52 Folk Songs: Orange

Just in time for Christmas, the entirely non-festive Orange album is now complete and available for download. Here’s the link, and here’s what you get.

1 Puck’s song (Kipling / Bellamy) (2:38)
2 Sir Richard’s song (Kipling / Bellamy) (5:13)
3 Frankie’s Trade (Kipling / Bellamy) (2:51)
4 Anchor song (Kipling / Bellamy) (1:59)
5 Follow me ’ome (Kipling / Bellamy) (4:42)
6 Ford o’ Kabul River (Kipling / Bellamy) (5:59)
7 Poor honest men (Kipling / Bellamy) (3:09)
8 Big steamers (Kipling / Bellamy) (1:48)
9 Roll down to Rio (Kipling / Bellamy) (2:14)
10 Jusqu’à la ceinture (Seeger / Allwright) (album-only download) (3:59)
11 Queen Jane (Child 170) (3:26)
12 Earl Richard (Child 68) (6:07)
13 Rounding the Horn (3:13)
14 Roll down (Peter Bellamy) (3:38)
15 Dogger Bank (2:11)
16 Come down you bunch of roses (2:45)
17 The trees they do grow high (3:16)
18 Four Angels (Kipling / Simpson) (album-only download) (4:19)

All songs traditional except where stated (which is to say, mostly not traditional at all). Accompanied on English concertina, flute, recorder, C whistle, zither, drums, improvised percussion and miscellaneous drones.

This is the album where I gave free rein to my interest in the Kipling / Bellamy oeuvre; it’s not traditional (apart from some of the tunes) but it’s good stuff.

Puck’s song is Kipling’s hymn to deep history; deep English history specifically. Features C whistle, English concertina and bees.
Sir Richard’s song tells the story of a Norman nobleman falling in love with an English woman and hence with England. Zither and flute.
Frankie’s Trade is an unaccompanied belter. Guaranteed to arouse strong feelings on the subject of Francis Drake.
Anchor song, also unaccompanied, is two minutes of rapid-fire nautical arcana.
Follow me ’ome and Ford o’ Kabul River are two songs about a man losing another man in wartime; a friendship “passing the love of women”, as one of them quotes. Accompanied with concertina and with splashy trudges.
Poor honest men is an exercise in pushing irony until it snaps, accompanied on concertina.
Big steamers both is and isn’t a children’s song (listen to the last verse).
Roll down to Rio, the last of this album’s Kipling / Bellamys, definitely is a children’s song, but it’s rather lovely with it. Concertina again.
Jusqu’à la ceinture (an album-only extra) is Graeme Allwright’s translation (and adaptation) of a song by Pete Seeger, accompanied on concertina and drums. There’s a thematic connection with Ford o’ Kabul River.
Queen Jane (Child 170) is a very old and very sad song, accompanied on flute and recorder.
Earl Richard (Child 68) is one of my favourite songs, pieced together from multiple versions and accompanied sporadically. More information here.
Rounding the Horn, also known as the Gallant Frigate Amphitrite, is a fairly uneventful maritime song. Sung here in an ‘ensemble’ arrangement (featuring concertina and drums), after Jo Freya.
Roll down, by Peter Bellamy, is a shanty but not a traditional shanty.
Dogger Bank isn’t a shanty, just a lot of nautical nonsense.
Come down you bunch of roses is a traditional shanty, although it’s not the shanty most of us think it is (involving blood-red roses). More on this here.
The trees they do grow high is one of my favourite songs in the world; I hope I did it justice.
Four Angels, another album-only track, is a Kipling poem set to music by Martin Simpson. Sung here with live concertina accompaniment – my first song recorded like this.

Like the other downloads in the series, the Orange album comes with a PDF file containing full lyrics, notes and artwork. And, like the other downloads, it has a minimum price set at a symbolic 52p – although you’re very welcome to pay more!

Download 52 Folk Songs – Orange.

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