Sunday, January 17, 2010

Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick: I Haven't Told Her

Don't get me wrong. I love British folk music. I can't get enough of people walking out on May mornings or of drowned sailors. It's just that the genre sometimes seems to lack a sense of humour.

So it is a delight to find two of the stars of the 1960s' British folk revival singing like this.

A little Googling suggests that this song is not by Peter Sellers, as the poster on Youtube claims (though Sellers did perform it), but by Sammy Fain. And this recording is taken from a 1965 documentary for Danish television.

Elsewhere on this blog Dave Swarbrick plays the violin with Fairport Convention and Whippersnapper. More on Martin Carthy another day, no doubt.


Frank Little said...

You require some Graham Larkbey.

Simon Titley said...

The problem with English folk music is not its lack of humour but its tendency to sing about life as an eighteenth century farm worker. Few people in today's audience can look forward to some illicit sex in a haystack or worry about being hanged for sheep-rustling.

This is one of the reasons I admire the music of Richard Thompson and Chris Wood, neither of whom wallow in Arran sweater-wearing ersatz nostalgia.

Benny said...

I recently recorded my own (far inferior, obviously) version that was based off of my distant memories of the Carthy-Swarbrick one. My version is currently the closest thing to it on Youtube. So good to see that the real thing is still out there. Thanks for posting, and if you like, check out my attempt to replicate that arrangement on the baritone ukulele:

The previous comment was also spot-on: folk musicians do best when they play songs that transcend the era from which the style of music arose.