All’s fair in Devon from The Prince Albert


As usual, we had an excellent turnout at The Prince Albert. Sadly, the Fenners could not be with us because David has cricked his back. He currently considering buying a new guitar. Simon has suggest that he should consider a Crickenbacker.

We were pleased to welcome Nigel, who’s finding his way back into the folk scene after a spell working too hard! His first number was Joseph Baker. He’d played this at Sidmouth while Pete Coe (who’d written the words) was in the audience. Second time around, he sang his own song Hawthorn, Mistletoe and Ivy. He finished with Blackwaterside which has an interesting recent history, having been recorded by Anne Briggs, Bert Jansch, Sandy Denny and Led Zeppelin. It came closed to being the subject of legal action for breach of copyright. See here for an interesting take on this.

There was a time when it was common for the B side of singles (remember them?) to be instrumental versions of the A side. We had the reverse – Stuart and Delia first played Westering Home as a concertina duet (with Rosie turning snippets of it into a trio by reading the third part over Delia’s shoulder). Later, Delia gave us the vocal version, which Andy had apparently learned at school.

Stuart contributed to a Devon theme, with Smuggler’s Boy that he’d learned from adopted Devonian Jacky Oates and Tavistock Goosey Fair (always a favourite). We also visited Widdecombe Fair courtesy of Simon, who sang Steve Knightley’s haunting song of that name. Martin also sang a Steve Knightley song – The Vale.

We also had a couple of songs from the East of England. Rosie and I had just returned from our annual holiday in Norfolk so it was appropriate for her to regress to her Norfolk accent for the Kipper Family’s All On The Shore (The Body) – AKA Overstand. Ian sang Sidney Carter’s The White Buck of Epping, about the proposed cull of a white deer that might dilute the genetic purity of the herd.

We also heard:

Dick: Let Union Be, Turkish Men of War, Mancurian Border
Ian: Greenland Whale Fishing, Old Maid in a Garrett
Martin: Don’t Fade on Me (Tom Petty), Lucky Man (Dave Francey)
Rosie and me: Am jigs, Ole Devil Called Love, Blame it on the Sun (Stevie Wonder), Silver Spear/Sally Gardens
Steve: Every Now and Then (Garth Brooks), Bless the Broken Road (Marcus Hummon / Nitty Gritty Dirt Band)
Simon: ‘List for a Sailor
Richard and Andy: Arthur McBride, If I Were A Carpenter (Tim Hardin), Singing the Blues, Banks of the Roses, Old Kent Road

We’ll be at the Dog and Badger next week (15th). Hope to see you there.

You Might Also Like