners etc.

Does anyone know the words to Harry's version?

Cheers
IanC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: IanC
Date: 04 Jul 00 - 12:17 PM

For Bob Bolton and Marc. I thought I'd re-open the old thread to keep things together.

I've looked at the Bodliean collection and in the British Museum for references to "Tars of the Blanch" and have come up with some information. Here is a brief note.

The tune which was noted with the early broadside versions of "The Black Velvet Band" is "Tars of The Blanch". A broadside of this name was published by James Paul & Co., Seven Dials (Harding B11(1515), Bodleian). The song is in essentially the same metre as broadside versions of "The Black Velvet Band" as well as the recorded modern versions and most of the known collected versions. It seems likely, therefore, that the tune for all these ballads is the same.

"The Tars of the Blanch" records naval action off "Point Peter" between an English ship, The Blanch, and a French ship, the Le Picque, part of a fleet of French frigates. During the action, the captain of the Blanch, Falkner, died and was replaced by the mate, Wilkins. With the masts shot away, the crew of Blanch boarded and took the French ship. This appears to be a story of the Napoleonic wars and has many similarities with the ballad of Admiral Benbow.

Curiously, none of the ships mentioned as in action with Nelson's fleet during the Napoleonic wars was named Blanch or Blanche, and none of Nelsons captains appears to have been named Falkner or Faulkner. However, a ship called Blanche is recorded as having been wrecked in "The Texel" on 28th September 1799. There is also a listing of "The death of Captain Faulkner, or British Heroism" (librettist anonymous, composer William Shield, 1795) in English Libretti, 1780-1799 (http://gopher.english.openn.edu/~rstack/appl1780.html). The fact that an opera was written on the subject would suggest that the action was well known and popular at the time and may date it as between about 1790 and 1795.

Hope this is of some use.

Cheers
IanC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 12:15 AM

G'day IanC,

Thanks!

Have you ever seen music for Tars of The Blanch? I presume it must be lurking in some old tune book somewhere.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: IanC
Date: 05 Jul 00 - 05:38 AM

Bob

This guy wants blood?!!

So far I've only found one broadside version and, as you'd expect, without music. However, I do now have access to the British Library so I will keep looking.

Cheers!
IanC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 12:02 AM

G'day IanC,

Sorry to look like I'm twisting your arm, but it is a long swim from Sydney to the British Library.

Actually, I should pose this question to Ron Edwards (about 2200 km north of me, in Kuranda) who did get to root through the broadsides in the major British / Irish collections (on a grant) back in the 80s. If Ron has any information, I will post back.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: IanC
Date: 06 Jul 00 - 03:53 AM

Bob

No fuss. Just joking!

Ian


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: IanC
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 11:37 AM

Re: "Tars of The Blanch"

There seems to be more information about the various ships called Blanche in the British Navy here. I've copied it below.

