> Folk Music > Records > The Willett Family: The Roving Journeymen

The Roving Journeymen

The Willett Family: The Roving Journeymen (Topic 12T84)

The Roving Journeymen
English Traditional Songs sung by Traditional Singers
The Willett Family

Topic Records 12T84 (LP, UK, 1963)
Topic Records TSDL084 (digital download, UK, January 2010)

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Recorded by Bill Leader and Paul Carter in the singer's home on a caravan site near Ashford, Middlesex in 1962;
Topic Records Ltd acknowledges the help of Ken Stubbs, of Lingfield, Surrey, who first located and recorded the Willetts;
Edited by Paul Carter;
Photograph and sleeve design by Brian Shuel

Musicians

Tom Willett (1878-1966), vocals [1-2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12];
Chris Willett (1914-2004), vocals [5, 7, 9, 11];
Ben Willett (1909-1974), vocals [3]

Tracks

Side 1Side 2
  1. [Tom] Lord Bateman (Roud 40; Child 53L; G/D 5:1023; Henry H470) (6.50)
  2. [Tom] The Blacksmith Courted Me (Roud 816) (3.15)
  3. [Ben] The Little Ball of Yarn (Roud 1404) (2.56)
  4. [Tom] Died for Love (Roud 60; Laws P25; G/D 6:1170; Henry H683) (3.42)
  5. [Chris] The Rambling Sailor (Roud 518; G/D 7:1477) (5.24)

All songs trad.

  1. [Tom] Riding Down to Portsmouth (Roud 1534) (3.44)
  2. [Chris] As I Was Going to Salisbury (Roud 364) (0.56)
  3. [Tom] The Roving Journeyman (Roud 360; G/D 7:1397) (1.58)
  4. [Chris] The Roving Journeyman (Roud 360; G/D 7:1397) (1.13)
  5. [Tom] While the Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping (Roud 363) (2.51)
  6. [Chris] The Old Miser (Roud 3913) (6.49)
  7. [Tom] The Game of Cards (Roud 232) (5.36)

Review

This review is from Gramophone, September 1963:

… If The Iron Muse deals with the world of industry, The Roving Journeymen (12T84), the work of the Willett Family–Tom, Chris and Ben–moves out into the countryside, presenting unaccompanied singing by three members of a gypsy family. Once again, A. L. Lloyd has provided detailed and exceptionally valuable notes. The fact that the songs are all unaccompanied and that they were recorded at Tom Willett's home (at one point a female voice can be heard saying: “You make him drunk, he'll sing better”) may suggest that this is an LP for the specialist. I think this is probably true. The collector who just wants to hear good folk-songs well sung is likely to find this record a trifle austere. For the enthusiast, however, it is of enormous interest. Tom Willett (84 years old) performs a variety of songs, many of them previously undocumented, including a lengthy version of Lord Bateman and a very moving lovesong, The Blacksmith Courted Me.

> Folk Music > Records > The Willett Family: A-Swinging Down the Lane

A-Swinging Down the Lane

The Willett Family: A-Swinging Down the Lane (Forest Tracks FT2CD KS1)

A-Swinging Down the Lane
The Willett Family

Forest Tracks FT2CD KS1 (2 CD-R, UK, September 2013)

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Recorded by Ken Stubbs in 1960-62 in Middlesex, Kent and Sussex;
Notes by Paul Marsh, based on his own research and other information

Musicians

Tom Willett (1878-1966), vocals [1-15, 17-26, 29-32, 33-38];
Mary-Ann Willett (née Smart, 1883-1966), vocals [30-31, 38];
Tom Willett Jnr. (1904-1983), vocals [43];
Ben Willett (1909-1974), vocals [28, 34];
Chris Willett (1914-2004), vocals [27, 29-33, 39-41];
Noah Willett (1894-1978), vocals [42];
‘Young’ Willett (born c. 1948), vocals [16]

