Loud and Proud



Loud and Proud: Ten Years of Morris Folk Choir. 
An album recorded to mark our 10th Anniversary.
Digital album and CD available from Bandcamp.

Track listing
(click titles for more information on each song, including lyrics where permissible - more information is still being added, do pop back for more!)

1. Ho Ro Haradala/Yenamanoa (Traditional puirt-a-beul songs, arr. Michelle Woolfenden after Dolores Keane and John Faulkner)
2. Three Little Babes / Motherless Child (Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
3. Raggle Taggle Gypsy (Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
4. King of Birds (Karine Polwart, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
5. Sumer is Icumen In (Medieval English Round, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
6. Roseville Fair (Bill Staines, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
7. Raise Your Voice (Jess Arrowsmith, arr. Melrose Quartet/Michelle Woolfenden (with additional verse by Ginny Page))
8. St Giles Bowl (Tim Jones, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
9. Mingulay Boat Song (Roberton/Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
10. Haul Away Joe (Traditional Sea Shanty, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
11. Eli the Barrow Boy (Colin Meloy, arr The Decemberists/Michelle Woolfenden)
12. Paddy on the Railway (Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
13. This Old Hammer/Cluck Old Hen (Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
14. Tar Barrel in Dale (George Unthank, arr. The Unthanks/Michelle Woolfenden)
15. Wren in the Furze (Traditional, arr. The Chieftains/Michelle Woolfenden)
Bonus Track: My Son John (Traditional British shanty, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)

CD package designed by Jen Charon; Singing birds artwork by Elsbeth van der Poel; Choir photo by Rosie Barnes Sleeve notes by Fiona Clark.



Song Information & Lyrics
(Quoted notes from CD booklet compiled by Fiona Clark)

1. Ho Ro Haradala/Yenamanoa
(Traditional puirt-a-beul songs, arr. Michelle Woolfenden after Dolores Keane and John Faulkner)
'This wonderful rhythmic piece combines non-Gaelic renderings of three different puirt-a-beul (aka mouth music) pieces, which were used in place of instruments when bagpipes were banned in a heavy-handed act of cultural repression. Allegedly.'
---
Ho Ro Haradala
Ho Ro Haradala
Ho Ro Haradala
Hindye Handan

dance to your shadow
when it's good to be livin' lad
dance to your shadow
when there's nothin better near ye

hin hin haradala
hin hin haradala
hin hin haradala
hin haradala ho

there are tunes in the river
otter pools in the river
water pools in the river
and the river calls him

Yenamanoa manoa
Yenamanoa manoa
Yenamanoa manoa
boanama fullawitha

Dadanasha adusha
Dadanasha adusha
---

Here is a Youtube clip of Dolores Keane and John Faulkner performing their version of this with The Chieftains. The Haradala/Dance to your shadow sections are from a song collected and anglicised in Marjory Kennedy-Fraser's Songs Of The Hebrides Vol III, and the Tunes in the river section from a song collected and printed around the same time (according to this thread on the Mudcat folk lyrics and knowledge site). The Yenamanoa section is based on the puirt a beul called Fionnghuala; here are the Gaelic words for that, with an English translation, and there are several old field recordings on the excellent Tobar an Dualchais site. For more on puirt a beul, here are articles on Wikipedia and Silicon Glen (the latter written by Craig Cockburn, a former member of our choir).


2. Three Little Babes / Motherless Child
(Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'Three Little Babes tells of a mother whose grief at the loss of her children is so strong that she summons them back to earth, albeit briefly and not wholly successfully. There was a belief that mourning should not extend beyond "twelve months and a day" and that tears cried for the dead would wet their winding sheet (the material in which the body was wrapped). Motherless Child is a traditional Negro spiritual, sung by US slaves. Both parents and children were considered as "property", and they were commonly sold separately.'
---
There was a knight, and lady bright
And three little babes had she.
She sent them away, to a far country,
To learn their grammerie.

They hadn't been gone but a very short time,
About three months and a day,
'Til the lark call o'er this whole wide world
And taken those babes away.

It was on a dark, cold Christmas night
When everything was still
She saw her three little babes come running,
Come running down the hill.

She spread a table of bread and wine,
So they might drink and eat;
She spread a bed of winding sheet,
That they might sleep so sweet.

"Take it off, take it off," cried the oldest one;
"take it off, take it off," said she,
"I can't stay here, in this wide wicked world
When there's a better one for me."

"Cold clods, cold clods, down by my side,
Cold clods, down at my feet -
The tears my dear mother shed for me
Would wet my winding sheet."