BLANCHE,32. (1786 Burlesdon. Wrecked 1799) 1799 Capt. John AYSCOUGH. Armed en flute she accompanied the expedition under Vice Ad. MITCHELL and Sir Ralph Abercromby to Holland and continued with the fleet until the surrender of the Texel squadron. On 27 September she followed the orders of Capt. LAWFORD of ROMNEY and got under weigh at 1 P.M. from Mars Diep to escort a convoy home.
At 4 P.M. the pilot put her ashore on the middle bank in the Sculp Gat; they soon got her off, but at 6 o'clock she was aground again about 2 miles N.N.W. of Kyck Duyn. This time it was top of high water and it was 1 o'clock the following morning before she could be hauled off and steered on the course that the pilot directed. Almost at once they ran on to the Dalrymple Shoal about one cable from the black buoy marking it. The depth of water was only 8 to 1O feet and BLANCHE's draught was 17 feet. Capt. AYSCOUGH signalled for boats with anchors and hawsers and for schuyts to offload the guns and heavy stores, but because the sea was breaking over the ship and there was so much motion, this proved impossible and several boats were overset and lives were lost attempting it. When the ship threatened to broach to he ordered first the main-mast and then the mizzen to be cut away.
Two boat-sails were rigged on the poop to steer the ship if she drifted over the shoal, which she did about 4 P.M., but, as she was taking in water, the only chance for saving the ship's company was to run her on shore in the Nieuve Diep. Here the the tide ebbed and flowed into her and her whole frame was hogged so that it was impossible to remove her.
A court martial was held at Sheerness on 1 November 1799 which found that BLANCHE was lost through the fault of the pilot and that the captain, the officers and crew showed great professional skill in getting her off and saving the stores and the lives of the people. They were all honourably acquitted and during the same month Capt. AYSCOUGH was appointed to INCONSTANT.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BLANCHE,36. (1800 Deptford. Captured 1805) 1800 Capt. Graham Eden HAMMOND. He commissioned the brand new frigate on 19 November, the day after he had paid off his previous ship, LION. After being fitted and manned she joined Sir Hyde PARKER at Yarmouth where the fleet was about to sail for the Baltic.
On 19 March 1801 BLANCHE was sent to Elsinor (Helsingor) under a flag of truce with dispatches for Mr Drummond who was attempting to reach an accomodation with the Danes. Two days later he came on board and BLANCHE returned to the fleet which had anchored at the entrance to the Sound on the 21st.
On 1 April the fleet left the anchorage at Hven and re-anchored near the north end of the shoal known as the Middle Ground. BLANCHE, whose officers and men had been on deck continuously since getting under weigh, grounded near the island of Amak in the evening, but she was got off, and the following day she was anchored by the stern between ALCMENE and AMAZON off the Great Crown Battery. She was under enemy fire for nearly two hours and had six seamen and one marine killed and seven seamen and two marines wounded.
BLANCHE returned to Yarmouth on 13 May with the flag of Sir Hyde PARKER. For the remainder of the war she was attached to the Channel fleet under Ad. CORNWALLIS. During the peace she operated from Plymouth against smugglers alomg the coasts of Devon and Cornwall. She sailed for Leith with discharged seamen on 2O May 18O2 under Capt. DAINES.
On 12 June BLANCHE, AMETHYST and AMELIA were ordered to victual for two months. Capt. HAMMOND then spent the summer months attending the Royal family at Weymouth and BLANCHE returned to Plymouth when their Majesties left for Windsor on 2 September. She was paid off at Sheerness on 22 September.
1803 Capt. Zachary MUDGE, 10/02. She sailed from Portsmouth on 4 March 1803 to raise seamen in Guernsey. On 4 June she sent in a French sloop laden with stone.
At the close of 1803 BLANCHE was in the west Indies where she took part in the blockade of San Domingo under Capt. LORING of BELLEROPHON.
When Rear Ad. DUCKWORTH discovered that the French were using the Caracol Passage, the eastern entrance of the harbour of Cape Francoise on Hispaniola, to obtain supplies from Monte Cristi in San Domingo he ordered that a frigate should be placed at the entrance of Manchineel Bay. Capt. LORING sent BLANCHE and in less than a month her boats took and destroyed twenty-four small vessels.
On 4 November BLANCHE's launch under the command of Mr John SMITH, master's mate, assisted by Mr Maurice BERKELEY, midshipman, attacked a schooner armed with a single long 9-pounder and carrying 3O men. The enemy was carried after 1O minutes with the loss of one killed and two wounded in the launch. The enemy had one killed and five wounded. The Rear Admiral ordered Mr SMITH to act as a lieutenant for his gallantry.
At two o'clock on the morning of the following day a large cutter full of bullocks, lying under the guns of Monte Cristi (four 24-pounders and three field guns), was attacked by Lieut. LAKE in the cutter and Lieut. Nichols of the marines in the barge. For the loss of two men killed by fire from the fort and two wounded in boarding the cutter she was brought out with a cargo of 52 bullocks. The prize was 92 tons, coppered, and armed with two 4-pounders and six swivels.
