FTX-135 - UNTO BRIGG FAIR
GRAINGER, DELIUS, SHARP &TAYLOR
Percy Grainger recorded a number of traditional singers in Lincolnshire in
1906, of which Joseph was by far the most outstanding, both for his songs and
for his singing technique. Here are 12 songs with talk about him by his daughter,
Mary, recorded by Peter Kennedy in 1953. Delius used Brigg Fair for "English
Rhapsody", and Joseph's son, John, and sister Mary, sing the song and talk
about their father and his encounters with Percy Grainger, Frederic Delius and
Cecil Sharp. Also included is an extract of Grainger's "Lincolnshire Posy".
1. BRIGG FAIR sung by Mary Taylor (age 82), rec. by Peter Kennedy, Saxby-all-
Saints, 27.3.53 - 1'15"
2. Mary talks about her father, the North Lincolnshire Music Competitions,
Lady Winifred & Gervase Elwes, Everard Fielding, Percy Grainger, Cecil Sharp,
the singer who couldn't be stopped, and gives the names of songs recorded by
her father for Percy Grainger in London, 1905/6 - 2'46"
3. BRIGG FAIR 2v sung by Joseph Taylor (75), phonographed in 1906 - 0'30"
4. Mary talks about her father singing at home, in the church choir & her
brother John - 0'41"
5. BRIGG FAIR sung by John Taylor rec. Saxby-all-Saints, 1944 - 2'17"
6. Mary talks about family singing, winter evenings, the harmonium, her father
playing and singing with the violin, his style "with turns and twiddles" - 2'11"
7. THE SPRIG OF THYME sung by Joseph Taylor (phonographed as above) - 1'32"
8. (BOLD) WILLIAM TAYLOR - 3'38"
9. RUFFORD PARK POACHERS - 1'32"
10. THE GYPSY'S WEDDING DAY - 1'38"
11. More talk by Mary about her father, his occupation, false accounts, birthplace
and learning BRIGG FAIR, possibly from gypsies - 1'48"
12. MARIA MARTIN (or "Murder in the Red Barn") sung by Joseph Taylor
13. LORD BATEMAN - 1'56"
14. I WISH MY BABY LITTLE WAS BORN (or DIED FOR LOVE) - 0'57"
15. CREEPING JANE - 3'02"
16. JEALOUSY (WORCESTER CITY or POISON IN A GLASS OF WINE) - 2'38"
17. THE WHITE HARE - 2'32"
18. THE FOUR MARIES - sung by Mary Taylor - 1'04"
19. THE SPRIG OF THYME - sung by Mary Taylor - 1'21"
20. Mary talks about BRIGG FAIR, how Percy Grainger noted song & showed
it to Frederic Delius, her father going to London, to the Queen's Hall for the
first performance and how her father joined in, humming the tune in Dress Circle
21. RUFFORD PARK POACHERS - Excerpt from Percy Grainger's "Lincolnshire Posy" arranged for Wind Ensemble - 3'35"
22. LORD BATEMAN suing by Mr Thompson - 2'39"
23. GREEN BUSHES sung by Joseph Leaning - 0'54"
24. THE SHEFFIELD APPRENTICE sung by Joseph Leaning - 4'55"
25. HORKSTOW GRANGE sung by George Gouldthorpe - 1'12"
26. THE LANDLORD AND THE TENANT sung by Joseph Taylor - 0'39"
27. BOLD NEVISON sung by Joseph Taylor - 0'59"
28. LORD MELBOURNE sung by George Wray - 1'12"
29. ROBIN HOOD AND THE THREE SQUIRES sung by Dean Robinson - 2'22"
30. T'OWD YOWE WI' ONE HORN sung by Dean Robinson - 1'32"
The recordings of Mary Taylor, Joseph Taylor's daughter, were made by Peter Kennedy
at her home at Saxby-all-Saints on the 27th March, 1953. The recordings of Joseph
Taylor and the other Lincolnshire singers were taken from gramophone copies of
the original wax phonograph cylinders made in 1906. Permission for this was graciously
given by Percy Grainger in 1957. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on
Folktrax Cassettes 1979.
In introducing the phonographic performances, which were issued by The Gramophone
Company, 31st. July 1908, as "English Folk-Songs sung by Genuine Peasant
Performers", Percy Grainger wrote: "From such records as these, art-
singers can acquire the interpretative traditions and characteristics from which
folksongs derive so much of their colour and charm, and folksong students, years
hence, will be able to study the performances (and dialect pronounciations)
of today, which contain in themselves the accumulated inventiveness and richness
of past ages.
"Mr. Joseph Taylor is in most respects the most exceptional folksinger I
have yet heard. Although he is 75 years of age, his lovely tenor voice is as
fresh as a young man's, while the ease and ring of the high notes, the freshness
of his rhythmic attack, his clear intonation of modal intervals, and his finished
execution of ornamental turns and twiddles (in which so many folk-singers abound)
are typical of all that is best in the vocal art of the peasant traditional-singers
of these islands"
For the words, and other details of these songs, see The Journal of The Folk-
Song Society #12 May 1908. For his choral arrangement of BRIGG FAIR, Grainger
added 3 extra verses to those sung by Joseph Taylor: Verse 3 from LOW DOWN IN
THE BROOM, coll. W.Percy Merrick (JFSS #3 p.94) and Verses 4 & 5 from THE
MERRY KING, sung to him by Alfred Hunt of West Sussex (JFSS #12 p.224)