Tracks

CD 1CD 2
  1. A Travelling Man (Roud 360; G/D 7:1397) (fragment) (0.52)
  2. I’m a Romany Rai (Roud 4844) (1.21)
  3. Lord Bateman (Roud 40) (start missed) (5.17)
  4. It's Youth and Folly (Roud 451/4720) (fragment) (0.38)
  5. Riding Down to Portsmouth (Roud 1534) (3.33)
  6. The Rose of Ardene (Roud 2816) (3.23)
  7. While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping (Roud 363) (3.25)
  8. The Game of Cards (Roud 232) (5.24)
  9. A-Swinging Down the Lane (Roud 2870) (2.37)
  10. The Captain Called All Hands (Roud 602/816) (2.50)
  11. The Rambling Sailor (Roud 518; G/D 7:1477) (4.10)
  12. The Bold Deserter (Roud 1655) (start missed) (3.30)
  13. There Is an Alehouse (Roud 60; Laws P25; G/D 6:1170; Henry H683) (2.37)
  14. Adieu to Old England (Roud 1703) (5.07)
  15. The Seeds of Love (Roud 3; G/D 6:1180) (1.47)
  16. [‘Young’ Willett] Old Shep (Roud 1499) (fragment) (1.05)
  17. An Honest Irish Lad (Roud 4522) (fragment) (1.11)
  18. The Blacksmith Courted Me (Roud 816) (2.57)
  19. The Roaming Journeyman (Roud 360; G/D 7:1397) (2.35)
  20. The Folkestone Murder (Roud 897) (fragment) (1.37)
  21. The American Stranger (Roud 1081; G/D 7:1469) (3.18)

All tracks are sung by Tom Willett unless notes otherwise.

  1. My Donkey (Roud 1147) (fragment) (0.47)
  2. Green Mossy Banks of the Lea (Roud 987; Laws O15) (fragment) (1.38)
  3. The Lincolnshire Poacher (Roud 299) (fragment) (0.23)
  4. The False Young Man (Roud 1414; G/D 6:1155) (fragment) (1.27)
  5. The Roaming Journeyman (Roud 360; G/D 7:1397) (1.33)
  6. [Chris] As I was Going to Salisbury (Roud 364) (0.53)
  7. [Ben] The Strawberry Roan (Roud 3239) (3.57)
  8. [Tom & Chris] The Folkestone Murder (Roud 897) (fragment) (1.26)
  9. [Tom & Chris or Mary-Ann] My Donkey (Roud 1147) (fragment) (0.36)
  10. [Tom, Chris & Mary-Ann] My Love Is But a Sailor Bold (Roud 60; Laws P25; G/D 6:1170; Henry H683) (6.10)
  11. [Tom & Chris] The Tanyard Side (Roud 1021; Laws M28; Henry H52b) (2.48)
  12. [Chris] The Old Miser (Roud 552/3913) (6.27)
  13. [Ben] The Little Ball of Yarn (Roud 1404) (2.44)
  14. Down the Green Meadows (Roud 60; Laws P25; G/D 6:1170; Henry H683) (fragment) (1.17)
  15. Riding Down to Portsmouth (Roud 1534) (3.19)
  16. The False Young Man (Roud 1414; G/D 6:1155) (2.15)
  17. [Tom & Mary Ann] The Tanyard Side (Roud 1021; Laws M28; Henry H52b) (fragment) (1.20)
  18. [Chris] The Oyster Girl (Roud 875; Laws Q13; G/D 2:304; Henry H725) (1.59)
  19. [Chris] Thorney Park (Roud 222) (1.26)
  20. [Chris] The Flower Girl (Roud 23920) (4.38)
  21. [Noah] While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping (Roud 363) (3.25)
  22. [Tom Jnr.] The Coachman (Roud 862) (fragment) (1.28)

> Folk Music > Records > The Willett Family: Adieu to Old England

Adieu to Old England

The Willett Family: Adieu to Old England (Musical Traditions MTCD361-2)

Adieu to Old England
Traditional songs from the Ken Stubbs collection
The Willett Family

Musical Traditions Records MTCD361-2 (2 CD-R, UK, October 2013)

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Recorded by Ken Stubbs, Paul Carter and Mike Yates

Musical Traditions booklet notes by Rod Stradling

Musicians

Tom Willett (1878-1966), vocals [1-22, 25, 31-32];
Chris Willett (1914-2004), vocals [22-23, 25-26, 28-30, 33-35];
Ben Willett (1909-1974), vocals [24, 27]