Capt. MUDGE landed 69 prisoners from a number of prizes at Monte Cristi under flag of truce and obtained a receipt for them.
Also during November Midshipman Edward Henry A'COURT with a marine and seven seamen was sent ashore in the red cutter to collect sand for use in the ship. To stop them getting into trouble they were not allowed arms but they managed to smuggle a few muskets into the cutter. While returning they fell in with a becalmed schooner and, as they approached her under the stern, a sudden burst of musket fire from her mortally wounded one of the boat party and badly wounded another. Mr A'COURT and his five remaining hands boarded and carried her and found that she was bound for Cape Francois with 3O or 4O soldiers commanded by a colonel.
In February 1804 800 marines and sailors landed on Curacoa and took posession of all the island except for Fort Rebublicain. Since they had no artillery to reduce the fort, and it was impossible to take it by storm, the men were withdrawn and returned to Jamaica. the island was kept in a state of blockade by BLANCHE and two Government schooners.
During the following 18 months BLANCHE took many other prizes including the Dutch schooner NIMROD on 29 June 1804, the fastest vessel Capt. MUDGE encountered in the West Indies, and on 3 November he arrived in Port Royal with a Spanish schooner and a French schooner carring dispatches, which were saved, to General Ferrand in San Domingo.
The French schooner privateer HAZARD with 3 guns and 58 men was captured on 5 April 1805 after a chase of 26 hours, Another capture was the Spanish sloop DILIGENTE laden with horses and wood and on 1O June the French national schooner AMITIE taking dispatches from General Ferrand to Santiago de Cuba was taken. A long brass eighteen and six 6-pounders were thrown overboard during the 11 hour chase.
Capt. MUDGE's luck ran out on 19 July 1805. BLANCHE was some 150 miles north of Puerto Rico when she fell in with a French squadron consisting of TOPAZE,44, LE DEPARTEMENT DES LANDES,20, TORCHE,18, and FAUNE,16. When they were about three miles off the enemy hoisted English colours but Capt. Mudge was not deceived and prepared for action. Escape was out of the question since BLANCHE had lost most of her copper nearly nine months earlier. After 45 minutes fierce fighting BLANCHE was a complete wreck, unable to answer her helm, with 8 men killed and 15 wounded, so Capt. MUDGE struck his colours to save further loss of life. Some six hours later, after the French had taken possession, BLANCHE was reported to be sinking so she was set on fire. She had only 215 men on board during the fight, 30 were away in prizes and 8 had been left in Jamaica.
On 14 October 1805 Capt. MUDGE, at a court martial in Plymouth, was honourably acquitted of blame for the loss of his ship. The Admiralty immediately appoimted Capt. MUDGE, his officers and part of BLANCHE's crew to the PHOENIX.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BLANCHE,38. (The Spanish AMFITRITE taken by Sir Richard STRACHAN in DONEGAL off Cadiz on 25 November 1804. Wrecked 1807) 1806 Capt. Thomas LAVIE, North Sea. On 19 July he captured the French frigate GUERRIER off the Farroes. She was one of the enemy squadron which had been sent out from L'Orient to destroy British and Russian whalers off Greenland and, although she mounted 50 guns, her crew of 317 men, many of whom were sickly, was soon reduced by BLANCHE's destructive fire which killed twenty and wounded thirty for the loss of only four wounded. The prize was brought into Yarmouth Roads on the 26th. Capt. LAVIE's officers included Lieuts. Thomas DAVIES, ALLAN and BASTIN (who was wounded), and Mr ROBERTSON, the master.
While he was with a squadron commanded by Capt. KEATS blockading Rochefort Capt. LAVIE intercepted the GEORGE WASHINGTON off Bordeaux on 15 January 1807. She had on board Capt. Kargarian, late commander of the French frigate VALEUREUSE, with 306 of his officers and men. He took the prisoners out and sent the ship to England.
BLANCHE was wrecked off Ushant on 4 March 1807.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BLANCHE,28. (The French privateer BELLONE captured by Capt. PLAMPIN in POWERFUL, assisted by RATTLESNAKE, off Ceylon on 9 July 1806. BU 1814)
1807 Capt. John BASTARD, East Indies. As captain of RATTLESNAKE, Capt. BASTARD had chased BELLONE into the hands of Capt. PLAMPIN. BELLONE was renamed BLANCHE in 18O8. 181O Lieut. Richard BARTON acted for some time as captain of BLANCHE and on 26 July, in the Straits of Malacca, he captured the French privateer CONFIANCE with two long 6-pounders and 3O men. The privateer had sailed from Mauritius the previous May.
1811 Capt. William FLINT, who made post on 1 March 1811, East Indies. 1812 out of commission.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
BLANCHE,46. (1819 Chatham. HS 1852) 1824 Capt. William Bowen MENDS, 1/24, Portsmouth fitting out for the South American station. He returned on 28 September 1827 with nearly 800,000 dollars on board.
1830 Capt. Arthur FARQUHAR, 2/30, West Indies. From 1852 she was used as a Receiving Hulk at Portsmouth until she was broken up in 1865.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: pavane
Date: 06 Oct 04 - 12:57 PM