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child,
A long way from home.
---


3. Raggle Taggle Gypsy
(Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'A Scottish/English Border Ballad that dates back to at least 1740. It's said to tell of an affair between Scottish gypsy Johnny Faa and Lady Jane or Jean Hamilton, wife of the 6th Earl of Cassilis. Versions of the song with a variety of titles - such as Black Jack Davey, Seven Yellow Gypsies, and Gypsy Davy - have been sung and recorded by many well-known bands and performers, including Steeleye Span, Shirley Collins, Bob Dylan, Nic Jones, the Waterboys and the White Stripes.'
---
There were three auld gypsies came to our hall door.
They came brave and boldly-o.
And one sang high and the other sang low
And the other sang a raggle taggle gypsy-o.

It was upstairs, downstairs the lady went,
Put on her suit of leather-o,
And it was the cry all around her door;
"She's away with the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

It was late that night when the lord came home,
Enquiring for his lady-o,
And the servants said on ev'ry hand;
"She's away with the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"Then saddle for me my milk-white steed
Go and fetch my pony-o,
That I may ride and seek my bride,
Who's away with the raggle taggle gypsy-o

O he rode high and he rode low
He rode east and west also,
Until he came to a wide open field
It was there he espied his lady-o.

"What makes you leave your house and land?
What makes you leave your money-o?
What makes you leave your new wedded lord,
To go with the raggle taggle gypsy-o?”

"O, what care I for my house and my land?
What care I for money, O?
What care I for my new wedded lord?
I'm away with the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"It was there last night you'd a goose feather bed,
With the sheet turned down so bravely-o!
But tonight you lie in a cold open field
In the arms of the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"O, what care I for a goose−feather bed,
With the sheet turned down so bravely, O?
For tonight I'll sleep in a cold open field,
I'm away with the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"For you rode east when I rode west,
You rode high and I rode low.
I'd rather have a kiss of my gypsy's lips
Than all of your cash and money-o"

There were three auld gypsies came to our hall door.
They came brave and boldly-o.
And one sang high and the other sang low
And the other sang a raggle taggle gypsy-o.

She’s away with the raggle taggle gypsy-o!
---
The always-reliable Mainly Norfolk site has a good page of information, links, videos and lyrics on this song and its variants. If you want to delve deep into email discussion and information threads, there is much on this song and its variants in the Mudcat folk lyric and knowledge site. There is also a Wikipedia page.


4. King of Birds
(Karine Polwart, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'The song appears on Karine Polwart's album Traces. The sleeve notes say "This comes with a big nod of thanks and respect to the Occupy Movement, especially at St Paul's in London, for ringing a bell that needs ringing. The king of birds in mythology is The Wren, a motif for Sir Christopher. The song tracks the symbolism of St Paul's cathedral set against the backdrop of The Great Fire of London, the Blitz and The City of today". Some of us had the pleasure of seeing Karine Polwart singing on the Cutty Sark a few years ago. It was a solo show and she hadn't planned to perform King of Birds, but Mandy from the choir persuaded her that she should and that we'd fill in the harmonies.'

(Our album is dedicated to Mandy Eldridge (1967-2017), our friend and comrade in singing.)

The lyrics for King of Birds (and Karine's original version of the song) can be found here on her own website.


5. Sumer is Icumen In
(Medieval English Round, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'This song dates from the mid-13th century and is possibly the oldest example of counterpoint and one of the earliest known examples of English poetry. It celebrates the arrival of summer, with the cuckoo's song heralding the new season. The manuscript in which the song appears, Harley 978, also contains medical texts, recipes and a glossary of herbs - like a medieval Wikipedia. You may be familiar with the song from its inclusion in the film The Wicker Man. Or recognise it as the basis for the Bagpuss Mice Mending Song.'
---
Sumer is icumen in, lude sing cucu.
Groweth sede and bloweth mead and springs the wood anew.
Sing cucu.

Yow now bleteth after lamb, loweth after calve cu
Bullock starteth, buck now verteth, Merrye sing cucu.

Cucu, cucu, well singest thou cucu, nor swick tha naver now.
---


6. Roseville Fair
(Bill Staines, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'A song by Bill Staines about falling in love.'

The lyrics for Roseville Fair, and more information on the song, including a video of Bill Staines performing it himself, can be found on Mainly Norfolk.


7. Raise Your Voice
(Jess Arrowsmith, arr. Melrose Quartet/Michelle Woolfenden (with additional verse by Ginny Page))
'A Melrose Quartet song from their album Dominion. The sleeve notes dedicate this "For everybody who has ever been told to mime at the back of the choir, or finds singing in front of others mindblankingly terrifying". We feel it sums up Morris' ethos excellently, with many of us singing in front of others for the first time at our folk club (last Tuesday of every month apart from December - see website for details!).'

The lyrics for Raise Your Voice can be found here on Melrose Quartet's website. And here is an official Youtube video of Melrose Quartet singing it.

Our additional verse, written by Ginny:
Once there was a choir and it started small;
Now it's ten years later and we're in this hall.
In friendship and in song - loud and proud, wrong and strong.
So join us in our singing, one and all.


