Tag Archives: Pete Coe and Alice Jones


Frank Kidson’s Art

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Categories: Blog Posts, Tags: , , , , ,


Back in November 2015 we presented our presentation “Finding Five Finger Frank”, a couple of workshops and a performance of our full show “The Search For Five Finger Frank” at a specially organised Frank Kidson Day in conjunction with Leeds Central Library with funding from Leeds City Library and Information Services, The Lottery, Arts Council England and Leeds City Council. It was a fabulous day and was well attended. The library also arranged a beautiful exhibit of Frank Kidson related material. Amongst the exhibit was a rolling display of watercolours and sketches by Kidson, done mainly in the 1870′s, taken from a sketchbook housed in the Leeds Library archives.

Frank Kidson Sketch 1 Frank Kidson Sketch 2 Frank Kidson Sketch 3 Frank Kidson Watercolour 1 Frank Kidson Watercolour 2 Frank Kidson Watercolour 3 Frank Kidson Watercolour 4  Frank Kidson Watercolour 6 Frank Kidson Watercolour 7 Frank Kidson Watercolour 8

Frank Kidson Watercolour 5



Searching For Five Finger Frank at Whitby Folk Week 2015

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Categories: Announcements, Blog Posts, Tags: , , , ,


This year we will be performing the full show “The Search For Five Finger Frank” and the presentation “Finding Five Finger Frank” at Whitby Folk Week. We will also be performing as a duo and solo over the course of the week. Here are the details…

Saturday 22nd August

at 8pm-12 midnight – Concert in the Metropole Hotel Ballroom

MC. Derek Schofield with Rattle on the Stovepipe; Carolyn Robson & Moira Craig; Alistair Anderson; Alex Cummings & Nicola Beazley; John Dipper & James Patterson; Pete Coe & Alice Jones; (Event no.42)

Sunday 23rd August

at 12 noon-1.30pm – “Finding Five Finger Frank” presentation at the Colliseum

Pete Coe & Alice Jones give an intro to their show, “Five Finger Frank” about the Leeds folk-song collector, Frank Kidson. (Event no.81)

at 7.30pm-11.30pm – Concert in the Whitby Rugby Club

MC. Brenda Spence; Rattle on the Stovepipe; Pete Coe & Alice Jones;  Jeff Warner; Matt Quinn;The Rachel Hamer Band; The Wilsons (Event no.140)

Monday 24th August

at 1pm-3pm – Ballad Session in the Conservative Club Function Room

Wendy Arrowsmith; Pete Coe (Solo); Moira Craig; Alison McMorland (Event no.202)

at 2.30pm-5pm – Concert in the Colliseum

MC Kevin Sheils; Alice Jones (Solo); Dave Arthur; Val Marsden & Graham Pirt; The Wilsons (Event no.222)

at 7.30pm-11pm – A Night At The Music Hall in the Spa Theatre

MC Sue Coe; Pete Coe (Solo); The Watch; Peta Webb; The Wallopers; Johnny Handle; Lynne Heraud & Pat Turner; Maggie & Stan; Jack Lynch; Peter & Barbara Snape (Event no.247)

Tuesday 25th August


at 3.30pm-5.30pm “The Search For Five Finger Frank” in the Spa Theatre

Pete Coe & Alice Jones present ballads, broadsides and dance tunes from the collection of Frank Kidson, a folk-song collector from Leeds. (Event no.342)

at 11.30pm-1.30am – Late Night at The Met in The Metrepole Hotel Ballroom

Windy Gyle; Robin Garside; Pete Coe & Alice Jones (Event no.365)

Wednesday 26th August

at 11.30am-12.50pm “Strings and Things” Workshop with Pete Coe in Middle Earth (Event no.392)

at 1pm-3pm - Kid’s Club at West Cliff School Hall

Circus Skills with Earthbound Misfits, followed by songs from Pete Coe & Alice Jones (Event no.419)

at 8pm-11.30pm – Traditional Night Out at the Whitby Football Club

MC Dan Quinn; Jeff Warner; Pete Coe & Alice Jones; Sue Coe; Irene Shettle; John Kirkpatrick; Will Noble; Dave Townsend; Peter & Barbara Snape (Event no.468)

