Let's start the week with songs of love lost and found in the countryside. I send them out to all of you locked down in urban spaces right now, and longing for a bit of green....
Above: "Down by the Sally Gardens" (from a poem William Butler Yeats, 1889, set to the air The Maids of Mourne Shore), performed by Emily Mae Winters -- a singer/songwriter born in England, raised in Ireland, and now based in London. The song appears on her gorgeous album Siren Serenade (2017).
Below: "The Lark in the Morning" (a traditional song collected in Sussex in 1904), sung by The Imagined Village's Eliza Carthy, with guest vocalist Jackie Oates. The song appears on the band's second album, Empire & Love (2010).
Above: "I Wandered by the Brookside" (a traditional song collected in Oxfordshire, circa 1916), performed by The Askew Sisters (Hazel and Emily Askew). The song appears on their album Enclosure (2019), a beautiful meditation on nature, Britain's Enclosures Acts, and enclosures of all kinds.
Below: An American Appalachian version of "Riddles Wisely Expounded" (Child Ballad #2), performed by folk musician, actor, and theatre director Sophie Crawford, based in London. The song appears on her first album Silver Pin (2019), which is well worth a listen.
Above: "The Gardener" (Child Ballad #219), performed by singer, cellist, fiddler, and viola player Rachel McShane, from north-east England. Best known for her work with Bellowhead, this song appeared on McShane's fine solo album No Man's Fool (2009).
Below: "The Broomfield Hill" (Child Ballad #43), performed by the long-running Scottish folk band Malinky. It's from their terrific album Flower & Iron (2008).
Above: "As I Roved Out," a traditional Irish song performed acapella by American singer-songwriter Becca Stevens and bluegrass mandolin master Chris Thile, filmed for the Live From Here television program (January, 2020).
And to end as we began, with William Butler Yeats...
For more information on Child Ballads, go here. Photos: Tilly in the local deer park, full of bluebells this time of year.