Posts tagged ‘Percy Ling’

February 19, 2016

Week 235 – The Lobster

Percy Ling - photo by Doc Rowe

Percy Ling – photo by Doc Rowe

I received a comment recently on a post from October 2011, from the great granddaughter of the song’s source, the Suffolk singer Percy Ling. That reminded me that I know another of Percy’s songs, learned like ‘Underneath your apron’ from the Topic LP Singing Traditions of a Suffolk Family.

This has the potential to be easily the rudest song on this blog but, Percy being a man of great taste and discernment, he manages to avoid using any offensive words. Which is more than can be said for the seventeenth century version found in Bishop Percy’s Folio (c 1625-40), and quoted in full in this Musical Traditions article by Steve Gardham.

I think it’s also worth noting that Percy Ling provides, in verse 2, one of the great non-rhyming couplets in folk song – one of those cases where the singer seems to go out of their way to avoid an obvious rhyme. And, needless to say, I do exactly the same.

The Lobster

October 30, 2011

Week 10 – Underneath your apron

Percy Ling - image from Musical Traditions

Percy Ling - image from Musical Traditions

The most famous singing pub in England was undoubtedly the Ship at Blaxhall  in Suffolk – you can see 1950s footage of a 1950s singing session at the pub on the recently released Here’s a Health to the Barley Mow DVD and read about it in Keith Summers’ article Sing, Say or Pay! A Survey of East Suffolk Country Music now available on the Musical Traditions website. Various members of the Ling Family were at the centre of the musical community which gathered at the Ship. Three members of that family, Percy, Geoff and George, were featured on the Topic LP The Ling Family: Singing Traditions of a Suffolk Family and I learned ‘Underneath your apron’ from the recording of Percy Ling on that LP.

There’s a brilliant rendition of this song by John Kirkpatrick, on the Umps and Dumps album The Moon’s in a Fit. My version differs not only in the absence of virtuoso vibraslap – I sing the first verse to a different tune from all the others. I have been back to check with Percy Ling’s version (for the first time in years, I must admit) and, although I don’t guarantee I sing exactly the same notes as Percy, I definitely got this feature from him.

Underneath your apron