Thursday 27th August

 at 1pm-3pm – Music Session in Middle Earth with Pete Coe (Event no.631)

Friday 28th Aug at 7.30pm-11pm – Concert in the Spa Theatre

MC Kevin Sheils; Anne Lynch Lyons & Family; Wendy Arrowsmith; Len Graham & Jack Lynch; Pete Coe & Alice Jones; John Conolly; Tom McConville & Lenny Brown (Event no.660)



Five Finger Frank’s Foto Album!

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Categories: Blog Posts, EFDSS, Family Photographs, Mary Kidson (Roberts), Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,


Over the duration of this project we have attempted to trace members of the Kidson family as well as those related to the contributors to his fine collection. We were fortunate enough to be able to invite members of Charles Lolley’s family to our CD launch and this year Pete has been in regular contact with another wing of the Kidson family who made initial contact via the website…

Rather excitingly there was mention of a photo album and this month Pete went down to Essex to see it and then took it along to Cecil Sharp House to scan the images contained within. Even more exciting is thatt, after a little bit of detective work by Pete, it seems this photograph album came from an auction sale of what may well have been Frank Kidson’s possessions… We think that it is, in fact, his own personal photograph album!

We’re still confirming a few of the faces but here’s a little preview of some of the photos.

Many thanks to Brenda Roberts for the loan of her precious family heirloom and also to Cecil Sharp House and The EFDSS for their assistance and the loan of their facilities.

Frank Kidson c1900

Frank Kidson c1900

Francis Prince Kidson 1810-1872 Father of Frank Kidson

Francis Prince Kidson 1810-1872
Father of Frank Kidson

Mary Kidson (nee Roberts) Mother of Frank Kidson

Mary Kidson (nee Roberts)
Mother of Frank Kidson

John Kidson and James Kidson Brothers of Frank Kidson

John Kidson and James Kidson
Brothers of Frank Kidson

Frank Kidson pictured in 1923 upon receipt of his honorary MA in Music from Leeds University.

Frank Kidson pictured in 1923 when he received his honorary MA in Music from Leeds University.

Frank Kidson pictured at an unknown event in the 1920's with a group of as yet unidentified people.

From left to right: Sir Michael Sadler (Vice Chancellor of Leeds University), Lady Wilson, Sir Edward Brotherton, Lady Sadler, Sir Charles Wilson, Mr A.E. Wheeler, Mr E.G. Arnold (Pro-Chancellor of Leeds University) and Frank Kidson. Photograph from Leeds Newspaper Cuttings, Leeds People, Vol.10, p173.

If you are related to Frank Kidson or any of his contributors please do get in touch at the same address.




Springy Update

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Categories: EDS Magazine, EFDSS, Kate Thompson, Songlines Magazine, Tags: , , , , ,


So far this year we’ve had some fabulous gigs. Here’s some of what we’ve been up to…

On the 16th January 2015 we performed to a full house at the Ilkley Manor House. We had a fabulous night in what is a truly amazing venue. We were told that the museum is currently at risk of being sold by the council so take a look at the website and help Ilkley keep this amazing historical building open to the public and available for other artists to display their art and music within it’s beautiful walls!

We also performed at the Halsway Manor 50th Anniversary Event on the 7th February 2015 at Cecil Sharp House. Thanks to Paul James, Gavin Davenport, the staff of Halsway Manor and everyone that supported the event and came to our performance of “The Search for Five Finger Frank”.

Halsway Manor 50th Anniversary Event 7th Feb 2015 2             Halsway Manor 50th Anniversary Event 7th Feb 2015 1

Check out the current edition of English Dance and Song Magazine.

