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The Yellow Handkerchief

'Traditional songs & ballads from England’s greatest gypsy singer’


Phoebe Smith

(click on the artistes name to see a photo and /or a short biography)


Phoebe Smith is thought by many to have been one of England's greatest traditional singers. She had a style and delivery that stunned an audience into silence, and to hear her in full flight at the end of this CD is a revelation. Phoebe spent much of her life on the road, Essex for sugar-beeting, Kent for cherries, plums and pears, then up to the Fens for the potatoes and it was there she would meet her own and other families and possibly swap a song or two.


The CD contains a classic mixture of ballads like 'Green Bushes', A Blacksmith Courted Me' and 'Barbara Allen' as well as the traveller's anthem 'Romany Rye' and even a stepdance to the music of Irish fiddler Martin Byrnes.



Tracks (click on the title to see the words of each song and read notes about it)

1. Raking the Hay (4.59)

2. Old Gypsy’s Waggon (Romany Rye) (2.08)

3. Barbara Allan (11.03)

4. Jolly Herring (3.06)

5. Johnny Abourne (5.08)

6. Wings of a Swallow (Old Rocky Road) (2.06)

7. Green Brushes (4.59)

8. Young Morgan – with Joe Smith (1.24)

9. Lavender – Joe Smith (0.42)

10. The Sheepfold (7.37)

11. A Blacksmith Courted Me (7.50)

12. Stepdance – to Martin Byrnes, fiddle (1.05)

13. Game of All Fours (3.00)

14. The Yellow Handkerchief  (4.16)


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MP3 downloads are available from all major digital retailers, as full albums or individual tracks, and there you can listen to a sample of each track. The following links will take you directly to this albums page on Amazon or iTunes.



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