Week 44 – When Jones’ Ale was new

Here’s another song from the Copper Family repertoire. I think I must have learned it from the recording of Bob and Ron Copper on the LP Jack of All Trades,  Volume 3 in the Caedmon / Topic series The Folk Songs of Britain (where it is titled ‘The Jovial Tradesman’).

The words and tune are  printed in Bob’s book A Song for Every Season.

There was a thread on the fRoots forum a few weeks back in which board members suggested songs which, when you hear them being sung by a floor singer at a folk club, make your heart sink. I wrote at the time that, in most cases, the songs themselves were relatively blameless, but suffered from the rather lacklustre way in which they were often performed.

In any case, there were several songs on the fRoots blacklist which will appear here in due course, this being the first (I won’t count ‘The Wild Rover’ as the version I sing is so different from the normal one we all know and… er… )

I’ve set up a new tag in anticipation.

As far as I’m concerned, this is a joy to sing. And what might appear on the page as a somewhat lumpen 6/8 tune actually lends itself to all sorts of rhythmic and melodic subtlety.

Also, I do love singing the line “oh Lord, how his hammer and tongs did rattle”.

When Jones’ Ale was new

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