AS33: High Germanie

This is more or less the Pentangle version of this song, complete with appropriately martial drumming and whistle. Thematically it’s quite similar to the Lowlands of Holland – colliding love and war by the use of conscription and imprecise geography – but with a very different mood. The unpromising situation of being called up to fight and finding your girlfriend’s pregnant sounds quite idyllic around the middle of the song, although reality returns towards the end.

Accompaniment: drums, whistle, concertina drone. My voice pitched this in B minor, which is OK for a D whistle in terms of accidentals but lousy in terms of range; the whistle break was actually recorded in E minor and pitch-shifted digitally.

I found the pace of this one a bit brisk, not so much for hitting the notes as for getting the expression in. Listening afterwards to a recording of Phoebe Smith – from whom it was collected – I found that she took it at about half the speed; it makes it a very different song. Another time.

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Filed under folk song, traditional

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