NELSON PEACH





Jack Frightenem : released 3rd May ’12

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Recorded by Bernard Cromarty. Mixed by Bernard Cromarty and Nelson Peach.
Thanks to Gary Spicer for cover design and to Lorraine Matthews for photographs of the band. Photograph of Jack Frightenem from Darren Hayday.


Track Notes
  1. Bedlam Boys (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach. Tune by Nic Jones.)
    Bedlam Boys, one of the earliest songs about madness, dates from about 1600. Published by dramatist and songwriter Thomas D‘Urfey at the end of the 17th century in ‘Whit or Mirth or Pills to Purge Melancholy’. Bedlam was the common name for St. Mary Bethlehem hospital in London (now called Bethlem Royal Hospital) which housed the insane. During the 18th century it was a popular activity to visit the hospital to watch the poor inmates. The hospital charged one penny admission and raised an income of £400 p/a from visitors! ([ed] around 270 people / day!)
    The term “Tom O’ Bedlam” was used to describe beggars and vagrants who had or feigned mental illness.

  2. Jackie Munro (Lay The Lily Low) (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach)
    Another of those traditional English cross-dressing songs. It is closely related to ‘Jack-a-Roe’, recorded by the Grateful Dead. We got our version from a CD called ‘Women of a Certain Age’ by Gail Williams.

  3. Hark, Hark (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach)
    Lesley found this version of the children’s rhyme ‘Hark, Hark the Dogs Do Bark’ subtitled ‐ a dialogue between a man (in garrison) and his wife (with her company) storming without ‐ in the British Library in a volume entitled ‘Westminster Drollery. Or, A Choice Collection of the Newest Songs & Poems both at Court and Theatres’, by A Person of Quality (1671). The tunes at the start and end are ‘The Boores Daunce’, an Elizabethan lute tune and the Playford tune, ‘Cuckolds all in a Row’.

  4. Bold Doherty (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach)
    The man who keeps coming back to the woman he loves — his mother! From Mary Ann Carolan via Norma Waterson and Dervish.

  5. Jack Frightenem (Nelson Peach)
    A song inspired by Jack Butler, known locally as ‘Jack Frightenem’ for his unkempt appearance. He lived in a shack in the woods near Lane End, a village in Buckinghamshire, near High Wycombe. He is said to have been jilted as a young man and, as a result took to living as a hermit in the woods. Rick’s parents both lived in the village and their families used to use Jack as the bogeyman. If the children misbehaved they were warned that Jack Frightenem would get them! He was of course quite harmless. Rick’s great grandparents kept a pub, the Peacock, on the edge of the village. His great grandmother insisted on making Jack take a bath in the tub in the kitchen before she would serve him any beer!

  6. Muddley Barracks (Trad. arranged Richard Peach)
    The soldier laments his miserable life in the military and wishes he was back behind the plough. From the singing of Jumbo Brightwell, of Leiston, Suffolk (Vol 20 of the Topic ‘The Voice of the People’ series). Known as “Bungay Roger”, “The Yorkshire Blinder”, “The St. Mervyn Grinder”, it seems to derive from a broadside from about the time of the Napoleonic wars.

  7. The Blackest Crow (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach)
    A song dating back at least to the American Civil War. Our version owes much to Dirk Powell and ‘My Dearest Dear’ by Sweeney’s Men. The earliest recording is that of Tommy Jarrell (1901-1985).

  8. Come All You Little Streamers (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach)
    From the singing of Shirley Collins. Much has been written about the meaning of this song. We like think it is about Cornish tin streaming ([ed]'panning' for Cassiterite).

  9. Nottingham Lads (Malcolm Whyman)
    PALS battalions were recruited in many northern towns in the first world war — Barnsley, Accrington, Manchester to name a few — the idea being that men could serve alongside their friends. The prospects and pay appeared more attractive for many than their current circumstances. Malcolm Whyman, the songwriter, is a friend of Richard Peach’s brother and a native of Beeston, Notts. He has released two CDs -
    • Nottingham ‐ the Rough and the Smooth
    • Nottingham ‐ Roughly Speaking (the source of this song)

  10. Moll Malone (Trad. arranged Nelson Peach)
    Someone at Lymm Folk Club passed the version of this by ‘Firebrand’ to us. The song describes the life cycle of a traveller.

  11. Tilbury Town (Rolling Down The River) (Jack Forbes)
    Nelson Peach, ably accompanied by Bernard Cromarty (Vocal) We failed miserably in our search for sea shanty. This is a river shanty we like instead. Jack Forbes wrote the song in 1982 for a radio programme about Tilbury Docks. A TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is a standard-sized metal container, easily transferred between different modes of transportation, such as ships, trains and trucks.

  12. Rattle My Cage (Little Birdie) (Chas Justus — Bluebird Press Music administered by BUG Music)
    From the singing of Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy on the CD ‘Adieu False Heart’ discovered during a trip to California. The song is written by Chas Justus of the Red Stick Ramblers from Louisiana.

  13. The End Of The Line (Buz Collins — Fellsongs Music)
    The railway as a metaphor for life. We knew we wanted to do this song from the moment we heard Buz (son of Dolly Collins) perform this as his first number at the Railway Folk Club in Heatley, Lymm in July 1999. Sadly Buz passed away in 2002, leaving a very fine CD ‘Water and Rain’. A second CD, completed before his death has never been released.

  14. Following The Old ‘Oss (Tony Deane)
    Padstow May Day celebrations encapsulated in song. We got this from Tony Rose whom we saw sing and play it at Wadebridge Festival in 2001.

Jack Frightenem
Title Link (click below)
Nottingham Lads nottlads.mp3
Bold Doherty bolddoherty.mp3
The Blackest Crow blackestcrow.mp3
Old Oss oldoss.mp3
Jack Frightnem - Full jackfrightenem-full.mp3

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SHELFLIFE was our first CD
This CD was recorded in Spring 2005 as a live performance. It was produced and mixed by Bernard Cromarty, a veteran of the local folk scene, who knows our music well. It consists of eight tracks of mainly traditional material and it retails at £6.00 The CD is very similar to our live sound ; the production having involved only minimal effects and overdubbing. The title suggests that whatever effect we have had on the songs won’t be permanent.
CD Art work produced by Sarah Nelson ,     Web page Logo by Jo. Nelson.
CD cover prepared for print by Gary Spicer.

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© RJP/NELSONPEACH ’10-16          version: 30th September ’16