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The Wanton Seed (Purslow reissue)

13 Jun 15 - 01:12 PM (#3716395)
Subject: The Wanton Seed
From: GUEST,Roneday

The friends of the late Malcolm Douglas ( Of blessed memory)
have conspired and perspired to raise the money to have his last scholarly effort (The revision of the Wanton Seed) published. It is now available. IF you are interested in acquiring a copy let me know and I will send you the details.
All profits are to be divided between Macmillan Cancer Support and The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House.
Good on Yer!!

13 Jun 15 - 01:38 PM (#3716399)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: michaelr

What is The Wanton Seed?

13 Jun 15 - 01:49 PM (#3716402)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Stilly River Sage

Posts by Malcolm Douglas.

13 Jun 15 - 01:56 PM (#3716404)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed

For those not familiar with the background, the Hammond & Gardiner manuscripts are some of the most important 19th Century collections of English folk song. They were first published by the EFDSS as a series starting in 1965 – selected, edited and prepared by the late Frank Purslow – as four slim, but influential, volumes entitled, "Marrowbones", "The Wanton Seed", "The Constant Lovers" and "The Foggy Dew".

Out of print since the late 60's, the EFDSS were persuaded in 2006 to embark on re publishing the series. One of the chief instigators, the late Malcolm Douglas, was commissioned to undertake a revision and reworking of the collection starting with "Marrowbones". This first volume was subsequently re-published to great acclaim in 2007.

Those who knew Malcolm will not be surprised to hear that his exhaustive and meticulous researches enabled him to improve and add much new information to the original. His principal collaborator on this project was Steve Gardham of Hull.

Malcolm was subsequently commissioned to prepare the second volume, "The Wanton Seed" and it was while working on this that he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Finishing the book literally became a race against time.

Malcolm's friends have now, once again "stepped up to the plate" and have undertaken to see "The Wanton Seed" re-published and available, partly because it will be an important contribution to the folk singing community and partly out of respect for the memory of a hugely talented and much missed colleague.

13 Jun 15 - 04:24 PM (#3716423)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: GUEST,Anne Neilson

Very interested in this material -- will email OP.

13 Jun 15 - 06:14 PM (#3716437)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Steve Shaw

And let's not forget that The Wanton Seed is a lovely and mischievous song, well rendered by Nic Jones in a version that, one fine day, might see the light of day once again!

13 Jun 15 - 06:34 PM (#3716443)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Joe_F

It is also a rather nasty novel (1962) by Anthony Burgess, taking its title from that song.

13 Jun 15 - 06:37 PM (#3716445)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Joe_F

I immediately thought of _The Wanting Seed_, a rather nasty novel by Anthony Burgess (1962). Sure enough, the title was taken from that song.

13 Jun 15 - 09:26 PM (#3716466)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Joe Offer

I was hoping to get a copy while I was here in Scotland. I contacted the publisher, who said that no booksellers in Edinburgh have the book in stock. So, I ordered it direct from the publisher. I'm guessing I might have saved a bit if I had waited for this thread? What's the procedure for ordering from the US?

14 Jun 15 - 05:44 AM (#3716503)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: GUEST,Roneday

Hi For details of how to acquire a copy of 'The Wanton Seed' email me at the address at the top of this thread or contact our publisher at

14 Jun 15 - 09:38 AM (#3716533)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: GUEST,matt milton

Does anyone know if a contents list of the book available anywhere? I'd really like to see a list of the song titles it includes?

14 Jun 15 - 10:20 AM (#3716541)
Subject: Index: The Wanton Seed
From: Richard Mellish

Scanned from my copy and most (I hope) of the OCR mistakes corrected.

14 Abroad as I'Was Walking
15 All through the Beer
16 All under the New-Morvn Hav
17 The Barley Raking
19 Bedlam
20 The Bed-making
2l Betsy the Serving-maid
22 Better for Maids to Live Single
24 Blow the Candle Out
25 The Blue Cockade
27 The Boatswain and the Thilor
29 The Bold Dragoon
30 Bonny Kate
3l The Boy and the Highwayman
33 Bright Phoebus
34 The Broken-Down Gentleman
35 ButtercupJoe
36 The Buxom Lass
38 Captain Ward
39 Catch-Me-if-You-Can
40 The Cluster of Nuts
42 The Country Carrier
44 The Crafry Maid's Policy
46 Creeping Jane
48 The Cruel Ship's Carpenter
50 The Cuckoo
51 The Dandy Husband
53 The Darling Boy
54 The Death of Parker
56 Down by the W'oods and Shady Green Thees
57 The Drowned Lover
58 Farewell, Dearest Nancy
59 Fathom the Bowl
60 The Female Drummer
62 The Female Highwayman
63 Flash Company
64 The Frolic
66 The Gay Ploughboy
68 George Collins
70 The Green Bed
72 The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea
74 Haymaking Courtship
75 The Herring Song
76 The Hostess's Daughter
77 I Am a Brisk Young Sailor
78 I'ze Yorkshire, though in Lunnon
80 If I Was a Blackbird
82 In a British Man-o'-\Var
83 John White
84 Johnny Sands and Betsy Haigh
85 Jolly Joe, the Colliert Son
86 King Henry's Three Sons
87 The Lady of Riches
89 The Lake of Colephin
90 The Lass of London City
92 Thc London Man-o'-War
94 Long Looked for, Come at Last
95 Lord Randal
96 Low Down in the Broom
98 Madam, I \Will Give to Thee
100 Madam, Madam, I'm Come a-Courting
101 The Man of Dover
103 Mathew the Miller
104 The Merry Cuckold
106 Molly and William
107 The Murdered Servant-man
109 My Good Old Man
111 My Husbandt Got No Courage in Him
112 My Jolly Roving Thr
114 Nancy
115 The New Deserter
116 Night Visit Song
118 Oh Dear, How I Long to Get Married!
119 Old Daddy Fox
121 Oid Mother Crawley
123 Old'Woman's Song
124 Poor Old Horse
126 The Prentice Boy
127 The Prickly Bush
129 The Queen of the May
130 Robin Hood and the Thnner
132 Rosemary Lane
133 The Roving Bachelor
134 The Sailor's Tragedy
136 Seven Months I've Been Married
137 Seventeen Come Sunday
138 Sheffield Park
139 The Shopkeeper
141 Six Jolly Miners
142 The Spotted Cow
143 T Stands for Thomas
144 Thrrytousers
145 Three Jolly Sneaksmen
146 Tom Barbary
145 The Unfortunate Lass
149 The Wanton Seed
150 Watercresses
152 Young Johnny Was a Ploughboy
153 Young Johnson

