Mary and Anahata small pic

Mary Humphreys and Anahata

Traditional English Folk Music



Music from the Cambridgeshire Fens and East Anglia

Wild Goose WGS340CD.
Fenlandia CD Cover
1 Nutting Song
2 The Cuckoo and the Nightingale
3 Sheringham Breakdown / Yarmouth Breakdown
4 Elwina of Waterloo
5 Lowlands of Germany
6 The Hungry Army
7 Lucy Wan
8 Dennington Bell / March of the Men of Devon
9 Lord Thomas & Fair Eleanor
10 Sun Assembly
11 Hey down derry
12 Polly Vaughan
13 Tafarn y Wheatsheaf / Rasus Doncaster
14 We'll be all smiles tonight
Searching for songs from our Cambridgeshire area, Mary noticed that "Lucy Wan" in the EFDSS book "Classic English Folk Songs" was collected in Cottenham, a village 6 miles north of Cambridge. A search of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House revealed more songs from the same source, though most words had to be completed from sources such as the broadside collection in the Bodleian Library. Further research into the descendants of Ella Bull and Charlotte Dann took Mary to the Cambridge County Records Office and led to contacts with Jerry Bull in Canada, a living descendant of Ella Bull who was able to supply photographs and information. Local historian Francis Garrett provided the photographs printed in the booklet, and Martin and Judy Silvester of Histon put her in touch with Barry Dann, another distant relative who helped arrange a meeting with his great aunt, the last living grandchild of Charlotte Dann.

Ella Bull would have been about 6 years old when she heard these songs sung by Charlotte Dann as a domestic servant in about 1875; it is extraordinary to have met someone now who remembers Charlotte Dann as her grandmother!

The Cottenham songs are all versions of (in some cases rare) existing traditional songs but with tunes not collected elsewhere.

Amongst other material the album contains five of the "Cottenham" songs and and the East Anglian flavour is maintained in some of the dance tunes from Norfolk and Suffolk.

Mary Humphreys vocals, English concertina, banjo
Anahata cello, Anglo concertina, melodeons, chorus
Dave Holland fiddle, hurdy gurdy, chorus
Gina Holland flute, piccolo, recorder
Doug Bailey chorus

Review Quotes

"The more they seem to be settled in the country, the more their music seems to be simple, pared-down, beautiful and timeless... A majestic, fragile voice and a master musician of versatility; you can't fault it!"
Mick Tems, Taplas
Full review

"an album well worth investigating"
Danny Moore, Rock'n'Reel
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