Green Matthews | Roots & Branches

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Folk: British Folk World: Western European Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Roots & Branches

by Green Matthews

A unique fusion of trad English music and original tunes from Chris Green and Sophie Matthews
Genre: Folk: British Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. The Escape of Old John Webb
4:01 $0.99
clip
2. The Bone Lace Weaver
3:27 $0.99
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3. High Germany
4:07 $0.99
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4. Daddy Fox
3:51 $0.99
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5. Childegrove and Indian
4:08 $0.99
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6. The Blue Cockade
5:37 $0.99
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7. Song of the Lower Classes
4:12 $0.99
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8. Worms and Palfreys
3:38 $0.99
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9. Linden Lea
3:50 $0.99
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10. The Miller of Dee
3:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
1) The Escape of Old John Webb: A song from 1730s Massachusetts. John Webb was a coin-maker who was jailed for forgery and who became something of a hero of American independence some 40 years before the Revolution. The tune at the end, Because He Was A Bonny Lad, is a Northumbrian tune which Chris learned from his grandmother.

Chris: voice, mandocello, mandolin, bass, stomp
Sophie: voice, English border bagpipes


2) The Bone Lace Weaver: We heard this song performed by a floor spot at The Bothy Folk Club in Southport and instantly decided to plagiarise it (apparently it only counts as research if you steal material from multiple sources.) The song was originally a poem - in this case written by Leonard Wheatcroft of Ashover in the year 1650. Given the time in which it was written, it’s a surprisingly feminist song. The song also features Sophie's baroque musette - a small 18th century bagpipe of the French court that dies almost overnight with the French Revolution.

Chris: guitar
Sophie: voice, baroque musette


3) High Germany: An English folk song collected by Cecil Sharp in Somerset in 1906. The war in question is the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714). The song recommends riding a horse 800 miles to a war zone if you’re pregnant. Don’t try this at home, kids...

Chris: voice, piano, mandocello, bass
Sophie: voice, alto recorder


4) Daddy Fox: A tale of vulpine larceny learned from the singing of Barry Dransfield. Unusually for an English folk song, this is a song about a fox in which Reynard is still alive by the end.

Chris: voice, guitar, mandocello, Appalachian dulcimer
Sophie: voice, baroque oboe


5) Childegrove and Indian: A couple of tunes from Playford’s English Dancing Master - Childegrove and The Indian Queen. For the terminally geeky reader, both tunes are from the 1701 edition.

Chris: mandocello
Sophie: English border bagpipes


6) The Blue Cockade: A trad English song which neatly subverts the “wispy sweetheart waiting for her lover to return from the wars” theme. The first two verses are him apologising for getting drunk and joining the army, but vowing to marry her when he returns. The second two are her telling him he’s a selfish idiot and not to bother coming back.

Chris: voice, mandocello, piano, organ
Sophie: voice, English border bagpipes


7) Song of the Lower Classes: Another song which was originally a poem. Ernest Jones was one of the leaders of the mid-19thC Chartist movement and wrote this critique of the Victorian economic system while detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure for sedition. Chris wrote the melody and would be grateful to hear from anyone who can tell him which time signature it’s in. We learned
The Tumblers’ Hornpipe from Becky Price of Boldwood in around 2008.

Chris: voice, mandocello, Renaissance cittern
Sophie: voice, English border bagpipes


8) Worms and Palfreys: The Diet of Worms and A Surfeit of Palfreys are a couple of French-flavoured tunes that Chris wrote after being inspired by a trip to Cassel Cornemuses - a fantastic little festival in Northern France dedicated to all things bagpipe. Despite the musical treats on offer, most of our memories of Cassel relate to amazing food and beer - hence the culinary title of both tunes.

Chris: mandocello, guitar, piano accordion, bass, stomp
Sophie: English border bagpipes


9) William Barnes (1801-1886) was an Anglican priest who was vicar of Winterborne Came in Dorset. Unusually for the time, many of his poems were written in the local Dorset dialect. Linden Lea remained a poem until 1901, when it was set to music by an up-and-coming young songwriter called Ralph Vaughan-Williams.

Chris: voice, mandocello
Sophie: flute, English border bagpipes


10) The Miller of Dee/Begone Dull Care: A medley of two songs. The first is a song that first appears in Isaac
Bickerstaffe’s play Love in a Village (1762) and then appears in various versions in a variety of different sources over the next 100 years. Chris wrote the melody for our version. The second song is from the mid-17th century. Both songs extol the virtues of simple pleasures and constitute six verses of unalloyed joy - something of a rarity in English folk songs.

Chris: voice, mandocello
Sophie: voice, English border bagpipes

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