EDS Magazine Spring 2015 Edition

This issue’s “Singer, Song and Source” articles focus on a song from the Frank Kidson collection that happens to also be a track from our CD “The Search for Five Finger Frank”. The feature looks at both our version and the version recorded by Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman on their latest album “Tomorrow Will Follow Today” along with an article about the source singer Kate Thompson written by yours truly…

Alice Jones at Sidmouth 2014

We’ve had this lovely review in this edition of Songlines Magazine

Songlines Magazine: The Search for Five Finger Frank Review

 And finally there are a couple of new dates added to the “Live Date” page. This month we will be playing at:

Rivelin Folk Club, Sheffield – 11th March 2015

The Red Lion Folk Club, Birmingham – 25th March 2015

La Rosa Hotel, Whitby – 28th March 2015 (E-mail: rebeccagrossmusic@gmail.com)

We’d love it if you could come along and join us for a sing!




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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, Blog Posts, CD Launch Event, Christmas, fRoots, The Mike Harding Folk Show, Video, Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


It’s been a very enjoyably busy festive season for us and it’s no where near over yet! Firstly we’d like to remind you that the documentary we have been working on recently was broadcast on the 28th December 2014 and, if you didn’t manage to catch it first time around, it will be available on “Listen Again” for the next four weeks. The documentary is an hour long and details the life of Frank Kidson and the significant contribution that he made to the world of folk music. It also follows the process of researching and recording “The Search for Five Finger Frank” album that we released back in April 2014. You can find the full programme here:

The Search for Five Finger Frank BBC Leeds Radio Documentary

The Search for Five Finger Frank BBC Radio Leeds Documentary p02g1jrb

There is another chance to hear some of the highlights from our album launch concert that took place at Square Chapel Centre for the Arts in Halifax. This is also available on “Listen Again” on the BBC Radio Leeds website:

Highlights from “The Search for Five Finger Frank” CD Launch Concert

The Search for Five Finger Frank BBC Radio Leeds CD Launch Concert

We featured in the 2014 BBC Radio Leeds Christmas Service recorded at The Halifax Minster in December singing a couple of folk-y carols if you missed it this too is available on the BBC Leeds website:

“Carols from Halifax” BBC Leeds Radio Christmas Service

On Sunday 28th December The Mike Harding Folk Show podcast featured a selection of tracks from his top 20 albums of 2014. We were proper chuffed to find out that he played a track from The Search for Five Finger Frank CD! The podcast (#105) is available to listen to on his website.

The Mike Harding Show - Full-banner-468x60px

If you’re interested in finding out even more about Frank Kidson and our quest to celebrate and commemorate his incredible legacy then you can read the interview we did with the fabulous Tim Chipping of fRoots magazine. The article features in the latest issue Jan/Feb #379/380 and you can purchase your copy here or you can sign up and subscribe to future issues too!

Photo by Judith Burrows

Photo by Judith Burrows

And finally… We’ll be sweeping away the old year and bringing in the new one over the next week with The Long Company Mummers in various locations throughout Calderdale and the Ryburn Valley. Dates and locations (pubs) as follows:

2nd January The Hinchliffe Arms, Cragg Vale, HX7 5TA (01422 883256)

3rd January The Navigation, Sowerby Bridge, HX6 3LF (01422 316073)

5th January The Alma, Cottonstones, HX6 4NS (01422 823334)

6th January The Old Bridge Inn, Ripponden, HX6 4DF (01422 822595)

The performances start at 8pm prompt and we always begin with the singing of our Wassail Song inside the pub before the massed band then lead the audience outside to watch the mummers play. The whole night is then rounded off with a night of singing, playing and dancing in the pub. Hooray! Come and join us – it certainly is a sight to behold!!

