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Offline grandarog

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #32 on: May 01, 2015, 20:49:42 »
Sounds about right as there is a book titled Marlborough's Army 1702–11 so the time scale is right.


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #31 on: May 01, 2015, 17:42:14 »
The Gay Fusilier. c. 1900.
Sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda.

A gay fusilier was marching down through Rochester,
Bound for the wars in the Low Country.
And he sang as he marched through the cobbled streets of Rochester,
Who'd be a soldier for Marlborough with me?

Who'd be a so'jer, who'd be a so'jer,
who'd be a so'jer for Marlboro' with me?
And he sang as he marched though the cobbled streets of Rochester,
Who'd be a so'jer for Marlboro' with me?

The song purports to be from the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-14) and has been said to be the basis of the Australia song Waltzing Matilda.
In fact it may be the other way round. There appears to be no sign of the song prior to 1900, and its language is not appropriate to the early 1700's.
The Gay Fusilier is probably a parody of Waltzing Matilda brought back to England from the Second Boer War.
Many Australians served in the Boer War, as did British fusilier battalions. Banjo Paterson, who wrote Waltzing Matilda in 1895, was also there as a war correspondent.
There is only one known verse and the chorus to the original song. Additional verses were written by Peter Coe in 1970, copyright Backshift Music.
Here is the Pete Coe version by Jim Herd and Jim O'Boyle.


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2014, 22:33:10 »
Everyone loves a good gossip.
A song about two gents talking about the women they know while on their way to Maidstone market around 1633-1669.
It is not very complementary. (Glances at the females on the forum, ducks and runs for cover  :))

               Have among you good Women
A Highway discourse betweene William Starket,
      And Robin Hobs, going to Maydstone market:
      Good Women before hand let me you advise,
  To keepe your owne counsell, and so be held wise.
            If any one take in ill part whats here said,
  Sheel shew by her kicking that shees a gauld jade.
               To the tune of, O such a Rogue.

GOd morrow old father Starket,
      whither goe you with such speed,
Ime going to Maidstone Market,
      to buy such things as I need:
I care not if I goe a long with you,
      if you goe no faster then I,
I am very glad that I spide you,
      for I love good company.
What thinke you of Alce that sels butter,
      her neighbors head clothes she off pluckt,
And she scolded from dinner to supper,
      oh such a scold would be cuckt.

Theres many such birds in our towne,
      whose fury no reason can swage,
Ide give very gladly give a crowne,
      to hear them all sing in a Cage:
Poore men in subjection are held,
      so are modest women likewise,
Unlesse their owne minde be fulfild,
      theyll be ready to scratch out ones eies.
What thinke you of Jone the Spinner,
      her husbands pocket she pickt,
And she grudges her servants their dinner
      oh such a Queane would be kickt.

Nay kickings too good for her,
      her husband of her stands in awe,
Out of doores he dares not stirre,
      for fear that he feele club law:
If he to the Ale-house steale,
      sheell goe as fast or faster,

And there she will ring him a peale,
      that is worse then Lord or Master:
What thinke you of Ruth the Seamstris,
      her tonge can no way be reclamd,
She rules ore poor Tom like a Empresse,
      oh such a proud wench would be tamd.

Tis pity that men are such fooles,
      to make themselves slaves to their wives,
For still where the foot the head rules,
      tis wonder if any thing thrives;
That man that will be his wifes drudge,
      of such a conceat I am,
That if I might be his Judge,
      he should eat none oth roasted Ram:
What thinke you of Jone that cries pins,
      come eight rows a penny cries shee,
She has broken her husbands shins,
      and sweares sheell be drunke before hee.

Why, therefore all this he doth suffer,
      why if he should give her a check,
She tels her friends how he doth cuff her,
      and threatens to break her neck:
So he for feare sheell cry out,
      dares neither to strike nor chide her,
For sheell give the word all about,
      that his Queans wil not let him abide her:
What thinke you of drunken Sue,
      for drinke she will sell all her smocks,
Ith streetes she will raile and spew,
      tis fit she were tamd in the stocks.

