Ask, what are my gifts?
Down by the river

Tunes for a Monday Morning

The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower by PJ Lynch

After songs of the sea last week, here are songs of sailors and sailing ships from the British Isles and North America....

Above: "The Bonny Ship the Diamond" performed by Beoga (Sean Og Graham, Damian McKee, Niamh Dunne, Eamon Murray, Liam Bradley) from Co. Kerry, Ireland. The song appeared on their seventh album Before We Change Our Mind (2016).

Below: "Banks of the Newfoundland" peformed by Teyr (James Patrick Gavin, Dominic Henderson, Tommie Black-Roff), based in London. The song appeared on their debut album, Far From the Tree (2016).

Above: "William Taylor" performed by multi-instrumentalist Sam Sweeny and singer and accordionist Hannah James.  The song appeared on their second collaborative album, State and Ancientry (2012).

Below: "Cruel" performed by singer/songwriter Kate Rubsy, from Yorkshire. The song appeared on her sixth album, Underneath the Stars (2003). For information on the use of "press gangs" to force men into the military, go here.

Above: Cyril Tawney's "The Grey Funnel Line," performed by the great English folk singer June Tabor. She first recorded the song with Maddy Prior for their collaborative album Silly Sisters (1976). This haunting solo version appeared on Tabor's Ashore (2011).

Below: "Maid on the Shore" performed by folk singer and fiddle player Eliza Carthy, from Yorkshire. The song appeared on her seventh solo album Rough Music (2004).

Above: "Demon Lover" (also known as The House Carpenter, Child Ballad #243), performed by American roots musician Tim O'Brien, with backing vocals by Irish singer Karen Casey. The song appeared on O'Brien's album Two Journeys (2001). 

Below: "The Golden Vanity" performed by the American folk & bluegrass band Crooked Still, sung by Aoife O'Donovan (whose solo work I also recommend, as well as the trio I'm With Her). The song was filmed last year for Chris Thile's television program Live from Here.

One more to end with: "Lord Franklin," a 19th century broadside ballad about Franklin's ill-fated expedition to the Artic in 1845. This simple, lovely version is from John Smith's album Hummingbird, recorded in Somerset last year.

The art today is by the extraordinary Irish book artist P.J. Lynch. To see more of his beautiful work, go here.

The North Wind by PJ Lynch

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