Thursday, August 19, 2010

Memoirs of a Folk Song Collector (continued)

Miss de Hyde is making her first visit to Squire Charlesworth’s farm.

The Squire pressed me to come up to the farmhouse, as the labourers would still be at their work. In the house’s large kitchen, I encountered a striking young man, bent over the range. Digby Charlesworth was the squire’s son, and he greeted me with a shy and charming smile, and waved me to a chair at the large oak table. Over a cup of tea, the Squire and Digby regaled me with tales of their rustic farm life. I ventured that the house must be quite old. The Squire suggested to Digby that he show me over the house’s more antiquarian features, but excused himself as having to attend to some livestock. “We have a priest-hole”, said Digby, “would you like to see it?”. I murmured that I would be most intrigued, and he led me upstairs to a large bedroom. He brought me to a corner, where stood a wardrobe. He flung back the doors, and, reaching inside, pulled the rear panelling of the wardrobe to one side. Digby indicated a dim cavity: “It’s said that two could hide in here at once”, and taking my hand, led me into the priest-hole, which proved indeed to accommodate two, albeit rather snugly.

After some three-quarters of an hour, I smoothed my dress down, re-arranged my hair and went out into the farmyard. Digby remained behind, preferring to doze on the four-poster bed, clutching some piece of fabric in his hand. In the yard, the Squire’s retriever came and nuzzled me again, and after ten minutes I pushed it away, feeling slightly flushed, and remembered where I’d left my britches. I quickly dashed back to the room with the priest-hole to find Digby rousing himself. “I think these are yours”, he said, showing again that shy, charming smile. Nearly thirty more minutes passed, before I was able to extricate myself and go in search of the farm workers, reminding myself of the object of my visit. “You seem quite at ease, my dear”, said the Squire, startling me so, that I ceased my blithe humming in surprise. “My state of relaxation is brought about by your quiet rural circumstance, sir. Would it be opportune for me to accost your workers, and enquire of their bucolic music?”. “Most opportune, my dear, they have but a few moments ago laid down their implements and begun to break their fast. But, I pray you, do not detain them past their hour, for the hours after noon seems to pass more swiftly, and nightfall hastens on, and they must provoke themselves to their labours. You’ll find them even now behind the large hayrick yonder”. Promising in accordance, I ventured forth to the hayrick, where I found three or four yokels in smocks and gaiters, sitting on the ground near the rick, with bread, cheese and beer set out on a chequered cloth. As I approached, they started to their feet, touching their forelocks, or caps, but I enjoined them to refrain from such ceremony. As I explained the purpose of my interrupting their repast, they made a space for me on a mound of hay, which I found most comfortable. They pressed me to share their humble meal, of which I took but little on account of the noonday heat, but gladly quenched my thirst, of which I had been up to then unaware, on their cider and beer, which eased my discomfort and lightened my mood, and theirs. These young men with their ruddy faces and strong, muscular arms, with the sun reflecting in their bright, blue eyes became quite jocular, and suggested we play a game common in those rural parts, which they called ‘hunt the vole’. I found the rules to say the least confusing, and I cannot remember clearly what transpired, but at the end, they declared that each of us had won, and that it had been a most satisfactory game. As they withdrew to their appointed tasks in the fields, I stretched out on the hay and fell blissfully asleep, the sun warm on my thighs, my having lost my britches on account of one of the game’s quaint, but inexplicable, rules.

(to be continued)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Books And Book People.

Between 16th and 21st of August Waterstone's Book Shop (go to Chichester and ask) are hosting a Local Author week style happening.

'Of what possible interest can this be to us?' I hear you say in a slightly aggressive and maybe even condescending  tone.
Well, non other than City Folk Club regular and top hot chick Phine, or Josephine Chia as she's billed in the bumf, will have the cruel spot-light of public scrutiny directed toward her.

Phine, author of such indispensable tomes as 'Your Body', 'Body And Mind Sculpture' & Rasa Singapura/Taste of Singapore will be pleased to flog you a book and, I suspect, will probably sign it while you ask her all sorts of personal questions that are really non of your business.

Be there or be oblong.

A Folk Song A Day.