8. St Giles Bowl
(Tim Jones, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'Written by former Morris member Tim Jones - listen out for mentions of his favourite London pubs. St Giles in the Fields was the last church on the way to Tyburn's gallows, and the churchwardens paid for the condemned to have a final drink in the pub next door. This became known as the St Giles Bowl.'

St Giles Bowl is the title track on Tim Jones & The Dark Lanterns' debut album. The lyrics (and guitar chords) for St Giles Bowl can be found here on their website.


9. Mingulay Boat Song
(Roberton/Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'This was written in the 1930s by Sir Hugh Roberton, with a traditional Gaelic tune. The song reflects the emotional pull of a once populated but now deserted island, and the importance of the sea to island people. Mingulay is a very small island in the Outer Hebrides, abandoned by its Gaelic speaking population in 1912. The Minch is the area of sea which separates the Outer and the Inner Hebrides. It can be very rough, generating waves with white tops.'
---
Heel y'ho boys, let her go boys
Bring her head round into the weather
Heel y’ho boys let her go boys
Sailing homeward, to Mingulay!

What care we how white the Minch is?
What care we boys of windy weather
When we know that every inch is
Sailing homeward to Mingulay?

Wives are waiting on the pier heads
Gazing seaward from the heather.
Pull her head round and we’ll anchor
'Ere the sun sets on Mingulay.
---


10. Haul Away Joe
(Traditional Sea Shanty, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'Stan Kelly and A.L. Lloyd commented: "This was a favourite short-drag shanty, used almost exclusively for hauling aft the foresheet or sweating-up halyards to take in the slack - jobs that called for a short pull but a good 'un... the tune carries a whole anthology of verses, some decorous, others not".'
---
Now when I was a little lad,
and so me mother told me,
(way haul away, we'll haul away Joe)
That if I did not kiss the girls
me lips would grow all mouldy.
(way haul away, we'll haul away Joe)

Way haul away, we'll haul away together.
Away haul away, we'll haul away Joe.
Way haul away,  we'll haul for better weather.
Away haul away, we'll haul away Joe.

King Louis was the king of France
before the revolution.
And then he got his head chopped off:
it spoiled his constitution

Saint Patrick was a gentleman.
He came from decent people.
He built a church in Dublin town
and on it put a steeple.

Once I was in Ireland
a'digging turf and taties.
But now I'm on a Yankee ship
a'hauling on the braces.

Way haul away,
rock and roll me over
Way haul away,
well roll me in the clover.
---


11. Eli, the Barrow Boy
(Colin Meloy, arr The Decemberists/Michelle Woolfenden)
'Eli, The Barrow Boy was written by Colin Meloy, and features on The Decemberists' album Picaresque. It is the tragic tale of a poor barrow boy who drowns himself after the woman he loves dies in poverty. They are buried apart - she in a pine grove and he in a churchyard - and, having committed the mortal sin of suicide, Eli is compelled to push his barrow for eternity, crying out his wish that he'd been able to buy his love the fine clothes she deserved.'

Here is an official Youtube video of The Decemberists' own version of Eli, The Barrow Boy.


12. Paddy on the Railway
(Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'A song about Irish labourers working on the railway, from the 1860s or earlier and collected by Alan Lomax in 1938. Such navvies built canals as well as railways, and there are claims that Camden is home to four castles - Edinboro, Dublin, Windsor and Pembroke - to keep apart different national groups of such workers, to prevent them from fighting (although the dates of their construction suggest otherwise, sadly).'
---
In eighteen hundred and forty-one
My corduroy breeches I put on
My corduroy breeches I put on
To work upon the railway

Tiggery oo-ree oo-ree ay,
Tiggery oo-ree oo-ree ay
Tiggery oo-ree oo-ree ay,
working on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-two
From Hartlepool I moved to Crewe
Trying to earn a bob or two,
Working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-three
I broke me shovel across me knee
And went to work for the company
On the Leeds and Selby railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-four
I landed on the Liverpool shore
My belly was empty me hands were sore
From working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-five
I said my prayers to stay alive.
I was lucky I survived
Working on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty-six
I changed my trade from carrying bricks
I changed my trade from carrying bricks
To working on the railway

In eighteen hundred and forty-seven
Paddy was thinking of going to heaven
Paddy was thinking of going to heaven
And working on the railway.