NAy sometimes besides her own getting,
      sheell pawne his shirt and his breeches,
Which all shall be spent at a sitting,
      and thus she increaseth his riches:
What thinks her poore husband of that,
      why, if he doe her reprehend,
His face she will scratch like a cat,
      and sweares what she gets she will spend:
What thinke you of Peg the Pie-women,
      her Nose hath been cut and slasht,
Shees turnd now a dayes very common,
      oh such a Queane would be lasht.

Last Saturday noone at dinner,
      some spoke about her I suppose,
How she was found nought with a Joyner,
      whose wife came and cut her nose:
Indeed no body can blame her,
      she has given her a mark to be knowne,
And if all that will not shame her,
      the Hangman has markt her for his own:
What thinke you of snuffelling Kate,
      by her many women have smarted,
She sels Maidenheads at a rate,
      oh such a old Trot would be carted.

Such cunning old sluts as she,
      indeed are the ruin of many,
Such fast holding Lime-twigs they be,
      that if they get hold of any,
Theres no speech at all of dismissing,
      whiles money their turne can serve,
Thus whiles he his Minion is kissing,
      his poore wife and children may starve:
What thinke you of Madge that cries wheat,
      she makes her poor husband shed teares,
She used to cozen and cheat,
      but the pillory gapes for her eares.

I heard lately how she did deale,
      with a Butcher a notable blade,
Whom she guld of a quarter of Veale,
      and thus she set by her trade:
Since that she hath done many a sleight,
      as bad or rather worse,
If you in her company light,
      I wish you take heed of your purse:
What thinke you of quarrelling Nan,
      that will to no goodnesse be turnd,
She threatens to kill her good man,
      oh such a Queane would be burned.

I me sorry to heare that newes,
      when man and wife are at strife:
Alas neighbour, how can you chuse,
      when a man goe in danger ons life.
Loe thus we have talkt away time,
      and nowe perforce must we part,
The Market is now in the prime,
      then farewell with all my heart:
Commend me to Doll at the Crowne,
      that message must not be mist,
Shees the kindest Hostis in the towne,
      oh such a Lasse would be kist.

But stay neighbour, harke you one word,
      which I had forgotten before,
What heare you of little Kate Bird,
      some say she is turnd arrant whore:
Indeed neighbour I thought no lesse,
      since that with her I was acquainted,
A man can no otherwise guesse,
      her face is most basely painted:
She lodges with mouldy face Nell,
      and I doubt they will never be parted,
Till the one get the lash in Bridewell,
      and the other from Newgate be carted.

EBBA ID: 30093
British Library Roxburghe 1.146-147

The recording is pretty good too, an interesting tune.


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2014, 21:29:41 »
The Kentish Garland. Vol l. 1881.
Song and Ballads, the County in General.

The Kentish Garland. Vol ll. 1882.
Persons and Places.

Both edited by Julia H L de Vaynes, with additional notes by Joseph Woodfall Ebsworth.

Both available as free e books @
Volume l.
Volume ll.

Between them the two volumes cover over 250 ballads, songs and dittys about Kent from 1415 onwards.
In Vol ll the songs are divided into groups associated with various places in Kent, Chatham, Canterbury, Dover, Thanet, etc.
Some of the songs are by people who wrote them for their own amusement, others were written as advertisments, while some were sung at the start or end of plays.
Many were written by ballad sellers, a kind of cross between a town crier and a daily newspaper. He would write about items, often local, and sell the ballad sheets to the public.
Because they sold well, many ballads were about murders, hangings and suicides, while local calamities, such as fires and storms, also sold well.
Between them the two volumes cover a wide range of subjects.


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2014, 21:05:11 »
In the Coal-Hole club, at the George Ale-house, Chatham, by (the Rev) Thos. Austen, 1754.

