Archive for November 1st, 2013

November 1, 2013

Week 115 – The Game of All Fours

I learned this from octogenarian Gypsy singer Tom Willett, via the Topic LP The Roaming Journeyman.

That album – Topic’s very first release of traditional English singers – is a bit of a classic. When  Mike Yates, Keith Chandler and various other writers on traditional music nominated Ten Records that Changed my Life for Musical Traditions, this record was, I think, the most frequently selected. It’s been available as a download for a couple of years now, but I was very excited to learn last week that Rod Stradling has now released a 2 CD set of Willett family recordings, Adieu to Old England on his Musical Traditions label. This contains a number of previously unreleased recordings of Tom Willett, and his sons Ben and Chris. I don’t have my copy yet, but there’s one on its way to me.

In case you fancy recreating this song in the comfort of your own home, you can …er… find the rules of All Fours at http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Hoyle’s_Games_Modernized/All_Fours.

The Cards - printed by Pitts, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, between 1819 and 1844. From Ballads Online.

The Cards – printed by Pitts, Great St. Andrew Street, Seven Dials, between 1819 and 1844. From Ballads Online.

The Game of All Fours