This is a track not available on any of our albums, written by John Spiers for John & Karen McIntosh
Tom Padget – the story of a beggar-man that seems to be doing alright for himself – featuring the fiddle & bouzouki of Nancy Kerr and James Fagan, clogging from Hannah James and percussion by Sam Sweeney.
There were several Horn Fairs documented in the south of England from the 17th century to the late 19th century and they were all reported to be boisterous leery affairs celebrating cuckoldry. This version, collected in Essex by Ralph Vaughan Williams features special guests Maddy Prior and Martin Simpson and was originally recorded by Spiers & Boden on the 2005 album “Songs”
This is a southern version of a tune from a very northern tradition. Coconut dancing with it’s curious costume and resonances with other versions of morris dancing was performed around Easter time in some towns in the industrial north west including Rochdale, Burnley and Bacup which still retains a team of ‘nutters’. Because the southern version of the tune was not associated with the slower, swaggering dance any longer it was often performed at a faster tempo. This version is certainly a lot faster!