Saturday, 21 November 2015

Six Dukes Went a-Fishing

Just lately I've been mildly obsessed with the stark 17th Century traditional ballad, 'Six Dukes Went a-Fishing'. The song, which was collected in 1906 by Percy Grainger, tells of the discovery of the Duke of Grantham's drowned body by a group of his peers. The later verses detail the preparation of the corpse for burial ('they took out his bowels and stretched out his feet') before describing the funeral and the Duke's widow in mourning ('the Royal Queen of Grantham went weeping away...')

Here are three distinct versions of 'Six Dukes', drawn from the many available. From 1960, leading folk revival figure, A.L Lloyd's second recording of the song, Shirley & Dolly Collins' unsettling reading from their 1970 LP 'Love, Death and the Lady' and an interesting contemporary approach by Mishaped Pearls from 2014.


Walter said...

It's always interesting listen how artists interpret a great song. Love the version of Mishaped Pearls.

Charity Chic said...

Sincere apologies Swede. I inadvertently removed you from my blog roll whilst tidying it up.This has now been rectified. Excellent stuff

The Swede said...

Walter. Agreed. An interesting reinterpretation beats a straight forward cover any day of the week.

Charity Chic. No problemo!

Anonymous said...

Three very different versions. My personal preference will probably always be with Shirley and Dolly (that pipe organ!) but Mishaped Pearls bring something nice and new to the table and it's wonderful to hear younger musicians keeping the old stuff alive.

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