This is a series of posts about the #TradSongTues project, run by various people at the University of Sheffield. Every week I've been recording a song for the theme, sharing it and talking about it. Come and play on Twitter!
Next week we have special guest - Paul Sartin from such illumines as @Bellowhead @feastie_boys @FaustusFolk and of course in his own right as @Patakas1. His specialist chosen subject is #BirdSongs - so spread your wings this #TradSongTues and get tweeting away... pic.twitter.com/qFk2xNCoo6— #TradSongTues (@TradSongTues) October 11, 2018
I learned a new song especially for this, from a book called Folk Songs of Australia called the Maid and the Magpie:
I got this from Folk Songs of Australia and the Men and Women Who Sang Them by John Meredith and Hugh Anderson. I bought this book on my honeymoon in a second hand book shop in York and this is the first thing I've learned from it
Hugh Anderson writes "one unusual song - in the sense that it is rarely sung - recorded from Jack Lee's singing was The Maid and the Magpie". By the time Meridith had got to recording Jack, he was 77 and had been blind for a while. Jack Lee apparently was nicknamed Hoopiron because he had the ability to make iron do whatever he wanted, from making handles for golden syrup tins to repairing chairs and tables.
He also had to deal with the fact that Meredith had only just got his recorder and accidentally deleted a whole days worth of collecting. When Meredith came back he was suffering from bronchitis and didn't really want to sing.
I'm not a big fan of it - it's a bit too music hall for me - but my wife liked it while I was recording it.