Pendle Sally/The Pendle Reel 05:37
Pendle Sally was first published in the "Blackburn Times" of May 10th, 1890, originally titled "Sabden Dick." Subsequently the song was revised; a chorus added to it; and the title changed to, "Pendle Sally." I learnt this version of the song from Sid Calderbank a font of knowledge on all things Lancacshire.
I wrote The Pendle Reel to go with the song with a nod to the playing/writing style of Gary Tallett a great friend and deadly Melodeon player. We have played a lot of tunes and drunk a lot of wine over the years!
2. Friends are Few When Foak Are Poor 04:41
The Lyrics are by Blackburn poet William Billington and I felt they were as pertinent today as when they were written over 130 years ago. The trend for 'poverty porn' and tabloids demonising the poor do not reflect the huge chasm between the lives of the rich and everyone else in society. The song was published on several broadside ballad sheets and in a collection Lancashire Songs with Other Poems and Sketches published in 1883
3. Back to the Yellow Hills 05:59
The Yellow hills are right outside my house and are where I went walking as a kid. They are so called because in the summer the hill turn bright yellow with gorse. The track is dedicated to Eric Roche
4. Green Grows the Laurel 06:07
You can tell when a song is good- there are versions from all over Great Britain.! This is a composite of a few versions with a debt to the great recording by Johnny Collins
5. The Black Cook/Blackies Polka 06:39
A great ballad from the Irish Tradition, I first heard this from the singing of Dave Burland. The song is an amazing story with a great melody. The polka I learnt from a good mate Chris Black (Blackie) a fantastic banjo player and singer with East Lancashire roots who was living in county Cork an now resides in Australia.
6. Hard Times Come Again No More 05:47
An American parlor song written by Stephen Foster, came to prominence during the American civil war and the song was sung in Lancashire during the cotton famine of the 1860s.
7. Mi Nebbur/Monks Jig 05:19
Another song with lyrics by Robert West Whalley, the song concerns two neighbours. One miserly and the other gregarious... they do not see eye to eye! The melody of the song is from the ballad 'Barrack Street'. Monks Jig was learnt from Clitheroe uilleann piper Steve Johnston
8. The Four Loom Weaver 02:48
This song is part of the family of Jone o Grinfilt one of the great Lancashire ballads. A real story of hard times this song allegedly date back to the Lancshire cotton famine. This version owes a debt to the singing of Ewan Macoll
9. The Garland 06:09
The lyrics were written by the 'Lancashire Burns' Edwin Waugh. Waugh was hugely popular in his day giving recitations and concerts of his works in Lancashire dialect and regular prose all over the country. He even performed in front of Queen Victoria. This song brings to mind the beautiful countryside surrounding the post industrial mill towns of the North.
10. The Press Gang 02:23
Where would folk album be without good shanty? This is one of my favourite ballads with lots of vivid imagery.
11. The Silent Walkabout 04:23
Written by the great Fleetwood word smith Ron Baxter the Silent walkabout is when the nautical community would give you the collective cold shoulder. If you kicked one they would all limp!
12.Leaving Mount Vernon 03:48
A tune composed for my wife Chelsea. Chelsea was born in Washington State and this tune is bitter-sweet farewell to the beautiful pacific Northwest after a visit a few years ago.