Tars of the Blanche must have been a popular song, as there are at least 20 copies in the Bodleian library, with other titles being 'The Blanche Frigate' and just 'The Blanche'.

The date is pushed back to at least 1819, but obviously may be much earlier.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BLACK VELVET BAND
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 05:28 AM

I sing a London version of "Black Velvet Band" - I think I first got it from Martin Carthy in the 60s. It's similiar to the usual Irish version, but there is a B part tune to the second part of the verse. The setting is the Wapping/Ratcliffe/Limehouse area.

It was in the city of London, apprenticed to trade I was bound.
And many the bright amusements, I've had in old London Town.
But a certain misfortune came over me, which caused me to stray from the land.
Far away from my friends and relations, Betrayed by a Black Velvet Band.

Usual Chorus, but the first syllable of "Diamonds" is held longer.

As I was walking down Wapping Wall, a-meaning not long for to stay,
I chanced to see this fair young maid, come a-walkin down Ratcliffe Highway.
Her face it was handsome and comely, her neck it was slim like a swan.
And her hair it hung over her shoulder, tied up with a Black Velvet Band.

I strolled along with this pretty fair maid, till a gentleman passed us by.
I could see she was meaning to be a-robbing of him, by the look in her dark roving eye.
She nicked a gold watch from his pocket and dropped it clear into my hand.
And the peelers they quickly arrested me, bad luck to the Black Velvet band.

So in front of a judge and a jury, next morning I had to appear.
And the beak he looked over the bench at me, said this case is proven quite clear.
So I copped seven years penal servitude, to be spent far away from this land.
Far away from my friends and relations, betrayed by a Black Velvet Band.

So come all you jolly apprentice lads, I'll have you take warning by me.
And when you go out on the booze at night, beware of young ladies so free.
They'll lead you to sin and strong drink me lads, till you are not able to stand.
And the very next thing that you know, you may be bound out for Van Dieman's Land.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: IanC
Date: 07 Oct 04 - 07:04 AM

Dave

I'd be very interested to find out mor about the origins of this version, as it does seem to be significantly different from any of the versions collected from tradition that I've seen.

I've been studying the development of this song now for 3-4 years and this looks like an attempt at aggregating the original broadside version with what, for want of a better term ought to be called the Norfolk version (i.e. what you refer to as the "Usual Irish version") with bits of some of the others.

Perhaps Martin Carthy did the deed?

:-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Sep 10 - 10:33 AM

Dunno whether this is the most relevant thread to refresh, but I am responding particularly to the last two posts (from six years ago).

The first version that I came across was in one of Bert Lloyd's radio programmes, where he attributed it to a Sydney street singer called Blind Billy Huntingdon. The words are not the same as those from Carthy in the 07 Oct 04 - 05:28 AM post but they are pretty close. In particular the apprenticeship is in London and the encounter with the girl is in Wapping on The Highway. The word "shout" in the last verse confirms this as an Australian version.

Here's my transcription, from a tape of the radio programme.

It was in the city of London, apprentice to trade I was bound.
With plenty of bright amusement to make me days go round.
Till misfortune and ruin came over me, which caused me to stray from the land.
Far away from me friends and companions, betrayed by a black velvet band.

Chorus

Oh her eyes they shone like diamonds.
You'd think she was queen of the land,
With her hair hanging over her shoulder,
Tied up with a black velvet band.

As I was walkin' through Wappin', meanin' not long for to stay,
Who should I see but a pretty young girl, come trippin' along The Highway.
She was so tall and handsome and her neck it was just like a swan.
And her hair hung over her shoulder, tied up with a Black Velvet Band.

Chorus

I took a stroll with this pretty young miss and a gentleman passin' us by.
I could see she meant a-doin' of him, by the look in her rollin' black eye.
And his watch she lift (sic) from his pocket, me lads, and she put it straight into me hand.
And the peelers they quickly arrested me. Bad luck to the black velvet band.

