Music

Songs from the collection of Lucy Broadwood - and other works


I have not yet made any commercial recordings. However, I do have a number of live recordings and demo recordings made over the last six years as a result of various collaborations and shows that I have been involved with. A few samples can be found below.

Faithful Emma

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This song was collected by Heywood Sumner, an artist and member of the Arts and Crafts movement, who was later to become an archaeologist. He collected this song from a Sussex choirman - it is notable for the fact that, despite the title, Emma appears nowhere within the song! Ralph Jordan and I included the song in our show on Lucy Broadwood, and Ralph accompanied my singing on Maccann duet concertina. This recording was made by Ralph during our rehearsals for the show Listen and You Shall Hear.

She's Like the Swallow
Rehearsal recording - Irene Shettle (vocals);Ralph Jordan (concertina)


This is a song which I started singing in the 1970s, having discovered it in the Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs which I purchased while at university in Aberystwyth. It originated in Newfoundland, and can be found in the Peacock Collection. This particular recording is a demo recorded for personal rehearsal purposes, and was made on the same afternoon that Ralph and I started trying it out for performance at a booking for the Traditions Festival in Preston in 2009. (It is another warts and all practice recording of a work in progress). It is definitely a song that I enjoy singing a great deal. My initial attraction to it was the sense of pathos, the slightly surreal imagery, and, of course the tune itself.

(Maccann duet concertina accompaniment: Ralph Jordan)


A Brisk Young Lad


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This was a demo recorded by Ralph Jordan while we were rehearsing for our show "Listen and You Shall Hear" which we toured it during 2008/10. This song was acquired by Lucy on a joint collecting trip in Brigg, Lincolnshire with Percy Grainger in 1906.  Lucy's diary records that she was a judge at the Folk Song Competition there, and had to adjudicate the efforts of five or six elderly men. The singer of this particular song, Joseph Taylor, was one of those men. The version of the song that he sang on that occasion was only three verses long. Lucy was unable to publish one of those verses, undoubtedly because the content would have been deemed too indelicate for a lady to perform on the concert stage or in the drawing room. Lucy substituted an alternative verse from the overall song that this one was gleaned from - Died for Love. The tune was too good to restrict the performance of the song to just three verses, so I decided to expand it in the same way. Apart from Lucy's example, there was also good justification for this in that Taylor sang a completely different set of verses when Grainger returned to record his singing on a phonograph in the following year!

Please note that this is very much recording of a work in progress with all the lumpy parts that you might expect
. (Also please beware the unexpected ending - this was a rehearsal, and a certain amount of relaxed fun occasionally occurred!)

(Guitar accompaniment : Ralph Jordan)


The Death of Queen Jane  (Unaccompanied arr:Shettle)


This was actually a ballad which I never thought I would want to take up and sing. Most versions I had heard were too dismal even for me, and the tunes were rather non-descript. However, the tune of this one seemed to want to go with a bit of a zing, and the words of the final verse sold it to me as a "must learn" song. This version of the ballad was collected by Cecil Sharp in Somerset. (Flamboys, by the way, are flaming torches.)

Bold Privateer  (Live performance)
Vocals:Shettle; guitar :Ralph Jordan)


Lucy Broadwood followed in the steps of her uncle, the Reverend John Broadwood as a collector of folksongs. John Broadwood had made a collection of songs collected in Surrey and Sussex and issued a private publication now commonly known (for short) as "Old English Songs" in 1847. This is generally recognised as the first publication of a book of songs which married the tunes and the words collected together at the same time. Broadwood was also insistent that the tunes in the book should be noted down exactly as they had been collected, which, at the time, was a departure from some of the practice of the age. This song is one of that collection of songs. The collection was later republished, with new piano arrangements by Herbert Birch Reynardson, with Lucy's assistance.


The Flash Lad


Another one that I've been singing for more years than I  care to remember. For some time I was puzzled about the source that I had acquired this from,and eventually tracked it down to a copy of A.L.Lloyd's "Folk Song in England" which I had purchased secondhand in the 1970's. In those days I was not so bothered about where or from whom a song had been collected. Having dug around a bit, I can now say that it was collected by Cecil Sharp in Somerset. This recording was made for me by Chris Brown in his home studio in Liphook.


Blow the Candle Out

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A demo recording made with and by Ralph Jordan while in preparation for a folk club slot at the Traditions Festival in Preston in 2009. We tried out two endings. This was the less conventional of the two (and by far the one that I preferred).
I have been singing this song for over 30 years, and have absolutely no idea where I got it from. If anyone has any information on it, I'd love to hear from you!
(Arranged: Shettle/Jordan)

The Trees are getting High


Another song collected by Lucy Broadwood. On this occasion from a Mr Ede in Dunsfold in Surrey, who she described as looking like a Viking. At the time of singing it to her, he was up a ladder and cutting a hedge with a pair of shears - which she noted seemed rather appropriate!

This particular demo was recorded for me by Richard Douglas-Green of Green Ltd in 2003.
Richard is an ex-BBC sound man from Plymouth, who now specialises in recording folk and jazz artists.

Bruton Town
This was recorded by my friend Chris Brown as part of a live performance of the show "A Story I shall Tell to You" which I presented with Mike Bosworth at the Electric Theatre in Guildford on 21 November 2004. The show was centred around Lucy Broadwood, the Rev Sabine Baring-Gould and four of the singers that they collected from. This particular song, which has a long and varied history (there are many interesting versions of it) was collected from Emily Joiner by Lucy in September 1914 near St Albans in Hertfordshire. Lucy's diary records that she collected the song from Mrs Joiner while she was gardening - a job she carried out for money to make ends meet. (Emily - not Lucy!)

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