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Bushes and briars

composer
1908
author of text

 
On 4 December 1903, Ralph Vaughan Williams was a slightly reluctant attendee of a tea-party given by the vicar of Ingrave, Essex, where he hoped to meet a few villagers who might know some songs. What occurred was little short of a Damascene conversion: Charles Potiphar, a 70-year-old shepherd and labourer, sang the haunting Aeolian melody of Bushes and briars, with the casual remark, ‘If you can get the words, the Almighty will send you the tune.’ Vaughan Williams noted only the first verse, later completing the text from a broadside; yet so profound was the encounter that he felt the melody was something he had known all his life.

from notes by Andrew Plant © 2019

Recordings

Silence & Music
Studio Master: SIGCD490Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
The last rose of summer
Studio Master: SIGCD598Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Vaughan Williams: Over hill, over dale
CDA66777

Details

Track 16 on CDA66777 [2'35]
Track 6 on SIGCD490 [2'10] Download only
Track 4 on SIGCD598 [3'00] Download only

Track-specific metadata

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