In case you wanted a sneaky practise of The Wassail Song have a look at this…

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And in case you just wanted a laugh have a look at this…

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Christmas List-ings

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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, Blog Posts, Tags: , , , , ,


We’ve got lots of exciting things going on over this festive period. Recently we completed THE SEARCH FOR FIVE FINGER FRANK: a radio documentary about Frank Kidson and based around our research project. It traces the life & folk song collecting of Leeds man Frank Kidson (1855 – 1926). The documentary, produced by David Crickmore, is narrated by Pete Coe & includes interviews with John Francmanis & staff at The Mitchell Library (where the collection resides) plus quotes from Kidson, voiced by Richard Stead & niece Ethel, Alice Jones. Pete & Alice are heard to discover & arrange an alternative version of Scarborough Fair, collected by Kidson in Goathland. We hope that this documentary will remind listeners that Frank Kidson, often overlooked in the past, even the present, was truly ‘a pioneeer of the folk revival’.

It is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday 28th December at 8pm and it will also available on Listen Again for the following 30 days at www.bbc.co.uk/radioleeds

Talking of BBC Radio Leeds… we also had the great honour of performing a few folk-y carols at this year’s BBC Leeds Christmas Service held at the Halifax Minster. It was a fabulous evening including music from The Minster Choir, Graham Gribbin and Jonathon Clegg and The Hebden Bridge Brass Band.

The service will be broadcast on 92.4FM/95.3FM BBC Radio Leeds on Christmas Eve at 6.00pm and repeated again on Christmas Day at 2.00pm.

BBC Radio Leeds Christmas Service 4th December 2014

We have a couple of feature interviews published in the current editions of Tykes News magazine and in fROOTS magazine. We were also very pleased to find that we have been listed amongst the Runners Up for the “Best New Album in the fROOTS Critics Poll 2014″

Bookings for 2015 are rolling in and our next Yorkshire dates are;

ILKLEY Friday 16th January- Manor House Art Gallery & Museum- Contact 01943 609393
SHEFFIELD  Wednesday 11th March- Rivelin Folk Club- Contact 0114 2665638
WHITBY FOLK WEEK  22 – 28 August

Other dates outside the Yorkshire region include;

LONDON Saturday 7th February- Cecil Sharp House as part of 50th anniversary celebrations for Halsway Manor.
WASHINGTON Saturday 18th April- Davy Lamp Folk Club
BARROW ON SOAR Monday 27th April- Grand Union Folk Club
WATFORD Friday 8th May- Watford Folk Club
LYMM FESTIVAL (associated event) Thursday 18th June
NORWICH Friday 10th July- Norwich Folk Club
HALSWAY MANOR 17 -19th July- Kidson weekend, workshops & concert.

We’re also in the process of planning a few more in-depth Frank Kidson events and study days for 2015:

We will hopefully be collaborating with Leeds University in conjunction with Leeds Central Library to put on a “Kidson Day” with presentation, workshops and concert in the latter part of 2015.

We are also currently negotiating dates with The Royal Conservetoire Of Scotland and The Mitchell Library to include a presentation and workshops with RCS folk music students and a concert in The Mitchell Library Concert Hall.

And finally… those of you from the Ryburn and Calderdale area (and anywhere else for that matter) are very welcome to join us at the Ryburn 3 Step Folk Club Christmas party taking place on Wednesday the 17th December at The Works starting at 8pm prompt where we will be singing many seasonal songs and indulging in a bit of festive frolicking!

The double CD THE SEARCH FOR FIVE FINGER FRANK is available at £16 (inc p&p) from:

Backshift Music
103 Oldham Road
West Yorkshire
01422 822569

or Paypal from



Kate Thompson

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Categories: Blog Posts, Kate Thompson, Source Singers, Tags: , , , ,


This blog post concerns another key contributor to Frank Kidson’s collection…

Kate Thompson was born Catherine Benson in Tockwith, a village approximately 10 miles away from Knaresborough situated in the Borough of Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Her parents were John Benson, a plumber by trade, and Mary Ann Jefferson. They already had a son, Joseph, from a previous relationship when they married in 1846 and in 1848 Catherine was born, followed shortly by her sister Ann who was born in 1849. Sadly in about 1849, John Benson died and Kate’s mother went on to marry a widower, William Robinson, in 1850. Robinson was an agricultural labourer born in Wreaks in about 1825 and he too had a son, James Robinson born in 1842, from his previous marriage. Kate’s mother and William went on to have four children together: William born 1851, Matthew born 1855, Mark born 1858 and Mary born 1860. All in all, Kate Thompson was brought up by her mother and stepfather along with seven “siblings”, the children of five different combinations of parents!

