From Norfolk – the distinctive singing and melodeon playing of Tony Hall

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Yarmouth, engraving by William Miller after Turner

A 19th century engraving of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, by William Miller, after a
typically drama-packed painting by Turner. Image from the Wikimedia

For the last few days I’ve been listening to the melodeon playing of Tony Hall, a musician I’ve admired since the 70s. Tony plays the melodeon, a kind of push-pull accordion that came to dominate the music of much of England, when cheap models arrived in large numbers from Germany in the 19th Century.

Of course, it’s commonly been a seaman’s instrument – just think of old Bob Roberts, skipper of the last working sailing sailing barge, the Cambria. I’m glad to say I was lucky enough to hear him perform not so very long before he passed away.

Now, since one of Tony’s recently recorded songs, Down on the Hard, has some dreamy boatbuilding references, I thought I should share it – with the CD label’s permission, of course. Click on the link for a little song that I think will make many of you smile.

And for a bonus, here’s Tony again, this time playing his version of The Abbot’s Bromley Horn Dance.

For more of this stuff, order a copy of Tony’s new album, One Man Hand on the Wild Goose label.

Follow the link for more references to songs and singing at