Ethnographic wax cylinders

The Banks of Green Willow

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  • Performers

    Clements, David (singer, male)

  • Recordist

    Butterworth, George

  • Description

    EFDSS Cylinder No.97. The Banks of Green Willow, sung by David Clements of Basingstoke, Hampshire. The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) Collection divides into three sub-collections of Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and English recordings. The original cylinders still belong to the EFDSS, originally stored in Cecil Sharp House. The Scottish Gaelic recordings were made by Lucy Etheldred Broadwood (1858-1929) the great grand-daughter of John Broadwood the harpsichord and piano manufacturer, and by Dr. Farquhar MacRae. These recordings are mainly from 1908 and are very good quality. The Welsh recordings were made by luminaries of the Welsh Folk-Song Society such as Lady Ruth Herbert Lewis (1872-1946), and the singer Mary Davies (1855-1930). These are of rather poor sound quality. Also in this part of the collection are demonstrations of animal and sheep dog calls. The English Collection is a mixture of good, reasonable and poor sound quality, made by Cecil Sharp (1859-1924), Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), George Butterworth (1885-1916) and the folklorist Ella Mary Leather (1876-1928), among others. These recordings are also of great interest in that the tunes were to influence, and be used in compositions by Vaughan Williams, Butterworth, and Holst.

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User notes for this item

This was not made in 1909, nor was it recorded by George Butterworth. It was recorded in Basingstoke Workhouse in August 1906 by Charles Gamblin and George Gardiner. In 1909 Ralph Vaughan Williams transcribed the cylinder into musical notation, which the EFDSS published as being collected by him. It should, however, be ascribed to Gamblin and Gardiner. George Butterworth played no part in the collection, but he did use this version at the end of his Idyll: The Banks of Green Willow (from bar 139).

Posted by Phillip Brookes on 28/04/2018 04:37:00