I was out for a walk recently when, suddenly, a great flock of birds rose up from an adjoining field, circled for a bit, then flew away. Which immediately brought this song to mind.
It’s the last song in Bob Copper’s 1973 book Songs and Southern Breezes, which of course chronicles Bob’s time as a folk song collector, including some years spent away from his beloved Sussex, running a pub at Cheriton in Hampshire. I can’t recall if the song is mentioned in the text of the book as having been collected from a specific singer; maybe it was just universally known in those parts.
But funnily enough, in case you thought this was a quintessentially Hampshire song, the Full English has one other version – collected from Albert Bromley of Shotley in Suffolk, and entitled ‘I wish I were back home in Suffolk’. I suppose those pesky blackbirds get all over the country…
If I were back ‘ome in ‘Ampshire