In last week’s post I neglected to mention the duo Tundra, Doug and Sue Hudson, who were a big local attraction in the late seventies / early eighties. ‘Hopping down in Kent’ was a key song in their repertoire, and this was another of theirs. In fact, as ‘The Jovial Man of Kent’, it was the opening track on their 1978 (debut?) LP A Kentish Garland.
I must have learned it at the time, although I’m not sure it’s ever been one I’ve “sung out”. Reminded of it when thinking about hopping last week, I was surprised to find that I could still remember the first two verses; and a quick look at the album sleeve (gatefold, natch) was enough to restore the missing verse to my memory.
The sleevenotes tell us that “attributed to Charles Dibdin the Elder, it first appeared in Chappell’s Old English Ditties“. Doug and Sue used a slightly different version of the tune to that printed in Chappell, and it’s all the better for it.
When Autumn Skies Were Blue