      When Phoebus' Car descends from airy tour,
And ushers in a dusky Ev'ning Hour,
Then lo! a club of blithsome, jolly souls
Cround to participate of drunken Bowls.
The widow-Hostess first a Candle brings,
Then Indian weed fumes out its circling rings,
They sit, & quaff, then sing a Luscious song;
In Tales & Toping make the Evening long.
But would you know the Place where they resort,
'Tis not at City-Taverns nor at Court,
Saint George at Chatham is their noted sign,
Where muddy Belch is drank, but never wine,
Should I at large describe this favourite Room,
'Tis only fit for Highwayman or groom.
      You first thro' a dark entry pass along,
Led by the Echo of a smutty song,
Into a kitchen where a nasty Croud
Of circling Riffraff squal(l) & bellow loud.
You then from hence descend a step or two,
Into a Hole that fits but very few.
A small black chimney, with a blowin fire,
Invites your freezing knees to draw still nigher:
Till One alone, or even Two at most
Can poke the Embers or o'er-rule the Roast.
The rest may rub their hands in Spite of Fate,
And often wish they had not come so late.
Beneath are Cinders scatter'd on the Floor,
That Vulcan's darkest Forge can't surfeit more.
But still the friendly Club so well unite,
They take their Dungeon to be snowy white.
Their Sluttish Wall seems hung with Tapestry round:
Their Seats are velvet, while their Drink is sound.
To call a supper you have no pretence,
Polite refreshments are excluded hence.
To quell one's hunger, in a decent way,
Is not for them that only wet their Clay.
      But wou'd you know who form this motley throng?
To Royal George's Dock they most belong:
Men of exhaustless Wit & sprightly Glee,
Full fraught with Laughter & a Repartee.
Their Talk is Cricketings, of Tumults, Swords,
New laws, of next Pay-days, & Navy-Boards.
They tell you each in Turn his silly Joke,
While with their Pipes they fill the room with Smoke.
They tell of Hares they caught, tho' quick as Light:
And boast of what they never did, all night.
Then set ye easy at your Painted George, -
Excuse my coming to a  Blacksmith's Forge.

Taken from The Kentish Garland Vol ll, page 612.

Does anyone know where the George Ale-house stood?


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2014, 16:40:41 »
1683 - 1703?

The Kentish Maiden;
The Fumbling Ale-draper Derided.
Who gave a Handkerchief and Money for a Nights lodging with a Lass whom at length he left in the lurch.
Tune of, The Languishing Swain. Licensed according to order.

      I was a modest maid of Kent,
      Who never knew what kissing meant;
      Until my master tempted me,
      With gifts for my virginity.

      Long was I courted eer to yield,
      And when at last he won the field;
      He gave me a lawn kerchief fine
      Declaring that it should be mine.

      Likewise a golden guinea bright,
      That he might lye with me one night;
      I granted his demands straightway
      What lass alive, could say him nay?

      He was right generous and free,
      Bestowing such large gifts on me;
      Yet I did such a conscience make,
      That I would not his guinea take.

      My conscience said, it was too much,
      To take for just one single touch;
      And therefore when he laid it down,
      I took no more than one poor crown.

      The which he gave me then with speed,
      And thus we lovingly agreed,
      That he should have my maiden-head:
      I got new cording for my bed,

      For fear the old ones they should break,
      Which would a sad destraction make,
      And cause a strange discovery,
      Of all my masters love to me.

      Clean sheets I likewise did provide,
      Nothing was wanting on my side:
      Yet when he to my lodging came,
      Alas! he could not play the game.

      Our game was single rapier first;
      Now when he came to give the thrust,
      A pass at me could not be made,
      He having such a limber blade.

      I bid him to his weapon stand,
      I cravd no favour at his hand:
      Yet he was forcd to sneak away,
      Before the morning break of day.

      Thus was my expectations crost,
      And my dear masters labour lost:
      Which grievd my very heart full sore,
      Was ever a maid so balked before?

      One sorrow never comes alone,
      Soon after this my dame did own,
      The handkerchief which then I wore,
      saying, that it was hers before.

      Then did she fly at me in brief,
      And told me that I played the thief.
      Your words I scorn, no thief am I,
      Nor shall you catch me with a lye.

