Mudcat Café message #3673137 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18702   Message #3673137
Posted By: GUEST,henryp
30-Oct-14 - 05:18 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Warlike Lads of Russia
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Warlike Lads of Russia
From the wonderful Mainly Norfolk website;

Nic Jones recorded both this ballad and The Bonnie Banks o' Fordie in September 1974 for the benefit LP for Fred Woods' magazine Folk Review, The First Folk Review Record.

According to the sleeve notes, the words are from a broadside in the Harkness Collection at Preston; and the tune is collated from various traditional sources, with contributions from Nic Jones.

This recording was later included in the Fellside anthology LP and CD Flash Company and on Nic Jones' 2CD anthology Unearthed where he commented in the liner notes:

"Possibly to the consternation of some, I often deliberately altered or re-wrote words and tunes of traditional songs, although I did try to keep it very much in sympathy with the original. Broadsides, however, offered a good source of ballads without such constraints and gave me the freedom to compose around the text without offence. Described on a broadsheet as A New Song Bonaparte's Escape from Russia, I added a few extra words, wrote a tune and called it The Warlike Lads of Russia."

The Harkness Collection of broadsides, which can still be inspected at The Harris Library in Preston, was the source for some more songs of The Halliard. According to Dave Moran on the goldilox website;

"Nic [Jones] and I and mandolin/guitar player Nigel Patterson made up the Halliard. We were looking to develop some new music and we took the advice of song-writer Leslie Shepard.

We decided to add tunes to Broadsides that we discovered, uncovered or collected we checked out the Harkness Collection at Preston and the collections in Manchester etc.

We also used Ashton's Street Ballads and Victorian Street Ballads (Henderson) and on a couple of occasions we dipped into Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy that is where we found Mad Maudlin (Tom of Bedlam or the Boys of Bedlam).

Nic and I wrote all the tunes together usually sitting in the front of the Mini and singing and working out tunes as we drove as the mandolin was the smallest instrument and Nigel was in the back, he always played the tunes.

'Jones and Moran' wrote a heap of songs like this including Lancashire Lads, Going for a Soldier Jenny, Miles Weatherhill, Calico Printer's Clerk etc.

We wrote the tunes to fit the words and sometimes added or altered words, as in The Workhouse Boy.

So Nic and I wrote the tune to D'Urfeys words of Mad Maudlin audiences were confused and stunned it was very surreal..."

From Mainly Norfolk again; Boys of Bedlam

This song is originally from Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy, published 1720. There it had the title Mad Maudlin's Search for Her Tom of Bedlam. Steeleye Span learned Boys of Bedlam from The Halliard via the Farriers and Tom Gilfellon. They recorded it then for their album Please to See the King. This track was later released on the Martin Carthy anthology, The Carthy Chronicles.