The Roving Jewel
Tutty's simple, straightforward interpretation of traditional material has stood the test of time. She cuts to the emotional heart of her material, giving a respectful yet meaningful interpretation of the songs. - Dirty Linen Magazine
Tracks & Notes
- Katy Cruel - a song about an unhappy woman, frustrated with her lot in life. It is presumably of Irish origin but collected in the U.S.
- Southwind - an Irish song of longing for home. It is said to have been written by the 18th Century piper Donal McNamara, and translated by Donal O'Sullivan. I was drawn to the Southwind persona through my childhood memories of Chinook Winds, which could transform winter into spring in a few hours.
- Polka Piquée / The Blind Harper - first, a French tune, followed by a trickster tale of a horse theft on the Scots-English border, which may well have happened in the 1500s.
- Annachie Gordon tells of an arranged marriage where a young woman is forced into a loveless marriage with a rich lord.
- Black Sarah (Lorraine Lee Hammond) is about the travelling people of Britain who suffer much discrimination. Black Sarah is the patron saint of the European gypsies.
- Who Liveth So Merry - a song about the simple pleasures of the working people. Perhaps as old as 1558, I learned it from William Chappell's Old English Popular Music.
- Rolling Home Drunk - a lament (and plan for revenge) of an abused woman. It is an Irish/Scots song which I learned from the singing of Cilla Fisher.
- The World Turned Upside Down (Leon Rosselson) tells of the Diggers movement of the 1640's during the English Revolution, at the time when common people had been deprived of their right to work the lands. Much of the song comes from the writings of the Digger's leader Gerrard Winstanley.
- Bonny Portmore - a lament for the forest and fortress of Portmore, an estate in Northern Ireland destroyed for the charcoal-burning industry of the 18th Century.
- Low Down in the Broom / Sally in the Garden - amazing! - a happy love song! Followed by an American fiddle tune.
- The Bonny Lass of Anglesey - the story of a dance competition with the "Bonny Lass" as our heroine, triumphing over the lords. It is a British ballad from the Child collection, expanded upon by Martin Carthy.
- The Hare's Lament, from the singing of Len Graham, is an Irish hunting song from the hare's point of view. As well as being a compassionate statement, I see this song as part of a much older ritual - the act of honouring and apologizing to one's prey.
- The Lass of Loch Royal - an epic ballad encompassing passion, adventure, jealousy and tragedy. Learned mostly from the singing of Peggy Seeger, it is a North Carolina version of a Scots ballad.
- The Dancers of Stanton Drew (Jim Parker/Muriel Holland) - the traditional tale explaining the creation of the stone circle in Somerset - a wedding party tempted by the devil.
- The hidden track is La Casa / Turlute d'Antonio - two fiddle tunes from Quebec.
Review: Canadian Folk Music
I've always enjoyed Paddy's voice. She has a distinctive timbre, passion which never gets out of control, masterful pacing in the ballads where her voice alternately soars like a lark in the sky and gently folds around phrases like a leaf round a bud.
My recommendation is to pick up a copy of the roving jewel, Paddy Tutty's fifth release, and give it a listen. While the title of this release is a reference to the first track, "Katy Cruel," it might also refer to Tutty, for she is surely a jewel of Canadian folk music.
Bob Mackenzie, Sound Bytes