      This handkerchief not long ago,
      My master did on me bestow,
      The night before with me did lay;
      Now wheres the harm of this I pray?

      The mistress flew, and calld her whore,
      And by the quoif, the maid she tore;
      Must you forsooth, my partner be,
      Where theres not half enough for me.

      Dear mistress be not in a rage,
      You spake the truth I dare ingage:
      For though all night by me he lay,
      He could not one sweet lesson play.

      But strait in wrath replyd her dame,
      You sawcy slut you are to blame,
      In letting him lye in your bed;
      Suppose hed got your maiden-head.

      Forsooth, said she, had it been so,
      It might have provd my overthrow:
      But he can never hurt a maid,
      With such a feeble limber blade.

EEBA ID: 30704
British Library Roxburghe 2.248

Don't forget to press recording on the above link, its rather good  :)


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2014, 23:20:22 »
The Chathamites.

A song.

Tune - Nancy Dawson.

Of all the spots on Britain's shore,
Examine ev'ry country o'er,
Sure ne'er was seen the like before,
            The well known town of Chatham.

Fair truth directs my honest muse,
Here drunken soldiers and ships crews,
Whores, Baptists, Methodists, and Jews,
             Swarm ev,ry part of Chatham.

Possess'd of ev'ry female grace,
Of shape, and air, and blooming face,
By Nature made for Love's embrace,
            Are fam'd the girls of Chatham.

Whene'er inclin'd to am'rous play
The wanton god points out the way,
Then who so kind, and fond as they,
            Ask all the Bucks of Chatham.

Great shade of Hoyle, assist my quill,
To tell how much thy dear Quadrille,
Is eager sought Old Time to kill,
            In every house in Chatham.

Such raptures rushing through each breast,
When e'er a Pool the Gamester's blest;
"What pity Sundays made for rest!"
            Exclaim the Belles of Chatham.

Proud Rochester and Strood may talk
Of pavements smooth, and roads of chalk,
For those who chuse to ride or walk:
            Not so the folks of Chatham.

Contented in their dirty hole,
They hobble on with meaner soul,
Contriving how to save the cole;
            Who would not live in Chatham?

From the Kentish Gazette, Nov. 19, 1771.

            Ok, who's going to sing it at the Christmas party :)


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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2014, 23:39:59 »
Nicholas Wood, the Great Eater of Kent.
Nicholas wood was an early 17th century glutton with a massive appetite.

17th century spelling.

A wonder in kent:
Of the admirable stomacke of one Nicholas Wood, dwelling at Harrisom in the county of Kent.
The like of him was never heard,
As in this ditty is declar'd.
To the tune of, The maunding souldier.

All you that valiant fellowes be,
I pray give eare a while to me,
I tell you of a champion bold,
That fights not for fame of gold,
       but for good belly cheare,
       as well it doth appeare,
       the like wherof you nere did heare.
       none may with him compare, as I will here declare,
       the likes lives not I dare to sweare.

In Kent this fellow now doth live,
At Harrisom as report doth give,
His name is called Nicholas Wood,
As I for truth have understood,
       well knowne by men of fame,
       his worth and name,
       that well can justifie the same,
       some Gentlemen and Knights,
       to satisfie delights,
       have sent for Wood to see his sleights.

He is not like these puling ones,
That sits an houre picking bones,
A sheepe or Caalfe thats worth a Marke,
On them heele bravely fall to worke,
       or if a Hogge it be,
       all's one quoth he,
       in one houres space you none shall see,
       his stomacke is so strong,
       nothing will doe him wrong,
       the Devill is sure his guts among.

What talke I of Sheepe or Calfe,
Alas these exploits are not halfe,
A Hogs a thing that much will eate,
Fish, Flesh, Fowles, Frogges, or such like meat,
       yet Wood is of such power,
       that he within an houre,
       a good fat Hogge he did devoure,
       his like was never none
       as plainely may be shone,
       not one like him was ever known.

