Gurdy Girl With Friends


Background to the tunes


Tracks featured :

1 Twa Corbies

A traditional Scottish Ballad (Child's "The English and Scottish Popular Ballads") from the same family as the English Three Ravens. This version however, gets a little closer to the realities of life.


2 Trollpolska

A traditional Boda polska. Troll, in Swedish, loosely translates to magic and enchantment. The sympathetic strings on the nyckelharpa enhance this feeling.



3 Yea ho little fish

This song is said to have been collected in Australia, however it is maybe better known through the Spencer Tracey film, "Captains Courageous".
Spencer Tracey is seen playing a hurdy gurdy while singing "Yea ho little fish".



4 Captains Courageous

Written by English hurdy gurdy player, Nigel Eaton, this tune fits nicely with "Yea ho little fish".


5 Piqué la baleine

From the French South Seas Sperm Whale fishery. This rowing song, a Chanson á ramer, is one of the few survivors from that trade. The words roughly translate as
"I will sail the oceans until I find my true love and then we shall roll together in each others arms at the bottom of the sea". Ho hum.


6 Ben Durdi

This piece achieves a unique, haunting sound through the sympathetic strings on both instruments, the Indian Bendir drum and the hurdy gurdy.


7 The Teeside Bridges

Written by Erik Gooding in the 1970s this tells part of the story of the decline of heavy industry in Britain. Erik, a mathmatics student, worked a holiday job with the Dorman Long Company in Teeside as steel stocks piled high. Erik also worked for a year in Australia as a maths teacher at Scotch College in Melbourne.


8 Havet sväller

A drone based tune where the saxophone and hurdy gurdy interwweave, quietly accompanied by an ever moving beat from various drums and percussion.


9 The Prostitute song

This was written by Colin Campbell in the 1970s when he used to live in Sydney near Kings Cross and was friendly with a few of the local ladies of the night who lived in the area.


10 Emma/Five Jump/Sven Sture

Traditional Finnish (arr. Angelika Maier)/ traditional Danish/ Wolfgang Meyering


11 Broom Beezums

This song appears both in areas of the north of England and in Scotland. It is essentially advertising brooms made from heather for sale and is said to have been popular in the 19th century. It is believed to have been the work of a blind fiddler, Willie Purvis


12 Jabberwocky

After mistakenly asking South Australian composer, David Lang, to write me a "slightly tonal piece", I received this masterpiece for my eighteenth birthday.
You can imagine the hilarity that occurred when the studio had to be re-arranged for the electric beater to be recorded!


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