I came up with this tune a couple of years ago. I’d learnt the Outlandish Knight from Nic Jones’s first album (see below), but I wanted to take something with a refrain to the local singaround. A bit of research online turned up about fifteen different tunes for the song, one of which I modified to produce this one. The tune I settled on was in D mixolydian (flattened seventh). I’m particularly fond of dance tunes that flatten and re-sharpen the seventh in different parts of the tune (Northumbrian tunes like Elsie Marley do this a lot); it makes me think of an unpredictably creaky step on a staircase. So for this tune I created a refrain by repeating the last line of the verse and sharping the seventh in the repeat (“And there he would marry her”). I also put a re-sharped seventh into the verse (“he promised to take her to those northern lands”), but I don’t always remember to sing this one.
Of course, the great thing about singing at singarounds, and singing songs with refrains in particular, is that people join in; sometimes they even join in with harmonies. The harmonies on this one are my tribute to the singers at the Beech who have made so much more out of so many songs – this one included.