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A True Hearted Girl

Lal & Norma Waterson: A True Hearted Girl (Topic 12TS331)

A True Hearted Girl
Lal & Norma Waterson with Maria Waterson

Topic Records 12TS331 (LP, UK, 1977)
Topic Records TSCD507 (CD, UK, 1999)

Lal & Norma Waterson: A True Hearted Girl (Topic TSCD507)

LP Tracks 3, 4, 9, and 12 were included in 1993 on the CD reissue of For Pence and Spicy Ale; track 10 was included in 1998 on the CD reissue of Green Fields.

A True Hearted Girl was reissued on CD in 1999 with two additional tracks: The Pretty Drummer Boy is from the Watersons' LP A Yorkshire Garland. John Ball has not been released before.

Produced by Tony Engle.
Recorded by John Gill at Riverside Studios, January 1977.
except CD track 8 recorded by Bill Leader, 1966
and CD track 9 recorded by Oliver Knight, 1998
Sleeve design by Tony Engle.
Back sleeve photography by Davey O'Donnell, Mill Beck Gallery.
Front sleeve photograph by Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, courtesy of the Sutcliffe Gallery, hand-tinted by Julia Bennett Studios.

Norma, Maria and Lal WatersonMusicians

Norma, Maria and Lal Waterson, vocals;
Eliza Carthy, additional vocals [CD track 9]
Jim Eldon, flute and whistle;
Peta Webb, fiddle;
Rod Stradling, melodeon;
Tony Engle, Anglo concertina

LP Tracks

Side 1Side 2
  1. Young Billy Brown (Roud 945) - Lal, Norma (2.06)
  2. Betsy Belle (Roud 237; Child 201; G/D 6:1257) - Lal, Norma, Maria (0.58)
  3. The Beggar Man (Roud 118; Child 279; G/D 2:274; Henry H183) - Lal, Norma, Maria (3.26)
  4. The Welcome Sailor (Roud 604; Laws N29; Henry H581) - Lal (3.12)
  5. Meeting is a Pleasure (Roud 454; G/D 6:1192; Henry H625) - Lal, Norma (2.02)
  6. I Wish I Had Never (Roud 1452) - Lal, Norma, Maria (2.39)
  7. The Wealthy Squire (Roud 262; Laws P1; G/D 5:1059; Henry H188) - Lal, Norma (2.51)
  1. Jenny Storm - Lal, Norma, Maria (2.22)
  2. The Bonny Light Horseman (Roud 1185; G/D 8:1584; Henry H122a) - Lal, Norma (2.59)
  3. The Unfortunate Lass (Roud 2; Laws Q26) - Norma (4.22)
  4. The Flowers of the Forest (Roud 3812) - Lal, Norma (3.31)
  5. Grace Darling (Roud 1441) - Lal, Norma, Maria (4.40)

All tracks trad. arr. Watersons pub Mole Music Ltd

CD Tracks

  1. Young Billy Brown (Roud 945) - Lal, Norma (2.06)
  2. Betsy Belle (Roud 237; Child 201; G/D 6:1257) - Lal, Norma, Maria (0.58)
  3. The Beggar Man (Roud 118; Child 279; G/D 2:274; Henry H183) - Lal, Norma, Maria (3.26)
  4. The Welcome Sailor (Roud 604; Laws N29; Henry H581) - Lal (3.12)
  5. Meeting is a Pleasure (Roud 454; G/D 6:1192; Henry H625) - Lal, Norma (2.02)
  6. I Wish I Had Never (Roud 1452) - Lal, Norma, Maria (2.39)
  7. The Wealthy Squire (Roud 262; Laws P1; G/D 5:1059; Henry H188) - Lal, Norma (2.51)
  8. The Pretty Drummer Boy (Roud 226; G/D 1:182; Henry H497) - Lal, Norma (2.26)
  9. John Ball - Lal, Norma, Maria, Eliza (3.17)
  10. Jenny Storm - Lal, Norma, Maria (2.22)
  11. The Bonny Light Horseman (Roud 1185; G/D 8:1584; Henry H122a) - Lal, Norma (2.59)
  12. The Unfortunate Lass (Roud 2; Laws Q26/B1; G/D 7:1404; Henry H680) - Norma (4.22)
  13. The Flowers of the Forest (Roud 3812) - Lal, Norma (3.31)
  14. Grace Darling (Roud 1441) - Lal, Norma, Maria (4.40)