In eighteen hundred and forty eight
I landed at St Peter's Gate.
St Peter said 'You're very late -
You must be from the railway!'
---


13. This Old Hammer/Cluck Old Hen
(Traditional, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
'A mash-up of a late-19th century Appalachian tune and song, "Cluck Old Hen", and a work song, "This Old Hammer". The latter references John Henry's efforts to compete with a new-fangled steam drill, to demonstrate that machines could not replace people (sound familiar?). John Henry managed to beat the drill, but died shortly afterwards (so don't try it at home).'
---
This Old Hammer rings with silver
But it won't kill me, won't kill me

My old hen's a good old hen,
She lays eggs for the railway men
Sometimes one, sometimes two,
Sometimes enough for the whole damn crew

Cluck old hen, cluck and sing
Ain't laid an egg since way last Spring
Cluck old hen, cluck and squall,
Ain't laid an egg since way last fall

My old hen, she won't do
She lays eggs and 'taters too
This old hen, she's raised on a farm
Now she's in the new ground digging up corn

Cluck old hen, cluck and sing
Ain't laid an egg since way last Spring
Cluck old hen, cluck and squall,
Ain't laid an egg since way last fall

My old hen's a good old hen,
She lays eggs for the railway men
Sometimes one, sometimes two,
Sometimes three an' sometimes four
Sometimes five an' sometimes six
Sometimes seven an' sometimes eight
Sometimes nine an' sometimes ten…
An' that’s enough for the railway men
---


14. Tar Barrel in Dale
(George Unthank, arr. The Unthanks/Michelle Woolfenden)
'Tar Barrel in Dale was written by George Unthank (a founder member and singer in Tyneside shanty band The Keelers and father of Rachel and Becky Unthank of The Unthanks), after he witnessed the ritual one snowy New Year's Eve some years back. At Allendale ("Dale") the Tar Barrel or "Fire" Festival, held in all weathers, has been their way of welcoming the New Year for at least 160 years. Men known as "guisers" wear fancy dress as a disguise and parade around the Northumberland village carrying flaming tar barrels on their heads. The "fiery procession" swarms through the streets, illuminating them with the flames, then returns to the main square just before midnight, where the barrels are thrown onto the bonfire. Again, probably not one to try at home.'


15. Wren in the Furze
(Traditional, arr. The Chieftains/Michelle Woolfenden)
'Another song about the king of birds, the wren, this time exploring the ancient tradition of its hunting on St Stephen's Day (26th December), from the singing of The Chieftains - complete with diddling. The "chattering" wren is said to have betrayed St Stephen to his enemies when he hid from them in a bush, leading to a tradition where the bird is hunted down and stoned to death. This charming ritual continues in Ireland, with bands of musicians going from door to door entering private and/or public houses as they "hunt the wren" (pronounced "ran"), entertaining the occupants in exchange for food, drink and/or money. No wrens were harmed in the making of this CD.'
---
Oh the wren, oh the wren; he's the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day he got caught in the furze,
So it's up with the kettle and it's down with the pan,
Won't you give us a penny for to bury the wren?

Well it's Christmas time; that's why we're here,
Please be good enough to give us an ear,
For we'll sing and we'll dance if youse give us a chance,
And we won't be comin' back for another whole year!

We'll play Kerry polkas; they're real hot stuff,
We'll play the Mason's Apron and the Pinch of Snuff,
Jon Maroney's jig and the Donegal reel,
Music made to put a spring in your heel!

If there's a drink in the house, would it make itself known,
Before I sing a song called "The Banks of the Lowne",
A drink with lubrimacation in it,
For me poor dry throat and I'll sing like a linnet!

Oh please give us something for the little bird's wake,
A big lump of pudding or some Christmas cake,
A fist full o' goose and a hot cup o' tay,
And then we'll all be goin' on our way!

The wren, oh the wren; he's the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's Day he got caught in the furze,
So it's up with the kettle and it's down with the pan,
Won't you give us a penny for to bury the wren?
---
The Chieftains' version is on their Christmas album, The Bells of Dublin: this seems to be an official posting of their version on Youtube. And here's a Wikipedia article on Wren Day.


Bonus Track: My Son John
(Traditional British shanty, arr. Michelle Woolfenden)
---
My son John was tall and slim
He had a leg for every limb
But now he's got no legs at all
For he run a race with a cannonball

To me roo dum dar, faddle diddle dar
Whack for the riddle to me roo dum dar.

Oh were you drunk, or were you blind
When you left your two fine legs behind
Or was it sailing on the sea
Wore your two fine legs right down to the knee

I was not drunk, I was not blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
Nor was it sailing on the sea,
Wore my two fine legs right down to the knee

Each foreign war I'll now denounce
'Tween the King of England and the King of France
For I'd rather my legs as they used to be
Than the King of Spain and his whole Navy.

Well I was tall, and I was slim
And I had a leg for every limb,
But now I've got no legs at all,
They were both shot away by a cannonball.
---
We know this song from the version by Tim Hart and Maddy Prior on their album Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 2. Here's the Mainly Norfolk page on the song.

We recorded our version of My Son John in summer 2015 as part of Deutscher Chor London's traditional song CD project. Our thanks to them for that opportunity, and this recording. That album, Der Mond ist aufgegangen, is available to buy on the Deutscher Chor London's website.