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Simply English

Jolly Rogues Together (MC) (1999)


All tunes arranged by Simply English except Bring Us In Good Ale, melody Andy.

Simply English is Andy Rouse and Fenyvesi Béla
cover - William Hogarth: Beer Street
design - András Bodó
Nortonbury Recordings 1999, NORT MC002

  1. In Good King Arthur's Day (trad. arr. Simply English) 2:07
  2. The Green Bed (trad. arr. Simply English) 3:41
  3. Searching For Lambs (trad. arr. Simply English) 2:44
  4. Lilliburlero (trad. arr. Simply English) 2:07
  5. Put In All (trad. arr. Simply English) 2:53
  6. The Wanton Trick (trad. arr. Simply English) 3:50
  7. Bring Us In Good Ale (trad., melody Rouse) 2:49
  8. Ye Mar'ners All (trad. arr. Simply English) 3:35
  9. Ring Of Bells & Bilberry Town (trad. arr. Simply English) 3:53
  10. Stanley Market (trad. arr. Simply English) 2:37
  11. Byker Hill (trad. arr. Simply English) 3:10
  12. So Early In The Morning (trad. arr. Simply English) 1:16
  13. The Cruel Mother (trad. arr. Simply English) 7:18
  14. The Lock-Out (trad. arr. Simply English) 0:55
  15. Billy Boy (trad. arr. Simply English) 4:48

Andy: vocals, Appalachian dulcimer
Béla: guitar, recorders, tamborica, vocals
Thanks to Tibor Bodor (Teskó) (accordion, Celtic harp) and Tamás Rozs (mouth music) on Ring Of Bells & Bilberry Town.

Simply English's second recording is a mixture of songs from a variety of popular sources.

I think I learnt In Good King Arthur's Day at school. The Green Bed is one of many 19th-century broadside ballads telling of how dock-land landladies attempted to cheat their sailor clientele. Searching For Lambs, one of England's most beautiful pastoral courtship songs, can still be heard sung at folk weddings. The nonsense word Lilliburlero was concocted by the English in the late 17th century to imitate the - to them - incomprehensible Irish language. Here it is the refrain to a classic tale of how the Devil takes a farmer's wife down to Hell and then brings her back again at the request of all the little devils. Put in All and The Wanton Trick are both from the ballad writer and urban entertainer Thomas D'Urfey's "Pills To Purge Melancholy" (1698), while Bring Us In Good Ale, a song in praise of ale which at the same time provides us with a remarkable insight into the medieval diet, is a 15th century lyric to which I composed a tune while sitting on an aeroplane on the way to a folksong conference. Ye Mar'ners All, in which the archetypal landlord beckons seafaring men into his hostelry, I first heard sung by John Goodluck more than twenty years ago. Bilberry Town is a folk song from the South-West of England which we have souped up a bit with the help of Teskó, who also plays the introductory Morris dance tune Ring Of Bells, and Tamás.

Stanley Market is a delightful description of a fair in the north of England, with all its traders and quack doctors. Byker Hill, also from the north, is a quizzical view of life from a miner, who here is conscious of the social betterment he has enjoyed since entering 'the pit'. I don't generally sing shanties, but I have known So Early in the Morning since I was a young teenager, and the studio opportunity of making myself sound like a pubful of drinkers was irresistible. The Cruel Mother is a stark contrast, and tells the tale of a noble lady who, having become pregnant by a farmer's son, induces an early birth and mur-ders and buries her baby, whom she conse-quently meets on her way home and who curses her for her sin. I am grateful to Roy Palmer for The Lock-Out, a gem from an early booklet of protest songs to be sung at agricultural labourers' meetings. The tune is "Uncle Ned", an American Negro song, the earliest date for it being 1847. Béla produced the computer wizardry. Billy Boy is a patter song in which a mother grills her son on the suitability of his intended... with unexpected results! In my younger (and thinner) days I could sing all the verses in one breath!




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