In the 1851 census Catherine Benson is three years old and living with her family in Fisher Garden, Knaresborough. She was still living in Knaresborough by the next census of 1861 though she is described as a general servant residing, still with her family, in Brewerton Street. On the 29th July 1866 at St. Phillips Church in Leeds, records show that a nineteen year old Catherine Benson married Squire Thompson, a twenty-eight year old widower with four children. He is described as a publican son of Samuel Thompson and they both give their residence as Wellington Street, Leeds, where there were several public houses at the time. Shortly after the marriage however, in 1867, Squire Thompson was declared bankrupt.

St. Phillip's Church, Wellington Street, Leeds circa 1866

St. Phillip’s Church, Wellington Street, Leeds circa 1866

The next census of 1871 shows Kate Thompson living at 22 Alfred Place, Leeds along with her husband now described as a “cabinet maker”, four step children: Mary, Frederick Henry, Florence and Samuel Victor and her own two children: Squire Albert born about 1868 and Walter Albert born in 1870. Later that same year, on the 31st December, Squire Albert and Walter Albert were baptised at St. Matthew’s Church, Little London, Leeds. These church records show the family now living at 49 Reuben Street and Squire Thompson’s trade is listed as “publican” (N.B. This address may be the “London Tavern”). In 1881 however, records show that the family’s circumstances had changed quite considerably. Squire Thompson is listed as living with his children: Florence, Samuel Victor, Squire Albert and a six month old daughter Clarabel; his occupation is given as a “waiter in dram shop”. Kate Thompson’s census entry shows her working as a “housemaid (domestic servant)” at a Boy’s Refuge in Brunswick Terrace, Leeds.

By 1891 Kate and her husband were now recorded as living together without any dependants in three rooms at 10 Haigh Place in Leeds and Squire’s trade is now listed as “Forge man”. Sadly, in the second quarter of 1898 a death is registered in Leeds for Squire Thompson and by the 1901 census Kate is shown residing with her son Squire Albert and his family at Manor House Farm Cottage in High Ackworth. It was in 1891 that Kate Thompson became acquainted with Frank Kidson and he collected a number of songs from her. In total he noted twenty-six songs or fragments of songs attributed to “Kate Thompson of Knaresborough”. It is interesting to note that Kidson chooses to refer to Kate as “Mrs Thompson of Knaresborough” as, by this time, we know that she had been residing in Leeds for over twenty years! Kidson had indeed visited Knaresborough on painting excursions but it is not clear if this was the initial source of contact for the pair and it is unlikely that he actually collected the songs from her in that location. Many of the songs she recalled were certainly first heard and learnt in her native Knaresborough so it remains a debatable issue as to whether Kidson was justified in consistently identifying her as “of Knaresborough”. Roy Palmer, in his article “Kidson’s Collecting” from the Folk Song Journal Vol.5 No.2, asserts that Kate Thompson was “by far the most important singer both in quantity and quality”. Frank Kidson collected from her over a period of six years, 1891-1897, and was set to include many of these songs in his planned, but ultimately incomplete, second edition of Traditional Tunes. A number of her contributions were also featured in Frank Kidson’s articles in the Folk Song Society Journals published in 1904 (Vol.1 No.5) and 1906 (Vol.2 No.9).

Kate Thompson’s death was registered in Leeds during the first quarter of 1911.

During our project we have chosen to feature a number of Kate Thompson’s songs. She appears to have been a very rich source of interesting songs and a true bearer of the oral tradition. Kidson himself comments that “she also remembers many of my published airs” implying that Kate Thompson possessed quite an extensive repertoire. We know that Kidson actually chose to omit some of her offerings as the words or tunes (or at least a closely similar set) were deemed to be already represented and readily available elsewhere. In the case of one song “The Roving Heckler Lad” her fragment was ignored because of its similarity with a text published in Traditional Tunes. In another instance the song “The Unfortunate Rake” was rejected by Kidson who dismissed the words as “objectionable” probably on account of its suggestive connotations!

