Week 21 – A Wager

Gosh – a Child Ballad! The first I’ve posted here, I think. I don’t set much store by Child Ballads – by which I mean that, just because a song was on the good professor’s list, I don’t regard it as in any way special, or more noble, or more important than other songs from the tradition.

This one is from George Maynard, learned from his Topic LP Ye Subjects of England. Mind you, I already knew the song, before I heard George sing it, from the Tim Hart & Maddy Prior LP Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 1; which – having originally been attracted to traditional music by Steeleye – was one of the very first folk albums I bought. Listened to it again recently, in fact, expecting it to sound rather dated. And was pleasantly surprised to find that I still found it a really good listen, with lots of great songs performed in simple but effective arrangements. Although I’m not able to enjoy Tim Hart’s singing as much as I used to, since I read a Folk Roots article where he confessed that he’d put on that ultra folky voice because he thought his natural (public school educated) voice wouldn’t suit the songs.

You can read more about this song, and other versions of Child 43, ‘The Broomfield Hill’, at www.informatik.uni-hamburg.de/~zierke/lloyd/songs/thebroomfieldhill.html

A Wager

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