After that he eat this Hogge,
I doe not meane to lye nor cogge,
Three pecks of Damseks he did eat,
For to digest his swinish meat,
       Another time beside,
       he being tride:
       seven dozen of Rabbets he destroy'd,
       likewise he tooke in hand,
       to eat a Fleath of Brawne
       as soon as from the Bore twas drawne.

At Sir William Sidleyes house he did eat,
As men of credit doe repeat,
As much as thorowly would suffice,
Full thirty men, Oh gurmundize,
       but then unto the fire,
       he did retire,
       and for some grease he did desire,
       thinking his belly he
       would breake immediately
       unlesse he had speedy remedy,

A quarter of a good fat Lambe,
And threescore Egges he overcame,
And eighteene yards of blacke pudding,
And a raw Ducke all but Bill and Wing,
       and after he had din'd,
       as I doe find,
       he longed for Cherries that bravely shined
       the threescore pound they brought,
       which he consumed to nought,
       a thing unpossible me thought,

His mighty paunch doth harbour all,
Sheepe, Hoggs or Calves, tis like a stall,
A Parke it is likewise for Deare,
And Conneyes gray, or silver haire
       a storehouse tis besides
       whereas he hides
       all kinds of fruits that him betides
       Cheese, Buttermilke and Whey,
       he bringeth in thatway, thus he brings all quite to decay.

The second part. To the same tune.

The Norfolke Dumpling he ore came,
The Devonshire white-pot he made lame
The bag-pudding of Glocester
The blackepudding of Wostershire,
       the Shrop-shire pan-pudding,
       and such gutting,
       and Somersteshire white-pudding,
       or any other Shire,
       their puddings heele not feare
       none may with Nicholas Wood compare:

The Clothiers that in Kent doe dwell,
In Sussex of this man did tel,
To some o' the chiefest yeomen there,
Who greatly mused when they did heare,
       and ofred presently
       that they would lay,
       a hundred pound of good money,
       that he could not devoure,
       a whole calfe in an houer,
       they thought it was not in his power.

The wager thus betwixt them laid,
The Sussex men grew sore afraid,
And of their match they did repent,
Desiring that they might recant,
       the Kentish men did say,
       that they should pay,
       ten pounds or stand the match and day,
       then so they did agree,
       and spent it merrily,
       but Wood mist of their company.

A Gentleman by chance did come,
Where friends of his were in the roome
And they were at diner set.
But he with them eate not a bit,
       when the reckoning was paid,
       the tapster said
       that twelve pence more must be defraid
       by him that last came in,
       which had not at diner ben
       whereat the Gentleman in spleene.

Did pay the same and said no more,
But after plagued them therefore,
An other time he did come there,
And brought Wood with him to a faire
       then to the Inne he went,
       whereas he spent,
       a shilling once by ill consent
       and telling Wood his mind,
       being thus inilin'd,
       to call much meat and leave Wood behind

Come hostes quickly let be brought
As much good meat as may be thought
To satisfie a dozen men,
The hostes quickly sent it in
       come sit downe Wood quoth he,
       and lle goe see,
       for some more of our company,
       but ere hee came agen,
       the tapster he came in
       thinking the devill there had ben.

The tapster did his Mistris call,
And said the man had eat by all,
Then into th'roome she came with speed,
And found the same was true indeed,
       then she began to sweare
       and pull and teare
       with Wood for money for his fare
       and he said he was willing,
       to pay her downe a shilling
       he fitted her for former dealing.

Two Citizens from London went,
To see this Wood was their intent,
And being come to Harrisom,
They sent for him into the roome,
       for all the victuals they
       did call and pay,
       that was within the house that day,
       and wished goodman Wood,
       to fall unto his food
       I marry quoth he that is good.

These Citizens found him to be,
So strange the like they ne'r did see,
Desiring him that he would goe,
To London, he resolved so,
       then at the last he said,
       he was a fraid
       the same to'th King should be beraid;
       and so he hang'd might he,
       therefore this thought had he,
       tis best staying in Kent for me.

His porrige boule is full two pecks,
He is not of the weakest sexe,
Good Ale graines some times he doth eate,
For want of other sort of meat,
       I doe not tell no lye,
       those that will further try,
       a booke of him likewise mat buy,
       where much more is declared,
       as I have read and heard
       none like to him may be compared.