Chorus

Before the judge and the jury, next morning I had to appear.
And the gentleman swore to (the?) jury, and the case against me was clear.
I got seven years penal servitude, all the way to Van Diemen's Land.
So far from me friends and relations, betrayed by a black velvet band.

Chorus

Come all you jolly young fellers, I'll have you take warnin' by me.
I'll have you beware of the ticklesome girls with the garter on their knee.
For they'll shout you to whisky and gin me boys, until you're not able to stand.
And before you can get away from 'em, you're bound for Van Diemen's Land.

Chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:01 AM

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 25 Sep 10 - 10:33 AM

The Wapping / London version is what Steve Benbow sings on London Folk Song Cellar no. 12 in 1966. Unfortunately due to cassette turnover the line:

"She was so tall and handsome and her neck it was just like a swan."

is missing.

I would really like to splice in the words from the Bert Lloyd tape if you could do me a copy of the programme please.

The LFSC no. 12A (first part) is at:

https://www.firedrive.com/file/C0A9D7C3EA715905
https://www.firedrive.com/file/F88A51D9516453FE

CJB


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:09 AM

From a note I have written for a version we recorded in Clare
Jim Carroll

19th century broadside version

To go in a smack down at Barking, where a boy as apprentice was bound,
Where I spent many hours in comfort and pleasure in that little town;
At length future prospects were blighted, as soon you may all understand;
So by my downfall take a warning — beware of a black velvet band.

One day being out on the ramble, alone by myself I did stray,
I met with a young gay deceiver, while cruising in Ratcliffe Highway,
Her eyes were as black as a raven: I thought her the pride of the land;
Her hair, that would hang o'er her shoulders, was tied with a black velvet band.

She towed me in port, and we anchored, from virtue she did me decoy,
When it was proposed and agreed to, that I should become a flash boy,
And drinking and gaming to plunder to keep up the game was soon planned;
But since, I've had cause to remember the girl with a black velvet band.

Flash girl, if you wish to turn modest, and strive a connexion to gain,
Do not wear a band o'er the forehead, as if to tie in your brain;
Some do prefer Victoria fashion, and some their hair braided so grand
Myself I do think it much better than a girl with a black velvet band

Young men, by my fate take a warning, from all those gay [ladies] refrain,
And seek for a neat little woman that wears her hair parted quite plain,
The subject that I now do mention, tho' innocent, soon me trapanned;
In sorrow my days will be ended, far from the black velvet band;

For she towed in a bold man-of wars man her ogle she winked on the sly,
But little did I know her meaning, when I twigged her a faking his cly,
He said, I'm bound for the ocean, and shortly the ship will be made,
[B]ut still I've a strong inclination for the girl with a black velvet band.

A snare was invented to slight and banish me out of her sight,
A fogle she brought of no value, saying, more I will bring this night
She slipped it sly into my pocket, false girl! and took me by the hand;
They gave me in charge for the sneezer — bad luck to the black velvet band!

[I?] Forkly was [j]ailed and committed, and cast in the jug for a lag,
A wipe that she pinched and bunged to me, and valued no more than a flag,
The judge said to me, you are s[e]ntenced to a free passage to Van Diemen's Land
[last line missing: My curse to the black velvet band?].


It was said to have been highly popular in the Australian Outback in the 1880s. Its first appearance in the oral tradition in England was at the beginning of the 20th century, taken down by collectors such as George Gardiner, George Butterworth and the Rev Baring Gould. During the BBC's collecting project in the first half of the 1950s, it proved to be popular among English country singers. Its first printing in Ireland was in Herbert Hughes' 'Irish Country Songs (1936). Its seldom turned up from Irish traditional singers, one of the few occasions being from Elizabeth Cronin of Cork, who sang: "In the neat little town of Dunmanway"
The popularity it finally received in Ireland was during the Irish 'Ballad Boom; this was largely due to its being performed by The Clancy Brothers and The Dubliners.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 07:47 AM

Ratcliffe Highway is in London E1


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 08:22 AM

It's on Ewan MacColl's album ' Chorus From The Gallows ' recorded by Bill Leader in 1959.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 09:15 AM

