John Conolly’s evergreen Fiddler’s Green seems to have been largely forgotten among folkies (they probably sang it a bit too much decades ago) but it’s still popular with working boat folks including fishermen around the creeks where we keep our little boat. This recording… well, it’s not perfect but I’ve been trying out some new equipment and it seemed a shame to waste this take!
Where is Fiddler’s Green? Who knows, but the Wikipedia tells me it’s a ‘legendary imagined afterlife, where there is perpetual mirth, a fiddle that never stops playing, and dancers who never tire’. It sounds like one of the better folk or maritime festivals, or – as Chris Brady points out in the comments link below, like a fishermen’s do in a Norfolk pub thirty or forty years ago…
The Mainly Norfolk website has a page of information about the song.
PS – Here’s another song for those who enjoy this important aspect of our cultural heritage. This time it’s a story song designed to warn young sailors that there are many false friends offering broad smiles and warm who are only too keen to take their money while it lasts – and will quickly turn them away when it runs out…
Our pal Rosie Davis steps the Sailor’s Hornpipe in a live recording of the lunchtime session at the Frittenden Old Fashioned Night Out weekend, 2012.
If you listen carefully, you can hear the pub crowd asking her to demonstrate various ship-board activities, some of which are more serious than others!
The tune, of course, is the College Hornpipe, which is traditional for this dance. I apologise for my momentary flakiness near the beginning!
For more doings organised by Julie and Gavin Atkin see: Singdanceandplay.net
For more about Rosie, see: www.scorpweb.co.uk/html/rosie_davis.html
The image is an 1889 engraving of sailor’s dancing. Copies are available at www.old-print.com.