Tracks

CD 1: Tom WillettCD 2: Tom, Chris and Ben Willett
  1. I’m a Romany Rai (Roud 4844) (1.30)
  2. Lord Bateman (Roud 40) (1.41)
  3. Riding Down to Portsmouth (Roud 1534) (3.18)
  4. The Rose of Ardene (Roud 2816) (0.48)
  5. While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping (Roud 363) (1.40)
  6. The Game of Cards (Roud 232) (0.27)
  7. A-Swinging Down the Lane (Roud 2870) (1.26)
  8. The Captain Called All Hands (Roud 602/816) (5.33)
  9. The Rambling Sailor (Roud 518; G/D 7:1477) (3.43)
  10. The Bold Deserter (Roud 1655) (3.31)
  11. There Is an Alehouse (Roud 60; Laws P25; G/D 6:1170; Henry H683) (3.34)
  12. Adieu to Old England (Roud 1703) (5.37)
  13. The Honest Irish Lad (Roud 4522) (2.42)
  14. A Blacksmith Courted Me (Roud 816) (2.53)
  15. The Roving Journeyman (Roud 360; G/D 7:1397) (4.15)
  16. The Folkestone Murder (Roud 897) (3.26)
  17. The American Stranger (Roud 1081; G/D 7:1469) (2.28)
  18. My Donkey (Roud 1147) (5.11)
  19. The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea (Roud 987; Laws O15) (1.11)
  20. The Lincolnshire Poacher (Roud 299) (2.59)
  21. The False Young Man (Roud 1414; G/D 6:1155) (1.32)
  1. [Tom & Chris] Never Change the Old Love for New (The Willow Tree) (Roud 18831) (5.20)
  2. [Chris] As I was Going to Salisbury (Roud 364) (0.56)
  3. [Ben] The Strawberry Roan (Roud 3239) (4.00)
  4. [Tom & Chris] The Tanyard Side (Roud 1021; Laws M28; Henry H52b) (2.50)
  5. [Chris] The Old Miser (Roud 3913) (6.28)
  6. [Ben] The Little Ball of Yarn (Roud 1404) (2.47)
  7. [Chris] The Flower Girl (Roud 23920) (4.40)
  8. [Chris] The Oyster Girl (Roud 875; Laws Q13; G/D 2:304; Henry H725) (2.04)
  9. [Chris] Thorney Park (Roud 222) (1.28)
  10. [Tom] It's Youth and Folly (Roud 451/4720) (fragment) (0.43)
  11. [Tom] Died for Love (Roud 60; Laws P25; G/D 6:1170; Henry H683) (3.43)
  12. [Chris] Once I Was a Servant (Roud 269; Laws K43; G/D 7:1429) (1.56)
  13. [Chris] A-Swinging Down the Lane (Roud 2870) (1.52)
  14. [Chris] The American Stranger (Roud 1081; G/D 7:1469) (2.38)

All tracks recorded by Ken Stubbs in c. 1960 except
Track 32 recorded by Paul Carter in 1962 (from The Roving Journeymen);
Track 34 recorded by Mike Yates in 1978 (from Here's Luck to a Man);
Tracks 33, 35 recorded by Mike Yates in 1978

> Folk Music > Records > The Willett Family

Other books and records with the Willett Family

The Life of a Man Ken Stubbs, The Life of a Man: English Folk Songs from the Home Counties, London: E.F.D.S. Publications, 1970

Various Artists, Travellers: Songs, Stories and Tunes from English Gypsies, LP, Topic 12TS395, 1979

Various Artists, Hidden English: A Celebration of English Traditional Music, CD, Topic TSCD600, 1996

Various Artists, My Ship Shall Sail the Ocean (The Voice of the People Vol. 2), CD, Topic TSCD652, 1998

Various Artists, Farewell, My Own Dear Native Land (The Voice of the People Vol. 4), CD, Topic TSCD654, 1998

Various Artists, My Father's the King of the Gypsies (The Voice of the People Vol. 11), CD, Topic TSCD661, 1998

Various Artists, We've Received Orders to Sail (The Voice of the People Vol. 12), CD, Topic TSCD662, 1998

Various Artists, There Is a Man Upon the Farm (The Voice of the People Vol. 20), CD, Topic TSCD670, 1998

Various Artists, Here's Luck to a Man …: Gypsy Songs and Music from South-East England, CD, Musical Traditions MTCD320, 2003

Various Artists, Three Score and Ten: 70 Years of Topic Records, 7 CD, Topic TOPIC70, 2009

Various Artists, I'm a Romany Rai (The Voice of the People Vol. 22), 2 CD, Topic TSCD672D, 2012