FINIS. R. C.  (Richard Crimsal)

EBBA ID:20270
Magdalene College Pepys 1.72-73

For more on Nicholas Wood see

Offline TonyYoung

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2014, 02:00:16 »
Thanks for that correction mad4amanda, yes Kentish Garland - 1978, and Kentish Songster - 1980.

I have been in touch with Doug Hudson and he wrote Jezreels and the man who died was killed during the demolition.

" Jezreels was written by me and the man of the town who was killed was a worker involved in the demolition of the tower in the early 60s. I remember the shell of the building had a rope across the hall and kids used to play tennis inside. It was said there was a curse against anyone trying to knock it down and that was the reason for mentioning the worker's death in strange circumstances.

There's a book by Ron Baldwin called The Jezreels or The Jezreelites which you might find on a rare book site for further info."
Life's different upside down

Offline mad4amanda

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2014, 23:13:25 »
A Kentish Garland was released in 1978

Offline TonyYoung

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2014, 08:42:40 »
Cleaning up some possible copyright issues.

I finally looked at the label on the album 'A Kentish Garland' (remember those big flat records had a sticker in the middle?) and found that 'The Lady of Rochester castle' is attributed to D. Hudson, as is 'Jezreels' - with Sweet Folk All as the Manufacturer. No date found anywhere, I think it is 1972. The album is now 'out of print' - or whatever applies to albums. I am contacting Doug Hudson to clarify things.

All other songs I have listed are 'Traditional'.
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Offline TonyYoung

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2014, 05:25:37 »
Okay, did a bit of simple research and answered one of my own questions.

"On 15 October (?1814), James Roland White joined a small branch of a Southcottian sect of Christian Israelites at Chatham, led by a Mr and Mrs Head and calling itself the New House of Israel. Shortly afterwards he wrote a version of the manuscript to become known as the “Flying Roll” and took over the church. White adopted the name of James Jershom Jezreel and persuaded worshippers that he was the Messenger of the Lord." ('s_tower)
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Offline TonyYoung

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2014, 04:20:20 »
I have finally transcribed this one - again from Tundra, A Kentish Garland

I can remember seeing the tower from the train on trips up to London


James Roland White enlisted his name
And then to Chatham town he came
The house of Israel without delay
He joined to find the true and right way

Ch: It’s woe, woe, woe to this land of the West
In vain they seek our eternal rest

A stranger from nowhere he told of his life
Of convents and monasteries, troubles and strife
He’d fought with wolves and lived off the land
Guided by the light of God’s hand


He prophesied in the Flying Roll
The only way to save your soul
To many a man it seemed so real
And he changed his name to James Jersholm Jezreel


To questions the following answers he’d give
A hundred and forty four thousand to live
In a tower of strength built up to the sky
Whilst all others on earth are fated to die


He died before the tower was done
But the word of the prophet it still lived on
For eighty long years it stood by his will
As the tower of Jezreel on Chatham Hill


On top of the hill alone it did stand
Built by the force of Jezreel’s own hand
He dared them all to try and pull it down
And it claimed a life of a man of the town


From A Kentish Garland by Tundra (Doug and Sue Hudson).
Sleeve notes state: “Until 1961 a large stone construction stood at the top of Chatham Hill looking as out of place as an Ice Cream stand at the North Pole. Nowadays it would be preserved for its charisma, as a folly. In its time, tough, Jezreel’s Tower was intended to be the sanctuary of the followers of James Jezreels and 144,000 were to cram in there on the ‘day of judgement.’ Despite several false alarms this never came about and the sect died out in the late 1920s, although it took a further thirty years or so for the building to be demolished. A Jubilee Clip factory now stands on the site” (1972)

Can anyone identify The Flying Roll - or any details of who died, presumably during its demolition?
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Offline TonyYoung

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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #19 on: May 13, 2014, 01:45:14 »
Good stuff HERBCOLLECTOR, that is well impressive.