Frank Kidson's manuscript of The Unfortunate Rake collected from Kate Thompson of Knaresborough in September 1892.

Frank Kidson’s manuscript of The Unfortunate Rake collected from Kate Thompson of Knaresborough in September 1892.

In total there are five of her songs on our album “The Search for Five Finger Frank”: The Highwayman Outwitted, Young Riley the Fisherman, The Deserter, One Moonlit Night and Young Banker (also collected from Charles Lolley).



Live Show Preview

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Categories: Announcements, BBC Radio Leeds, Blog Posts, CD Launch Event, Video, Tags: , , , , ,


Over the summer we will be presenting our new show “The Search for Five Finger Frank” a project that celebrates the legacy of the great Frank Kidson; a man once revered by his peers but now, sadly overlooked by the folk movement of today. The show features original arrangements of traditional ballads, broadsides and dance tunes from Leeds folk song collector Frank Kidson 1855-1926.

We have just released this preview of the live show featuring footage recorded at our CD Launch in April 2014. This concert was also recorded live by BBC Radio Leeds and will be aired on The D’Urberville’s Folk and Roots Show at 8pm on Sunday 10th August 2014.

YouTube Preview Image

In August we will be performing “The Search for Five Finger Frank” at Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 as well as presenting a talk on our research into Frank Kidson’s collection and the contributing singers.

Our Sidmouth Folk Week 2014 schedule looks like this:

FULL SHOW - Sunday 3rd August in the Manor Pavillion at 8pm-10.30pm

TALK - Wednesday 6th August in the Arts Centre at 9.30am-11.00am

TUNES WORKSHOP - Thursday 7th August in the Rugby Club at 1.30pm-3.00pm
This workshop will feature tunes from Frank Kidson’s “Old English Country Dances” 1890.

We will also be performing at Sidmouth Folk Week both as a duo and solo on the following days:

Friday 1st August in the Bedford Hotel 8pm-10.30pm

Saturday 2nd August Diamond Geezers Concert at the Manor Pavillion 8pm-10.30pm (Pete solo)

Monday 4th August Lunchtime Concert at the Ham Marquee 12-1.30pm

Tuesday 5th August Traditional Night Out  at the Woodlands Hotel 8pm-10.30pm (Alice solo)

Wednesday 6th August Strings and Things Workshop at the Rugby Club 1.30pm-3pm (Pete)

Thursday 7th August In Concert at Carinas 8pm-10pm

Friday 8th August
Ballads, Broadsides & Bawling Hawkers Workshop at the Woodlands Hotel 11.15am-12.45pm (Pete)
Squeezing and Singing Workshop at the Lower Methodist Church Hall 2.45pm-4.15pm (Pete)



New Notes on Old Tunes 02 – One Summer’s Morning

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Categories: Blog Posts, Mary Kidson (Roberts), New Notes On Old Tunes, One Summer's Morning, Source Singers, Video, Tags: , , , , , ,


This version of “One Summer’s Morning” was collected by Frank Kidson from the singing of his mother Mary Kidson (Roberts) who is said to have heard it sung in Leeds in approximately 1820. It was a popular song particularly in Yorkshire but also in the North East at that time although the tune is likely to be much older. In “Traditional Tunes” Frank Kidson states: “The song itself is apparently of the date of the latter part of the eighteenth century, and as some reference is made to the “Hollanders,” it may perhaps be more distinctly referred to the period of an expedition to repel French encroachments in Flanders and the Netherlands in 1793. The tune is no doubt older than this date, and may have belonged to an earlier song, now lost or which has changed its tune.”