All tracks trad. arr. Watersons except
Track 9 Sydney Carter pub Stayner & Bell Ltd

Sleeve Notes by Bob Davenport

Season after season, while Hull City fans have watched their team plod along in the Second Division of the English Football League, those Hull people interested in folk music have been able to watch and listen to a first division talent in the Watersons.

The original four were Norma, Lal and Mike Waterson and their cousin John. They stopped singing on the folk circuit for a number of years, yet their LPs remained a continuing influence on the folk club scene, supplying many a club resident with a basic repertoire of songs.

Norma had been working abroad and when she returned home to Hull the family decided to take a certain amount of bookings on the folk scene again. John had left Hull to work in London and learn the fiddle from the fine Sligo player, Michael Gorman. In the meantime, Martin Carthy joined and the LP that they made for Topic, For Pence and Spicy Ale (12TS265), is influencing singers in the seventies as much as their earlier ones did in the sixties.

The Watersons are equipped to excite us not only with the group sound, but with the solo singing of Martin and Mike and the two voices together of Norma and Lal. It is the latter that this LP highlights.

When I say that Norma and Lal are two of the finest singers on the British folk scene, this is basically an emotional response to their performance. I cannot be cold and analytical about their singing and some people may disagree with my assessment of them. That is fair enough, but that is how I feel about them. I do not say that they can do no wrong, but most of what they do is dead right for me.

Though the family are from Hull originally, they lately moved up the coast towards Whitby where they live together on a farm. My respect for the family not only includes the group, but Mike's wife Anne, who looks after all the children when the group is away singing, including her own two daughters, Sarah and Rachel.

Lal is married to George Knight. He often drives the group to their venues and bravely turns down offers of pints of beer, as he may be facing the job for example, of driving them straight back home to Yorkshire after a concert in Tunbridge Wells.

George and Lal have two children, Oliver and Maria. Maria appears on this LP with her mother and auntie, so a second generation is coming along.

It is possible that Maria and the other children in the family, including Martin and Norma's daughter, Liza, may become professional performers in other areas of music. If they do so, they will have had the best and most obvious experience a child could have to build on - an acquaintance with its own native music sung in a traditional style.

Last year, as part of the United States Bi-Centenary celebrations, some British and Irish performers were invited to take part in a Folk Festival in Washington, DC. The Watersons were among those invited and so was Walter Pardon from Norfolk. He is a fine traditional singer and the family and Walter became firm friends on that trip. The result was he sent them a tape of some songs for them to learn, and among, them was his mother's favourite Grace Darling.

There is a growing movement in England of young musicians getting together and playing their music directly influenced from the living English tradition. The basis has been laid throughout the country and the possibilities are tremendous for the music. Four such musicians were asked by Norma and Lal to play on the LP. They are Rod Stradling from the Old Swan Band in Gloucester on melodeon, Tony Engle on Anglo concertina and Peta Webb on fiddle from the London band, Webb's Wonders, and Jim Eldon on whistle and flute from Hull. Jim wrote the tune for Jenny Storm.

Topic have released a solo LP by Martin Carthy (Crown of Horn, 12TS300), this one by Norma and Lal and, to follow, a solo LP by Mike (Mike Waterson 12TS332) to complete the individual talents that make up the collective and original Watersons.

-- Bob Davenport, 1977

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Greer Gilman for many of the words to the songs and for her notes.
Many thanks to Bob Hudson too for his notes on the songs.