I am putting together notes about a folk song entitles 'Jezreels' - which should get the Medwayites excited!
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Re: Folk songs of and about Kent
« Reply #18 on: May 12, 2014, 22:36:56 »
The British Naval Mutiny of 1797.

The mutiny of the British seamen at Spithead  (16 April to 14 May) and the Nore (12 May to 15 June) were not violent insurrections but, in a sense, a labour dispute, the mutineers asking for a rise in pay, better and more provisions, better treatment of the sick and pay while wounded, more shore leave and the removal of abusive officers.
The Spithead mutiny ended when the Admiralty agreed to better pay, more provisions and the removal of the more cruel officers, along with a Royal Pardon.

A second mutiny, in support of that at Spithead, broke out in the Nore. This mutiny became more radical than that at Spithead and stopped ships sailing to and from London. With a lack of food and internal dissent, the Nore mutiny eventually dissolved, with ships slipping their cables and deserting the cause.

Richard Parker, the elected leader of the Nore Mutiny, was hanged on board HMS Sandwich, from which the mutiny had started, on the 30 June 1797.
Anne Parker, his wife, tried unsuccessfully to get permission to see her husband for a final farewell. After the hanging she pleaded with the Dockyard Commissioner for her husbands body but was refused. Having been informed by local people as to where he was buried, a small high fenced graveyard just outside Sheerness Dockyard, she enlisted the help of two local women and that night removed the coffin. The coffin was smuggled off of Sheppey in a dung cart. At Rochester the coffin was transferred to a goods caravan and driven to London, from where Anne hoped to travel to Exeter. At London, morbid sightseers, posing as sympathisers, were able to persuade the widow to let them see the body. The local magistrates quickly found out and took possession of the body. With great secrecy Parkers remains were buried in the middle of the night at the church of St. Mary Matfellow in Whitechapel at a brief burial ceremony conducted by the Rector.

The best known of all the songs of the Great Mutiny is the song that tells of Anne Parkers ordeal that culminates with her exhuming his body at night and transporting him to London where she obtained for him a sacred burial.

President Parker

1. Ye gods above protect the widow, and with pity look on me.
Oh help me, help me out of trouble and out of all calamity,
For by the death of my dear Parker fate to me has proved unkind;
Though doomed by law he was to suffer I couldn't erase him from my mind.

2. Brave Parker was my lawful husband, my bosom friend I loved so dear;
And at the moment he was to suffer I was not allowed to come near.
In vain I asked in vain I strove, ay, three times o'er and o'er again;
But still they replied, "You must be denied, and must return on shore again."

3. I thought I saw the yellow flag flying, the signal for my husband to die.
A gun was fired as they required when they hung on the yard so high.
I thought I saw his hand a-waving, bidding me a last farewell;
The grief I suffered at this moment no heart can paint, no tongue can tell.

4. My fainting spirit I thought would follow the soul of him I loved most dear;
No friend or neighbor would come near me to ease me of my grief and care.
Then unto shore my Parker was brought, most scornfully to be laid in the ground,
And for to get my husband's body an artful scheme I quickly found.

5. Indeed of night when all was silent, and many thousands fast asleep,
I and three more went to the shore and to his grave did quietly creep.
With trembling hands we worked with shovel and digged his body from the cold clay,
And there I had a coach a-waiting to carry to London his body away.

6. And there I got him decently buried, and then the doleful task was done;
 I soon did finish the doleful task that his imprudence had begun.
Oh farewell, Parker, thou bright genius, thou were once my only pride;
Though parted now it won't be long till I am laid down by your side.

7. Ye gods above protect the widow, and with pity look on me.
Although Parker was hung for mutiny there were worse men in the wars than he.
All you who hear my tender ditty do not laugh at me in disdain.
But look on me with eye of pity. for it is now my only claim.

Ballads of the Great Mutiny of 1797.
An most interesting essay with the lyrics of 10 songs.

More recently, 1987, The Men They Couldn't Hang recorded 'The Colours', a song about the Nore mutiny with strong political overtones.



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