Loch Lomond (arranged 2003 June Clark, words traditional)
This well known traditional Scottish folksong tells of lost love where once ‘me and my true love were ever wont to gae, on the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond’.
David of the White Rock (arranged 2003 June Clark, words traditional)
The Welsh Bard, David, lies on his deathbed. He longs once more to touch his beloved harp strings before departing this life. ‘Let thy last notes linger over my grave’, as the song is sung at his funeral.
O can ye sew cushions (arranged 2003 June Clark, words traditional)
This charming little Scottish lullaby tells of hard times when father is away at sea. Yet is poignantly beautiful, ‘Black’s the life that I lead wi’ ye. Many o’ you, little for to gi’ ye’.
The Ash Grove (arranged 2003 June Clark, words traditional)
Beloved of many this Welsh folksong tells again of lost love, whilst remembering the days of long ago, when around the two lovers ‘the bluebells were ringing’. Now his true love lies sleeping ‘neath the green turf down by the Ash Grove’.
An Eriskay Love Lilt (arranged 1908 Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, words by Kenneth Macleod)
The serene nature of this setting of a Song of the Hebrides creates a tranquil atmosphere of the island. Again the theme is lost love.
Go no more a rushing (attributed to Queen Elizabeth I 1533-1603)
This is a charming little ditty in the form of a riddle. It appears in her Virginal Book and might possibly have been written by her, though some sources think the tune is much earlier.
An Evening Hymn (1688) Henry Purcell 1659-1695, words by William Fuller)
Wonderfully evocative words pervade this short poem, and bring forth the magnificent genius of Purcell in this inspired song, which ends triumphantly.
Music for a While (1692) Henry Purcell 1659-1695, words by John Dryden and Matthew Lee)
These words are a comfort to the soul in times of stress. Purcell’s setting evokes not only this air of calm but also the strain of the eternal struggle against evil. This aria comes from ‘Oedipus’, a theatre production with music.
Fairest Isle (1691) Henry Purcell 1659-1695, words by John Dryden)
Again a love song; ‘and as these excel in beauty those shall be renowned for love’. The song comes from Purcell’s dramatic opera, a play with extensive music, ‘King Arthur’.
A Shropshire Lad (1911) Three songs, by George Butterworth 1885-1916)
words by A.E. Housman.
Look not in mine eyes
This song tells of how Narcissus fell in love with his own image, when the young man catches a glimpse of himself mirrored in a pool.
When I was one-and-twenty
Youthful innocence, and perhaps arrogance, causes the young man to ignore advice given to him when he was but twenty-one. When he reaches the grand age of twenty-two he realises that the words of the wise man were true.
The Lads in their Hundreds
The poignancy of this song is the fact that many of the young lads who are enjoying themselves at the fair will never be allowed to grow old. Sadly they will not return from the battlefield. Butterworth himself was one of these lads as he was killed at the Battle of the Somme in 1916.
In Summertime on Bredon (1911) Graham Peel 1877-1937, words by A.E.Housman)
Sadness is again the keynote of this beautiful song, which tells of the joy of love between two young people. Sadly the young man’s bride dies before the wedding day and on a snowy Christmas day is brought to the church in a coffin.
Come again, sweet love doth now invite (1597) John Dowland, 1563-1626, words anonymus)
This song comes from The First Book of Songs and tells of the pains of true love. ‘I sit, I sigh, I weep, I faint, I die in deadly pain and endless misery’
Flow not so fast ye fountaines (1603) John Dowland, words anonymus)
‘What needeth all this haste?’ The theme of the song is thus, and the charming and graceful chorus ‘Gentle springs, freshly your salt teares must still fall dropping from their spheres’ is the inspiration for the title of the CD. The song comes from The Third Book of Songs
Fine Knacks for Ladies (1600) John Dowland, words anonymus)
This jolly little fantasy comes from The Second Book of Songs. It is sometimes known as ‘The Pedlar’s Song’, which aptly describes this tale of the pedlar and his wares.
Now, O now I needs must part (1597) John Dowland, words anonymus)
The words are written to an existing tune (the Frog Galliard) and refer to the departure from England of the Duc d’Alencon, a French suitor of Queen Elizabeth I The song comes from The First Book of Songs
The Inniskillen Dragoon (date unknown )arranged A. Moffat 1866-1950, words traditional)
This tender little song tells of the soldier who has to say Farewell to Inniskillen to go to war, and leave behind his beloved country and girlfriend. If the worst comes to worst he will have died for her sake.
My Love’s an Arbutus (arranged 2002 June Clark, words traditional)
Here the Irish writer likens his love to the beautiful arbutus tree that grows by the Borders of Lene. And though time passes he will still remember her ‘like the evergreen leaf of the arbutus tree’
Star of the County Down (arranged 2004 June Clark, words traditional)
This is a ballad story of a young man’s fancy for the ‘sweet colleen’ of the County Down and his exploits in wooing the maid.
Londonderry Air (arranged 2002 June Clark, words traditional)
Known also as ‘Danny Boy’ this is one of the most well known and well loved in the Irish folk repertoire. It again tells the story of lost love, and how the lover will wait until he is reunited with his love in death and beyond. The words were written by Fred Weatherly in 1910, but originally using a different tune. Two years later the more popular tune was used.