John Roberts & Tony Barrand

Live at Holsteins!

Playlist   |   Technical Info   |   Song Notes   |   Order

1.John Barleycorn4:04 WAV - MP3
2.The Man that Waters the Workers' Beer3:38 WAV - MP3
3.Garners Gay3:57 WAV - MP3
4.Three Drunken Maidens1:53 WAV - MP3
5.Bonny Black Hare2:31 WAV - MP3
6.Congleton Bear3:51 WAV - MP3
7.The Rolling Mills of New Jersey5:00 WAV - MP3
8.Three Ha'pence a Foot4:18 WAV - MP3
9.Johnny Sands2:44 WAV - MP3
10.German Musicianer3:05 WAV - MP3
11.Jolly Roving Tar3:33 WAV - MP3
12.Herrin's Head4:16 WAV - MP3
13.Eat Bertha's Mussels4:10 WAV - MP3
14.Boozing3:37 WAV - MP3
15.The Ballad of the Cowpuncher3:09 WAV - MP3
16.Newman's Ale2:29 WAV - MP3
17.The Man at the Nore3:57 WAV - MP3
18.The Battle of Hastings4:02 WAV - MP3
19.The Barley Mow5:30 WAV - MP3
Total Duration69:58
Lyrics for each song can be accessed by following the links in the playlist above.


Produced by John Roberts & Tony Barrand
Recorded live at Holsteins, 2462 North Lincoln, Chicago, November 5 & 6, 1982 by Rich Warren, WFMT
Mastered and Edited by Grey Larsen at Sleepy Creek Recording & Mastering, Bloomington, Indiana
Photography by Emily Freidman
Design by Roger Mock from original LP design by Jon Henry
Notes by John Roberts & Tony Barrand
2000 Golden Hind Music


It was really Emily Friedman's fault. She wanted a recording of "The Barley Mow," that classic English drinking song, she thought we were the boys to do it, and she suggested that only a live recording would do. So she and her volunteer staff at Aural Tradition in Chicago booked us into Holsteins for a weekend, organized Rich Warren of WFMT to bring in some microphones and his new toy, a digital recording machine, and ordered us to go to work. So we did, and our recording of pub songs, choruses, general mayhem and merrymaking became a Front Hall L.P. Now we've gone back to those original tapes to add a few more songs and recitations, and here it is, finally, on CD.

Times change. Our hosts Ed and Fred Holstein no longer have their club, which was one of the finest folk music listening rooms in the country; Bill Newman (of "Newman's Ale") no longer has a brewery, though he still makes beer and he still dances the morris; Rich Warren is still at WFMT radio where he hosts the long-running "Midnight Special"; Tony and Laura Norris still serve mussels at Bertha's in Balitmore; and New Jersey hasn't yet slipped into the ocean.

The English pub is not the same either, but the songs live on.

John & Tony, 10/00

In the "sing-along-with-a-pint-in-your-hand" department, The Barley Now is one of those songs that any regular at a folk club knows, and we don't have a specific source for it. We both learned it by joining in, and this is the way it turned out. John heard Boozing at a folk club in England around 1970, sung by Tim Hart & Maddy Prior. The Man That Waters the Workers' Beer is from the pen of "Paddy Ryan" (Dr. R. E. W. Fisher) written in 1938 when he was a medical student. He recorded the song a year later, with The International, as the first releast of the nascent Topic Records. Nottingham Ale, also known as Newcastle Ale, was published by William Chappell in his Popular Music of the Olden Times. The tune is attributed to Heny Purcell and is known for its use in the 1690s for the Irish political satire, Lilliburlero, as well as for country dances. We sing it here as Newman's Ale; in concert we tend to use the name of any local microbrew.

Fred Hamer's collection Garners Gay gave us John Barleycorn, a death-resurrection saga which seems to have first appeared on a broadside during the reign of James I. Garners Gay is from the same collection: both are from the singing of William Bartle.

On the nautical tack, Herrin's Head is another of those songs which became widely known through the folk clubs, this Tyneside version primarily through the singing of Louis Killen. We had The Man at the Nore from Cyril Tawney who put it together from two traditional West Country variants. Jolly Roving Tar is from the Frank and Anne Warner collection (Lena Bourne Fish of East Jaffrey, NH).

A.L. Lloyd collected songs, and also created them. He adapted texts from broadsides, chapbooks, motifs and fragments and fitted them with tunes, and moulded them seamlessly into gems which he passed back into the tradition. From him come The Bonny Black Hare and Three Drunken Maidens. In a similar light-hearted vein, German Musicianer comes from Harry Cox, and Johnny Sands comes from the Kidson collection, via Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.

Marriott Edgar wrote a large number of monologues for Stanley Holloway including the famous "Albert" series. Here Tony gives us a history lesson and a Bible story, in The Battle of Hastings and Three Ha'pence a Foot.

On to the more recent songs. John Tams set the Chesire legend of the Congleton Bear to the morris tune Swaggering Boney. We wanted to do at least one "American" song for our adopted country, and Genny Haley's The Ballad of the Cowpuncher struck us as a seminal example of Great American Poetry. John wrote Eat Bertha's Mussels for our hosts at the fine Baltimore establishment, who have never failed to treat us royally on our many visits there. And, finally, we admit to responsibility for The Rolling Mills of New Jersey. Matt McGinn wrote The Rolling Hills of the Border. This is not that.

© Golden Hind Music