More Music from the Cambridge AreaWild Goose WGS362CD.
Mary's continued research into songs from our Cambridgeshire area focuses (see Fenlandia) on the songs collected by Ralph Vaughan Williams during extended visits staying in Meldreth, south of Cambridge. From that base his local travels (probably by train and bicycle) took him to villages around Cambridge and he collected songs from Meldreth, Fowlmere, Royston, Bassingbourn, Fen Ditton, Ely and Cottenham. The RVW memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House provided copies of his notes, which were mostly the tunes with titles but very few lyrics. In one felicitous case Mary was able to match up a set of words collected by Ella Bull in Cottenham (without tune) with the tune (but no words) collected by RVW from the same singer on another occasion. Other lyrics were found by searching the Broadside ballad collection at the Bodleian Library, Oxford (on the web) for titles that matched RVW's notes combined with words that fitted the tune. Usually the correct version was an obvious good fit, though we can't know what exact verses were sung by RVW's singers.
Many of the tunes in the instrumental tracks are from the unpublished manuscript of William Clarke of Feltwell, on the edge of the Fens in Norfolk. The original book is owned by Peter and Lyn Law in Cheshire and we are grateful to them for letting us take photos of the book's pages from which we have transcribed some of the tunes.