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New ballads adapted and arranged in traditional style by an outstanding song-maker, Dave Dodds. He introduces those songs he has composed or adapted from tradition himself. Some he sings unaccompanied or with drum, while on others he is joined by Peter Kennedy (fiddle & melodeon), Steve Verge (whistle, mouth-harp & harmonium) and in chorus by the voices of Don and Sarah Morgan, of the folk group "Curate's Egg".

1. COME ALL YOU BOLD MINERS (comp by DD) unaccomp - 1.57

2. I CAN HEW (comp DD) with Don & Sarah Morgan (talk before) - 3.31

3. THE SPRINGER SPANIEL (comp DD) unaccomp (talk bef) - 2.41

4. PLYMPTON POACHERS (DD/trad) with drum (talk bef) - 2.06

5. THE CUNNING FOX (comp DD) unaccomp (talk bef) - 3.54

6. Instrumental: THE POACHER'S FATE with Peter Kennedy (melodeon); Steve Verge (whistle) & DD (drum) - 1.04

7. THE GOSHAWK (comp DD) unaccomp (talk bef) - 2.41

8. CRAWLING INTO WORK (comp DD) with Don & Sarah (talk bef) - 2.58

9. THE MAGPIE (comp DD) with Don & Sarah (talk bef) - 3.16

10. BOLD BOWERMAN ON THE MOOR (DD/trad) unaccomp followed by instrumental with Peter (melodeon) & Steve (whistle) - 3.16

11. THE MORNING LOOKS CHARMING (trad/DD) unaccomp - 1.55

12. Instrumental: WHAT A FINE HUNTING DAY with Peter (melodeon), Steve (harmonica) & David (tambourine) - 0.54

13. THE HUNTING OF BOWERMAN (DD/trad) with drum & bells - 2.15

14. THE WITCH'S CHANT (DD/trad) with Peter (fiddle), Steve (harmonium) & David (whistle) - 2.06

15. THE WITCH HARE (comp DD) with Peter (fiddle) & Steve (whistle) - 1.33

16. THE CRUEL SEA (comp DD) with Peter (fiddle) & Sarah (talk bef) - 3.44

Recorded by Peter Kennedy, Soundpost Studios, Dartington, Devon 30.3.79 & 4.5.79. Edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1975.

#1 & 2. Most of the men who left the pit and the coaldust were happier at a job less harmful to their health. The words of these two mining songs come from ex- miners I have encountered. "St Monday's Day" was a religious holiday when you slept off the effects of the weekend's beer.

#4. The tune is "Egloshayle Ringers". Baring Gould took it down from a shoemaker at Milton Abbot and published it in SONGS OF THE WEST (Also in Gundry: CANOW KERNOW p22).

#6. This was noted by H.E.D.Hammond at Sturminster Newton in Dorset in 1905 (see FMJ 1968 p245).

#10-15. "The Bowerman's Nose" songs were written when I lived at Plympton-St Maurice and tell the story of a Dartmoor legend using traditional models. #10 is based on BRENNAN ON THE MOOR, well known in the West Country. In fact there was a William Brennan executed at Bridport in Dorset who may have been the original subject of the ballad. My version is followed by the tune used by the Dorset singer, Charlie Wills of Bridport recorded by Peter Kennedy (FTX-097).

The tune for #11 is a well-known hunting song (FTX-120), that for #13 is another collected by Baring Gould, "The Hunting of Arscott of Tetcott". Long after his death there were men around Dartmoor who believed they had seen him and his hounds and heard the sound of his horn in the night. Others supposed him to be the master of "The Wish Hounds" (Dave Styles has a song about this on FTX-090).

The tune for #14 is that of the Yorkshire "Lyke Wake Dirge" (FTX-223).

DAVID DODDS was born at Aldershot, Hampshire in 1954, his father came from Hull and his mother from Sheffield in Yorkshire. He first became interested in folksong through hearing the group, "The Young Tradition", while still at school, later discovering that his father had fragments of traditional songs and relatives who played the Northumbrian small-pipes. For him, the unaccompanied harmony singing tradition opened up a new world of music beyond that of "Led Zeppelin" and other pop groups of that time. He went to folk clubs in Devon and Dorset and, listening to Peter's recordings in the FOLKTRAX archive, learned further subtleties of traditional singing. David has now exchanged folk music for Rock and currently leads the Wiltshire rock group, "RED JASPER".

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