is the fifth work from the first series of Folk-songs from Somerset, an extensive collection by Cecil Sharp and Charles L Marson published in 1905. Searching for folk-songs, Sharp had spent the end of the summer holidays of 1903 in the village of Hambridge, Somerset. Marson offered little encouragement: 'The folk-song is like the duck-billed platypus … you can live for years within a few yards of it and never suspect its existence.' Eight years in Hambridge had left him 'in Stygian ignorance of the wealth of art which that village contained'. As Maud Kerpeles wrote in Cecil Sharp: His Life and Work
: 'The utmost tact and patience were needed to extract the songs from the recesses of the singers’ memories and to overcome their shyness. ‘Forty years agone’, said one, ‘I’d a-zung ‘un out o’ sight.’ ‘When you come to me all at once I can’t come at it', said another and the only way was to leave him ‘to bide and stud’.' Sweet Kitty
(also set by Imogen Holst among others) is a cautionary tale with the refrain 'Sing fol the diddle dero', etc.
from notes by Phillip Borg-Wheeler © 2016