Word reaches the City Folk Club Hot Desk (from Angela) That John Boden (out of Bellowhead) has set himself the task of recording a folk song a day and posting them on the electric magic television interwebs.
Follow this link:
A Folk Song A Day.

He's been at it since Midsummer's day so there's already plenty to wrap your ears round.

Being The 6th of August 2010

If I Had Possession Over Judgment Day: David
People Are Crazy: Les
Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor: Adrian
The Glory Of Love: Berry
Jesus Saviour Pilot Me: Jane/David
The Joys Of Love: Margaret
A Song Of Innocence And Experience: Tony
Silky: Josie
Out Of The Blue: Mick
Body And Soul: George
Awake, Awake: Angela
Lonesome Road Blues: Roland
Micheal In The Garden: Paul
Peggy And The Soldier: Anne/Dean
Come Here: David
Bound For South Australia: Les
Montana: Adrian
In Dreams: Berry
A Poor Wayfaring Stranger: Jane/David
Hush Little Baby: Josie
O'Carrolan's Draft: Mick
As Time Goes By: George/Paul
The Birds Were Singing For You: Angela
I'm On My Way To Cannan's Land: Roland/Angela
The Sisters Of Mercy: Paul
Two Butchers/Streets Of Forbes: Anne/Dean

Being The 30th of July 2010

Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens: David
Worried Man/Cumberland Gap: Ken/Berry
Genesis Hall: Mike
Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor: Roger
Angi: Mick
Still I Have Love: Jenny
The Cuckoo: Bill 1:1
The Patriot Game: Lynda
One Night With You: Berry
Father And Son: Paul
This Small Stone: David
Sloop John B./Down By The Riverside: Ken/Berry
Sporting Life Blues: Mike P.
Dimming Of The Day: Roger
You Are My Sunshine: Roland
Weeping Willow Tree: Angela
Tobin's Jig/Lark In The Morning: Mick/Mike P.
Sally Gardens: Jenny
Sweeny Todd The Barber: Bill 1:1
The Wind That Shook The Barley: Lynda
Goodbye: Paul
I'm Going Home: David

Being The 23rd Of July 2010.

Fallen Moon: David
A Whiter Shade Of Pale: Brenda/Berry
I Walk The Line: Paul
Have A Drink On Me/Lost John: Ken/Berry
Oh Lord It's Hard To Be Humble: Ray
Seeds Of Love: Mave
The Unquiet Grave: Lynda
Here's The Tender Coming: Jane
Green, Green Fields: Phine
Uncle Dan McCann: Mick/Marion
Air On A G String: Mick
She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain: Lorna
Once I Had A True Love: Margaret
John Barleycorn: Colin
This Small Stone: David
A Picture Of You: Paul
I Wonder If Anyone Will Marry Me Now?: Mave
Crazy: Brenda/Berry
3 Score and Ten: Lynda
Worried Man/Cumberland Gap: Ken/Berry
She Cut Off Her Long Silken Hair: Jane/David
Down By The Dockyard Wall: Ray
Silver Threads and Golden Needles: Phine
Hardtimes: Marion/Mick
Bretton Gavote: Mick
Log Cabin: Lorna
4 Strong Winds: Margaret
Whip Jamboree: Colin

Being The 16th of July 2010.

See Me Run: David
The Oggy Man: Colin
In A Fool's Paradise: Berry
I will Love her till I die : Ged
The Carnival Is Over: Les
The Night Is Young: Eddie
Norwegian Wood: Mick/Paul
The Nights Are Long: Mike
Follow The Heron Home: Cath
Pure Heart: Bill 1:3
I'll Do My Crying In The Rain: Phine
Feel Free: Tony
Lover's Farewell: Angela
Row Bullys Row: Roland
The Cliffs of Duneen: Bill 1:1
She's Like A Swallow: Lucy
Crying, Waiting Hoping: Paul
You & Me: David
? : Colin
I'll Never Find Another You: Berry
Fathom The Bowl: Ged
This Land Is Your Land: Les
Thousands Or More: Eddie
Sad Ending: Mick
Big Boots: Mike P.
Billy Reilly: Cath
The Shirt: Tony
Old Virginny: Angela/Roland
Tiddle Toddle: Bill 1:1
Who Knows Where The Time Goes: Lucy
For No One: Paul//Mick
Beauty Of Cashmire: Ged