All three of this week’s songs have lost a certain something over the years, to put it as kindly as possible; it’s not always clear what’s going on, or even whether the ubiquitous Nancy is a person or a place. But they’re great songs.
The streams of lovely Nancy was learnt from John Kelly’s recording, although I went back to broadside versions to get a set of words I was happy with; I was particularly keen to disentangle it from
Come all you little streamers, which I think is a completely separate song that just happens to have one identical verse. It’s a bit of a mystery all round, not least because neither of them makes any sense at all.
The banks of the Mossom, finally, is a more conventional song, or at least the remains of one. Nancy appears in this one as both a person and a place.