Week 43: Come down you bunch of roses, Anchor song, Roll down

We’re staying nautical this week, and featuring an original composition by Peter Bellamy as well as one of his settings of Kipling.

Come down you bunch of roses is the shanty which is now much better known as “Blood red roses”. Thanks to Gibb Schreffler for some excellent textual archaeology on this one. Sung in two-part harmony, accompanied by percussive domestic noise.

Anchor song is a two-minute barrage of sailor-speak from Kipling, very ably set to music by Bellamy. Not easy to understand – and not at all easy to learn – but surprisingly exhilarating.

Roll down is one of Bellamy’s chameleon-like impressions of traditional song from the Transports, this one in the form of a shanty. Voices only, but lots of them.

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