AS18: Master Kilby

In the heat of the day when the sun shines so freely
I met Master Kilby so fine and so gay.

What’s that about? Well, probably not all that much. Cecil Sharp, who collected this the only time it was collected, suggested that it was a fragment of a music-hall song (it certainly ends rather abruptly) and that the titular character was originally Master Cupid. That would work.

Like most people, I got this from Nic Jones’s recording, which is almost completely unlike this one. (I’ve gone back to the original lyrics, though.) Both the tune – which may be a fragment – and the lyrics – which definitely are – give this song an unresolved, yearning quality. At the end of the song the lovely Nancy (it’s her again) is asking for more and so are we – it evokes the insatiable, besotted quality of first love (or lust) very effectively.

Accompaniment is mostly melodica, but I would like to draw attention to the vocal drone employed on this track. I think it works rather well.

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Filed under folk song, lovely Nancy, Nic Jones, traditional

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