The song as printed in “Traditional Tunes” consists of six verses although many broadside versions of the lyrics often only featured the first, second, fourth and fifth stanzas. It is unclear as to whether Mary Kidson included all six of these verses in her version of the song as this is not stated in “Traditional Tunes”. However, Frank Kidson does make reference to the words printed in J.H. Dixon’s 1857 publication; “Songs of the Peasantry of England” Again, all six verses of the ballad are printed in the Dixon book, but with the addition of the following information; “we have met with a copy printed at Devonport. The readings are in general not so good; but in one or two instances they are apparently more ancient, and are, consequently, here adopted.  The Devonport copy contains two verses, not preserved in our traditional version.  These we have incorporated in our present text, in which they form the third and last stanzas.” I think it very possible that Kidson used the lyrics printed in “Songs of the Peasantry of England” to augment the narrative of the version sung by his mother.

This song is also commonly known as “The White Cockade” although there are many versions of the story featuring different coloured cockades (e.g. blue, green, orange). For those of you who don’t know, a cockade is a rosette style brooch worn by both men and women on a hat or a lapel. These cockades were usually of a circular or oval design, made from ribbon and would depict a particular political, ethical or social allegiance depending on the colours that were incorporated. In the case of this song the white cockade depicts the soldier’s military allegiance as he enlists to fight against the Hollander’s. It is documented that the white cockade was worn by supporters of the Jacobite Rebellions. There were three main Jacobite uprisings; the first occurring in 1689, the second in 1715-16 and the third in 1745-46. James VII (Scotland) and II (England) ruled from 1685 until 1689 when he was replaced by his daughter Mary and her husband the Dutch Prince, William of Orange. This change of power inspired the first Jacobite uprising. “In 1689, the Jacobites were opposed by the Williamites, or Whigs; those Britons who supported the Protestant cause and would not tolerate a Catholic kingdom.”

Subject wearing a white cockade pinned to his hat.

Subject wearing a white cockade pinned to his hat.

In light of this information, and of the reference to “Hollanders” within the song, it would seem to lend some credibility to the suggestion that this song was established much earlier than 1820.


It was one summer’s morning as I went o’er the moss,
I had no thought of ‘listing, till the soldiers did me cross;
They kindly did invite me to a flowing bowl and down
They advanced me some money, they advanced me some money,
They advanced me some money, ten guineas and a crown.

‘Tis true my love has ‘listed and he wears a white cockade,
He is a handsome, tall young man, besides a roving blade;
He is a handsome, tall young man and he’s gone to serve the King,
Oh, my very heart is breaking, my very heart is breaking,
My very heart is breaking, all for the love of him.

My love is tall and handsome and comely for to see,
And by a sad misfortune a soldier now is he;
I hope the man that ‘listed him may not prosper night or day,
For I wish that the Hollanders, I wish that the Hollanders,
I wish that the Hollanders may sink him in the sea.

Oh, may he never prosper and may he never thrive,
Nor anything he takes in hand so long as he’s alive;
May the very grass he treads upon, the ground refuse to grow,
Since he’s been the only cause, since he’s been the only cause,
Since he’s been the only cause of my sorrow, grief and woe.

Then he pulled out a handkerchief and wiped her flowing eyes,
“Leave off those lamentations, likewise those doleful sighs,
Leave off your grief and sorrow, while I march o’er the plain,
We’ll be married in the springtime, we’ll be married in the springtime,
We’ll be married in the springtime, when I return again.”

So now my love has ‘listed, and I for him will rove,
I’ll write his name on every tree that grows in yonder grove;
Where the huntsman he does hallo and the hounds do sweetly cry,
To remind me of my ploughboy, to remind me of my ploughboy,
To remind me of my ploughboy until the day I die.

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The Mike Harding Folk Show – 4th May 2014


Categories: Announcements, Blog Posts, Tags: , , , ,


A track from our new CD “The Search For Five Finger Frank” will be played on Mike Harding’s Folk Show on the 4th May 2014.

The Mike Harding Folk Show

The podcast will be available from 5pm on Sunday 4th May 2014 and is accessible 24/7.


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