Some of it is sung anachronistically (with an anachronistic concertina) in the '60s movie of DeFoe's "Moll Flanders," with "shone like diamonds" changed to "emeralds" to match Kim Novak's slightly greenish eyes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 10:33 AM

Until the mid 19th century Barking was a major fishing port where there were plenty of smacks on which to be an apprentice.
Wikipedia says: By 1850 there some 220 smacks, employing some 1,370 men and boys. The boats were typically 75 feet (23 m) long carrying up to 50 tons.
Where there are free-spending sailors you are also going to find flash girls like The Belle Of Barking Creek
Has anyone had any luck locating the Tars Of Blanch tune?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: meself
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 11:24 AM

In a couple of the older versions, as that given by Jim Carroll, the 'black velvet band' itself is more than a synecdoche for the ticklesome damsel in question; it seems to be an item of fashion associated with ticklesome damsels (i.e., 'party girls'?) generally, if not a prostitute's shingle:

Flash girl, if you wish to turn modest, and strive a connexion to gain,
Do not wear a band o'er the forehead, as if to tie in your brain;
Some do prefer Victoria fashion, and some their hair braided so grand
Myself I do think it much better than a girl with a black velvet band

Does anyone have any knowledge or thoughts about this?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:21 PM

GUEST,CJB

Those links invite me to install Firedrive (whatever that is). I'm not sure I want to do that. If you want me or anyone else to listen to some sound files, can you not post them somewhere where they can be downloaded by an ordinary browser without any special add-on?

As for providing you with a copy of the recording from the radio programme (BTW it was Bert Lloyd narrating the programme but someone else singing that particular song) -- that might depend what you intend to do with it. I believe it may have been technically illegal for me to record the programme in the first place. If I only ever listen to it myself no-one is likely to make a fuss, but if I give it to someone else who then posts it somewhere there might be problems.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 04:49 PM

The Blanche captured the Pique in 1795 and this famous engagement is well documented. The ballad would have been written shortly after. BVB appeared about 20 years later and not so widely printed as Blanche, probably first printed by Birt but continued upto Such's time about the middle of the century, whereas Blanche was much more widely printed, one of the first possibly being Morren of Edinburgh, or Howard and Evans of 42 Long Lane, London.

Unfortunately the Blanche was recorded from oral tradition in the early years of the 20th century but the collector neglected to take down the tune.

FWIW the Blanche fits perfectly to the tune sung to a similar ballad to BVB, 'Ratcliffe Highway'/'Rolling down Wapping' Roud 598 which has a superb variant in 'Royal Earsdon Calling on Song' as sung by The Watersons, one of my favourite tunes.

It might be worth looking through the many printings of the Blanche to see if another tune is designated.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 30 Aug 14 - 05:05 PM

Jim's last verse should run:

I quickly was nailed and committed and cast in the jug for a lag,
For a wipe that she pinched and bunged to me, and valued no more than a flag,
The judge said to me you are sentenced a free passage to Van Dieman's Land.
For life far away from relations, so adieu to the black velvet band.

I am particularly struck by the change in language half way through the ballad. Look at the quite formal language in the 4th verse and then in verses 6, 7 and 8 the rather stilted use of cant.

Re the black velvet band itself, personally I don't think it's got any symbolic or social significance. It's just a tag that's easy to rhyme with and become a type of chorus. I'm sure scrunchies were just as common in Victoria's day as they are now, perhaps not so elastic, but served the same purpose. At least we can say the ballad is most likely post 1829 unless the writer is referring to Princess Victoria.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Aug 14 - 08:41 AM

Yes, that last verse tries a little too hard.

Rather like the "Night before Larry was Stretched" school.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: GUEST,CJB
Date: 21 Jul 16 - 12:49 PM

On London Folk Song Cellar 12A one of the clipped tracks at the end is Steve Benbow singing a rare London version of 'Black Velvet Band.'

I have tracked down this version from an old mono LP.

It is available here for folks to copy down the words for Mudcat etc. There are FLAC and MP3 (192kbps) versions.

https://www.mediafire.com/folder/atdc9m2u2jviw/Steve_Benbow

CJB.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Old versions of Black Velvet Band
From: meself
Date: 21 Jul 16 - 02:52 PM

In some of those versions, you sense the "flash boy"'s inner hairdresser trying to get out .....


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