Awakening the Lady EP now released for download on Bandcamp.

It's out at last! My EP, that is. Awakening the Lady consists of 5 Child Ballads that I've composed tunes for and rewritten lyrics to make them either more manageable and/or easier to sing. The EP has only had limited production to retain the essence of the unaccompanied singing for which these songs were originally intended. The 5 tracks on the EP are: 

Lord Thomas and Lady Margaret (Child Ballad 260 Roud Index 109) 
Tom Potts (Child Ballad 109 Roud Index 66)
The Lord of Lorn and the False Steward (Child Ballad 271 Roud Index 113)
Willie O'Douglas Dale (Child Ballad 101 Roud Index 65)
The Kitchie Boy (Child Ballad 252 Roud Index 105)

It's available for download on my Bandcamp page here.


Here's more information, taken from the EP sleeve notes:

When Karl Sinfield asked me to rewrite a couple of the Child Ballads into more manageable songs and compose some tunes for them for his Sing Yonder project, I was surprised. Not just because I didn’t ever expect to be entrusted with such a privilege, but also because the collection of 305 songs assembled by the folk song collector Francis Child in the 19th century are something that most folk song singers have heard of and it never once occurred to me that any of them weren’t being sung. But it turns out that there are several which fall into this category, and once I’d completed the requested 2 ballads for Sing Yonder volume 7 (Number 101 - Willie O’Douglas Dale and Number 109 - Tom Potts) I discovered more. The thing that interested me about these particular songs is the women in them. Because, unlike in many folk songs, where women are either portrayed as weak, have unspeakable things done to them, or are assumed to be of ‘questionable’ virtue, in these songs the women are strong. They make decisions, they take action, in one they seek revenge. Perhaps that’s why they were forgotten. But they’re awake now!

For centuries it was entirely normal for songs to be sung without musical accompaniment. Ballads were stories with a tune from a time before recorded music and universal literacy. I’ve given these songs a similar treatment so that anyone can sing them, without needing to be proficient in an accompanying instrument, although if you want to set them to an accompanying instrument then that’s brilliant too!. I’ve recorded them in a similar vein; just me, singing. You can sing them too, whether to an audience at a gig or pub or club, or to yourself in the car or shower or wherever you sing when you think no one can hear. To paraphrase a sentiment from Martin Carthy: the best thing you can do to songs is sing them!

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