Music

The Leaves of Life (Seven Virgins)

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doon we sung

We sung this down a 350 ft well, in the Milburys pub, just before Winchester.

The reverb was superb, if a little much. It is pure analogue f/x.

It is a great Easter song, and was recorded by May Bradley in Shropshire, a Gypsy lady who sings in a unique and beautiful style.

A less echo-drenched version of the song appears on our album.

Here be lyrics:

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Fare thee well, my lovely Nancy

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Nancy, i'm off...

We recorded this on our little gizmo while on the edge of the highest hill in Hampshire. We could not find anywhere to camp on such a steep gradient, and were walking up and down a footpath trying to peer down the slope for flatlands.

And then we realized that the footpath on which we stood was flat, and wide enough, and a perfectly suitable place to kip. So we did.

We could smell the sea, and hear Skylarks when we woke. We were accompanied by Ayla and her mother Annette, for whom it was an intense pleasure to sing.

The fire you can hear in the background was not a forest confalgration, but a safe little cooking fire all lifted from the ground on damp logs. It’s ok.

Here are the lyrics:

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Supper Songs

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We recorded this selection of songs in the summer of 2008, the evening before Ed headed off overland to Mongolia. It was an all night, fairly inebriated affair, with our good friend Shlauff engineering.  Ed managed to leave in time the next morning, and we had a little CD to trumpet ourselves with.

To hear the recordings, please do click for more.

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Turtle Dove

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coo

While near the Sustainability Centre, Ayla’s ma, Annette, taught us this classic little song:

We found it a beautiful and compellingly catchy one, which we’re trying to learn as a pair.

Here are lyrics:

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Drunken Sailor (what’ll we do?)

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the drunken sailor/tibetan monk/festy decorator

This is the great classic folk song, the unifying corker that everyone can join to sing.

We tried to sing it here with unusual gentility and emotional resonance…but it kept slipping back it uproar.

Here is another more raucous version, recorded Christmas 2010:

This is univerasl culture stuff. Try it. Open up the song in the pub one night, with guts and gusto, and you will find a heightened time is had by all.

Here are the lyrics:

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Where we’ve sung so far…

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Curiosity got the best of my idle moments, and a list was made, of where we have so far sung on this particular journey.

If you want to know where, and how often, we are singing, read on reader…

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Susi Ro and Ayla

We met Susie Ro and Ayla in Falmouth, where they were sharing a bed in their chilly van, next to a cottage, above the international dock.

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Ed had spotted them as they drove through town in their van, and had run after them, as he recognized them from Small World Festival. But they out-sped his best pace.


In Penzance, a few weeks later, we met a girl called Daisy, who sang a song about magpies, that was most excellent.  She knew the girls, got us their number, and we arranged to meet at a gig in Falmouth, a few days later.

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The CD Album

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This winter we stayed at home and made an album.

It is a selection of seventeen songs we like to sing, sixteen traditional and one of our own.

It is available for download NOW, from  HERE at the Pondlife Studios website, a brilliant indepenent  music resource.

The CD proper is in the process of designing and printing. It has some stunning artwork by Shelley Mould,  tales of the songs and their histories. If you would like a copy LET US KNOW and we will contact you when the record arrives.

Here is a sample track from the album called Spenser the Rover:

We’ve been sorting the printing and editing while being on the road, so for  those waiting for copies to arrive, we won’t be long now.

The Folk Theory

‘Folk’ can often seem a dirty word. It is, in certain wide circles, a joke with a punchline of beards and sandals. But these circles inevitably buy into their own silly musical preferences, and that’s fine.

People use the word ‘folk’ to point out things that they both identify with, and don’t. ‘Folk’ means the common culture of all people, but not me. I’m distinct. I’m modern.

Our understanding is that all music is ‘folk’, is rooted in the musical traditions that came before. Even music that apparently rebels, that hopes to sound different and move away from earlier styles, is being directly influenced by old music. The old is always the point of departure for the new.

long-beardFolk is everyone, is all people. Our music, our culture, comes from people, who all have more in common than they are distinct. Indeed, despite (or due to) this obvious fact, that national cultural traditions belong to, and form, their home-landscape, ‘folk’ values have been used as a weapon to encourage barriers and war. Nazi Germany famously mass-published its acceptable canon of national song, with lyrics designed to glorify Nazi values, and with rousing tunes to inspire valour and triumph. But this is normal human power games. Ever since the printing press was made, ballads of dubious anonymity have been published and circulated, in the hope of tricking people, by music, to accept a lie. Various kings, governments, and toothpastes have sought to convey their message with the help of a good tune and a well-written lyric. This seems to be what ‘folk’ do.

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Ye Wiles

This was the band with which Ed and Ginger first went funny.

Deservingly popular on the UK ska scene, their live performances were legendary, with the audience dripping off the ceiling in tumults of moshing mayhem.

They are no longer playing together, but are always contemplating a reunion tour, sometime soon, perhaps tomorrow…

They released a few Eps, and one album, called ‘Smoothing Away the Horrors of Indigestion.”

Here is music:

 

ye

www.myspace.com/yewileshome