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Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Fairport Convention)

The Villan 20 Jan 05 - 02:52 PM
Richard Bridge 20 Jan 05 - 04:55 PM
The Villan 21 Jan 05 - 01:57 AM
Malcolm Douglas 21 Jan 05 - 02:32 AM
GUEST,Per Jappée 21 Jan 05 - 06:33 AM
pavane 21 Jan 05 - 07:26 AM
samundcandy 21 Jan 05 - 01:42 PM
Tony Rees 22 Jun 18 - 12:27 AM
Tony Rees 22 Jun 18 - 12:31 AM
Tony Rees 05 Sep 18 - 12:43 AM
Nigel Paterson 05 Sep 18 - 06:47 AM
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Subject: The Deserter Fairport Convention query
From: The Villan
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 02:52 PM

Fairport Convention: The Deserter
[Trad. arr. Fairport Convention]

"Although we learned this song from a faded Victorian broadside, it is much older in origin. It was the habit of broadside printers to bring older songs up to date - in this case by including the name of Prince Albert." [Ashley Hutchings in "A Little Music"]

This is a tune that was played by Luke Kelly (according to Swarbrick), and is in 3/4 time. Sandy felt that this was the best song on the album Liege and Lief. The Island CD version of this record was mastered without a break between this song and the instrumental medley following it.

The question is

Does anybody know if Luke kelly sang on this version or just played.
Its said that he sung on a version of it for maybe 15 seconds or so.

Anybody got any idea

Cheers


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Subject: RE: The Deserter Fairport Convention query
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Jan 05 - 04:55 PM

Is that the one also known as Radcliffe HIghway? I'd often felt that Albert verse intrusive, and stopped using it because of that.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE DESERTER (from Fairport Convention)
From: The Villan
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 01:57 AM

It is indeed Richard
Les


THE DESERTER
As recorded by Fairport Convention on "Liege and Lief" (1969)

As I was a-walking along Ratcliffe Highway
A recruiting party came a-beating my way.
They enlisted me and treated me 'til I did not know
Unto the Queen's barracks they forced me to go.

When first I deserted, I thought myself free
Until my cruel comrade informed against me.
I was quickly followed after and brought back with speed,
I was handcuffed and guarded, heavy irons put on me.

Court martial, court martial, they held upon me
And the sentence passed upon me, three hundred and three.
May the Lord have mercy on them for their sad cruelty,
For now the Queen's duty lies heavy on me.

When next I deserted, I thought myself free
Until my cruel sweetheart informed against me.
I was quickly followed after and brought back with speed
I was handcuffed and guarded, heavy irons put on me.

Court martial, court martial then quickly was got
And the sentence passed upon me, that I was to be shot.
May the Lord have mercy on them for their sad cruelty,
For now the Queen's duty lies heavy on me,

Then up rode Prince Albert in his carriage and six,
Saying, "Where is that young man whose coffin is fixed?
Set him free from his irons and let him go free,
For he'll make a good soldier for his Queen and country."


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Subject: RE: The Deserter Fairport Convention query
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 02:32 AM

Yes, that's the text in the DT at The Deserter, though you do give correctly the word "six" in the final verse, which somebody with a tin ear has put in the DT as "sticks". No need to quote the whole thing, though; a simple link would have sufficed.

The song was still quite widespread when collectors were out looking for songs at the beginning of the 20th century; most examples were found in England, with some in Scotland too. The Roud Folk Song Index lists many of these at number 493; at present none, so far as I can see, from Ireland. If the tune came from Luke Kelly, I've no idea where he got it, or whether it belonged to this song or to another.

As for "much older": not really. It certainly pre-dates Albert, but probably not by a great deal. See, for example, a number of broadside editions at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The new deserter

Some name Albert (the later ones include Ratcliffe Highway), others, only a few years earlier, name (a) Duke of York.


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Subject: RE: The Deserter Fairport Convention query
From: GUEST,Per Jappée
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 06:33 AM

On the documentary "LUKE" you can hear Luke singing half a verse of "The deserter" in the background while John Faulkner is talking. It`s probably another recording than the one he did with Swarbrick.


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Subject: RE: The Deserter Fairport Convention query
From: pavane
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 07:26 AM

Ratcliffe Highway no longer exists it got so notorious that it was renamed as just 'The Highway'

You may be interested in this old map of London, which shows how much the area has changed. Only a few of the street names seem to be still present (Pennington Street, Wapping Lane, Cannon Street)

If you want to search for other streets, you will have to wait for the placename index to download, this takes a while as it is 900kb, then you can find any street name on the maps.

Ratcliffe Highway


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Subject: RE: The Deserter Fairport Convention query
From: samundcandy
Date: 21 Jan 05 - 01:42 PM

Interesting trail of guest Per Jappée. Does anybody know where to get any bootleg recording of the "Deserter" sung by Luke Kelly? Or does anybody know other unreleased songs of Luke?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Fairport Convention)
From: Tony Rees
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 12:27 AM

I know this thread is a little old, but I too was looking for a reference to Luke Kelly performing "The Deserter", perhaps with Swarb... Came across this item:

< href="http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/6afb8dae-8760-4277-a8e6-91530fa5eefc">http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/6afb8dae-8760-4277-a8e6-91530fa5eefc

but no easy way to hear it of course...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Fairport Convention)
From: Tony Rees
Date: 22 Jun 18 - 12:31 AM

Sorry, the link above should be clicky:

http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/6afb8dae-8760-4277-a8e6-91530fa5eefc


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Fairport Convention)
From: Tony Rees
Date: 05 Sep 18 - 12:43 AM

Just reading Swarb's "corrections to Fairport by Fairport by Nigel Schofield" in which he says that he never performed "The Deserter" with Kelly, merely used Kelly's idea which was to perform the song in 3/4 time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Fairport Convention)
From: Nigel Paterson
Date: 05 Sep 18 - 06:47 AM

In the spirit of completeness, 'The Halliard' were singing their version of 'The Deserter' (interestingly in 3/4 time too) at least two years earlier than the 1969 release date of 'Liege and Lief'. Words & music published in 'The Halliard Broadside Songs' (Mollie Music) & recorded on the CD of the same name. Book & CD are available from nicjones.net
                                                   Nigel Paterson (mandolin, 'The Halliard')


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