14 Jun 15 - 11:04 AM (#3716546)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Brian Peters

For the benefit of those not familiar with the original volumes in the 'Wanton Seed' family (the others were 'Marrow Bones', 'The Constant Lovers' and 'The Foggy Dew'), they were possibly the most important source of easily accessible traditional English songs - after the Penguin Book itself – in the early years of the folk revival. Many singers plundered them repeatedly, and it's good to see two out of the four available again.

The songs as presented are collations by Frank Purslow, which has the advantage that they are immediately singable, although to use them as given is to accept his editorial choices. Fortunately the new editions have laid bare his interventions and, with the Hammond and Gardiner manuscripts now online at The Full English, you can go back to the source and construct your own version if you want to. But many of the Purslow versions are very usable as they stand.

Many thanks to Steve Gardham - of this parish - in continuing the labours of Malcolm Douglas - late lamented of this parish.

14 Jun 15 - 12:10 PM (#3716555)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: GUEST,matt milton

Thanks very much Richard. very kind of you

14 Jun 15 - 12:41 PM (#3716562)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Abby Sale

I still have and still use 'Wanton Seed', 'Marrow Bones', and what we called 'The English Book of Penguin Songs'. I've plundered them, myself.

I don't understand if I need the new book. If Malcolm has merely corrected and edited, then no but if he's added any scholarship at all, then yes.

Please advise.

In any event, excellence on you for the most valuable project.


14 Jun 15 - 02:41 PM (#3716586)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed

Malcolm and his colleague Steve Gardham corrected mistakes in the original and added a substantial amount of new information for the revised edition.

14 Jun 15 - 03:15 PM (#3716592)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Steve Gardham

The main additions/alterations are we now know a great deal more about the evolution of each individual song and this is included, there are substantial discographies for each song, there is a substantial introduction on the likely origins and evolution of the songs in this corpus, and the different sources for both tunes and texts for Frank's collations are flagged up in great detail.

14 Jun 15 - 04:09 PM (#3716602)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Steve Gardham

I ought to add the references to sources have also been updated a la Full English references, and the book no longer fits easily into the pocket but you don't need a magnifying glass to read it. It's nearly twice the size in all dimensions.

15 Jun 15 - 10:43 AM (#3716748)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Abby Sale

Excellent and no surprise.
I want it.
I'll write.

15 Jun 15 - 11:17 AM (#3716755)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Steve Gardham

If you want to hang fire a bit, I've just emailed Dick to see if he's interested in distribution on your side.

24 Jun 15 - 11:22 AM (#3718697)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: dick greenhaus

CAMSCO Music can now supply copies of the new edition od The Wanton Seed to US customers at the same price UK folks pay: 12.99 GBPounds, or $20.43 (US). As usual, with books CAMSCO doesn't publish, we require pre-ordering. Our facilities (and bank account) simply don't permit us to keep an inventory on hand. You can place an order by phone at 800/548-FOLK (800/548-3655) or E-mmail me at

25 Jun 15 - 09:51 AM (#3718888)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: dick greenhaus


25 Jun 15 - 04:51 PM (#3718934)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Steve Gardham

Good luck with the sales, Dick. I'm always available here for any queries/comments on anything I've written in the book.

The intro is a version of the paper I wrote on the relationship between popular music, cheap print and oral tradition. Examples can be seen on the Tradsong website.

28 Jun 15 - 02:05 PM (#3719558)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: dick greenhaus

Any more takers? THe US price will be $21 (including postage) This is a one-time deal, so if you're interested please let me know ASAP

28 Jun 15 - 03:08 PM (#3719568)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Steve Gardham

Dick, have you asked on the Ballad List? I haven't heard from them for a while other than Dolores' EBay lists.

28 Jun 15 - 05:09 PM (#3719597)
Subject: RE: The Wanton Seed
From: Richie


I'll go ahead and order a book on Monday, I'll email my contact info,