Tuesday, 26 February 2013

When I was a Lad: Megson CD

If you have been enduring the Yakki song for too long, there is a breath of fresh air in the music for kids market, an album that has an eternal appeal to music lovers of all ages - When I was a Lad: Megson - a real treat to ears.

"The most original husband-and-wife duo on the British folk scene.Wisely, they have recorded an album that will also appeal to parents, thanks to the harmonies and gently driving instrumental work, and the inclusion of love songs and the exquisite lullaby Bee-0, along with an unexpected treatment of children's favourites"
The Guardian

What is Megson? It is the husband and wife duo - Stu and Debbie Hanna, who were nominated in the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards three times. They have won the 2011 Spiral Earth Awards. What makes them stand out is their Teesside heritage, great vocals and intelligent lyrics.
A mix of vocals is simply superb, and they are not afraid to change the well known lyrics, add to them, like the true bards of the North they are.
The new album has been recorded in their home studio. It was created after the couple took a break from music in 2011, when their baby girl Lola Wren was born.

In a true folk tradition each song tells a story. What I found especially endearing and praiseworthy, this collection of songs doesn't dumb down its audience like many albums for children, but raises them to their intelligent level and encourages them to listen to the words.
The Riddle Song, which dates back to the 15C, is very moving and philosophical. I have never heard it before, it was a revelation, very pure, beautiful and a bit mournful.

All the Shops Have Fallen Down has a different rhythm and makes your feet dance, as it is performed with vigour and energy.

Some of the songs are familiar like Oats & Beans & Barley-O or Dance to Your Daddy, and are a pleasure to listen to in a new interpretation.


     Eddie dancing to the music of Megson (don't ask me where he got his dance moves from)

Megson will be performing some exclusive Family shows across the UK. The first two will be:


14/03/13 - The Sage Gateshead, Tyneside. 0191 443 4661 - 1:30pm

21/04/13 - The Junction, Cambridge. 01223 511 511 - 11:30am

When I was a Lad
is available to buy from the Megson Shop at £10.00

Track Listing

1. Bee-O (Traditional)

A Yorkshire lullaby, where "go to bee'o's" means "go to sleep"...

2. All The Shops Have Fallen Down (Hanna/Hanna)

This started life as an educational song - it was meant to list all the different shops on the high street and what could be bought there. But songs should reflect the times they are written in...

3. Jenny Jenkins (Traditional)

One of our favourite song books is 104 FOLK SONGS (as recorded on folkways records) compiled by Moses Asch, 1964. The copy we have was rescued from a house clearance by Debs's dad and has become well worn over the years. It has given us some great songs including this, Jenny Jenkins, a courtship songs from America.

4. Oats & Beans & Barley-o (Traditional)

A play song collected by a Miss Burne of Shropshire and published in a lovely illustrated book from 1894 entitled "Children's Singing Games". The game involves the children standing in a ring whilst taking turns to act out the actions.

5. The Riddle Song (Traditional)

We found this popular song in Sharp & Karpeles 80 English Folk Songs. But The earliest version of this was published around 1430 under the title of " I have a yong suster" in the Sloane Manuscript 2593, a valuable manuscript of 15th century carols and lyrics currently held in the British Library.

6. Me Fathers Farm (Traditional)

Collected from Mr Thorton of the valley of Lothersdale, Yorkshire by Alison McMorland and presented in her fantastic collection of songs, rhymes and games for children entitled "The Funny Family" (Ward Lock Educational).

7. Dance To Your Daddy (based on the original by W. Watson)

Popularised by TV adverts and Theme Tunes, the earliest published version of this (entitled Dance To Thy Daddy) was attributed to to a W.Watson in W & T Fordye's Newcastle Songster of 1840.

8. Baby And The Band (Hanna/Hanna)

We have never seen a baby play a banjo & wouldn't advise trying it due to the highly tense strings.

9. Leatherwing Bat (Traditional)

Also known as The Bird's Courting Song or The Hawk & The Crow, this ballads tells the stories of various birds in their courting expeditions and how they have succeeded and failed.

10. A Frog He Would A Woo-ing Go (Traditional)

Based on the 1883 version published by Randolph Caldecott - we would love to know what a frog would look like wearing an Opera Hat….its just a shame about the tragic end.

11. Five Little Ducks (Traditional)

What can we say - we're just glad they all made it home safely...

This album is a lovely change from the Yakki-yakki-yogi-doo-doo-doo, and we both love it.

When I was a Lad: Megson comes highly recommended by Eddie and I.

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