A Northumbrian Tale

Year of composition
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
6 minutes
World music

Written for a group of young people to play at a Northumbrian evening; some of the 5 songs originated within a few miles of where I live. Hexhamshire Lass � a lad plods �through the mud and mire to see my bonny lass who lives in Hexhamshire�. Water of Tyne - a girl calls on the boatman to ferry her across the river which separates her from her lover. Ca� Hawkie � Hawkie is a wonderful cow but she hates crossing the ford, so the advice is - �cast off all your hose and shoon and drive Hawkie through the water�. Bonny at morn � a beautiful song about a sultry summers morning when the whole family is �laid idle� and the farm neglected (Derek Hobbs has a version of this song for voice & piano). Buy broom besoms- sung by a peddler selling his brooms; he wants a cart and a wife (in that order) and of the latter he sings �If I had a wife, I care not what she be; If she�s but a woman that�s enough for me.�. Regarding the first song, I have found that, contrary to accepted wisdom, young players play in unison just as well as harmony. Cello 2 is the same as Cello 1 except in Bonny at morn. Some parts,e.g. Violin 2 , are for Grade 1-3 players.. It is called A Northumbrian Tale because we attached a silly story to it for the concert.

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