Thanks to fellow Blog owner


About Me

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Folk & Jazz fan, specialising in vinyl restoration. Although I would prefer to only post albums that I have paid for, or those of close friends, I am open to suggestions and offers of rare Folk items that need tender care and restoration, provided the supplier has the right of ownership of the physical item. NOT JUST an MP3 COPY of it. To give you an idea, I am prepared to restore vinyl belonging to another person, IF I receive a decent quality scan of the front, back and any relevant information that comes with the LP, preferably at least 2400 by 2400 quality, (600DPI scans for back) along with the sound files in FLAC format as waves are a bit too large to transfer. Then I will check their suitability for restoration. I try to maintain the requirement for a decent set of scans for each item, where possible, as I feel the music is incomplete without it. Sometimes this is just not possible as a lot of my stock came from broadcasting organisations that had their own heavy card sleeves, with information relevant to their prime function, that of providing the disc-jockies with basic details to pass on to listeners. I do wonder what happened to all the original artwork?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

TOPIC FOLK LP "SONGS OF" Series "A Soldiers Life for Me"

Topic 12T196 The Folk Songs of Britain, Vol 8. 
A soldiers Life for Me.

01.  Bonny Laddie - John Strachan
02.  Swansea Barracks - Phil Tanner
03.  The Dying Soldier - Mary Doran
04.  Willie O’Reilly - Robert Cinnamond
05.  The Banks of the Nile - Sidney Richards
06.  The Bonnet 'o Blue - Jean Matthew
07.  The Recruiting Song - William Rew
08.  William Taylor - Harold Covill  
09.  Johnny Harte - Mrs. Maguire
10.  The Soldier and the Sailor - Arthur Lenox
11.  Bold General Wolfe - Bob Scarce

Side 2  

01.  Muddley Barracks - Jumbo Brightwell
02.  Handsome Polly-O - Thomas Moran
03.  The Deadly Wars - Jeannie Robertson
04.  McCaffery - Peter Reilly
05.  Drink Old England Dry - Carol Singers
06.  Prince Charlie Stuart - Brigid Tunney
07.  My Son Tim - Timothy Walsh
08.  Napoleon Bonaparte - Robert Cinnamond
09.  The Bonny Bunch of Roses O - Louise Holmes
10.  Napoleon’s Dream - Sam Larner
11.  The Forfar Soldier - Jimmy McBeath.

Listening to these recordings gives one the impression that they were recorded just anywhere with no regard for acoustic problems, background noise etc, true folk music, recorded where it happened.

An interesting exercise in restoration, after removing the vinyl influences on the sound (rumble, scratch & clicks) I had to set about trying to remove some of the distortion due to over recording, the background noises, fans, and even a passing motor cycle on one track, I have tried not to be too heavy handed, preferring to leave as much of the atmosphere as possible to establish the metre of the events.

There will be the odd cough, the scraping chair, and traffic noise, as 
Peter Sellers said on his album 
"Three Folk songs in Hi-Fi"  The Glasgow street singer
"You may hear somes trafficks noise"
"Pay No attention!" 

Download Music Here

For more details about the song origins and some excellent reviews, please visit  Reinhard's pages


Binthealley said...

I want to say a big thank you for this posting and all the others from this excellent discontinued series. Can I just ask about the status of the two Childs Ballads albums - they are discs I have searched for unsuccessfully for a long time, and have failed to find anywhere? I am not a great fan of single artist versions of the Childs Ballads, as they tend to have a sameness in the treatment. This whole ten disc Topic series is delightful BECAUSE of the variety of treatment, and the informality of many of the settings. So, I DO hope you are going to post these two shortly ...... if they are not to be posted because they are available elsewhere, I would be very pleased to hear where ......

Gonzo said...


The Childs albums have been posted some year ago already on another blog, but I guess they are no longer available, might be a good idea to bring them back to life afresh, but they will need a lot of research, because so many of the Francis Childs songs have been issued on various CD compilations, I have tended to stay away from them.

I might re-visit them when the current series is complete.

Thanks for your comments, always nice to know I have pleased someone with my hobby.

Barron said...

Hullo. 7-Zip is giving me an "unspecfied error" when I try to decompressed these files.


Gonzo said...

Works here OK but I use WINRAR
don't know about 7-zip?

inthealley said...

Hi Gonzo,

It's INthealley, not BINthealley - don't know what went wrong there, but it comes from the Dylan line 'Shakespeare he's in the alley/with his pointed shoes and his bells' ........

I have trawled all over the place, in London and around and the net, trying to get those Child Ballad discs without success. If there are a number of the tracks rereleased, I would love to have the info as to where they are, if you are going to be researching it (hint) so that I can at least search them out ..... how about a PARTIAL posting of what's left ... please!!!

Gonzo said...

@inthealley (Shakespeare or Dylan)
I don't know where the "B" came from either "Boyo" perhaps it was an alley off Cockle Row?
The original Childs albums are still in Tasmania, I do have the track details here (will publish soon) but because of the early interest in collecting "Childs" material these LP's were done years ago only at 128k, not something to be too proud of, I will need to repeat the rip at the new 320k standard as the masters are long gone now, in fact the only copies I do have of this material are the 128k MP3's, so expect delays (even more now) as the new rips were sent here on a flash memory chip that has got corrupted probably due to the new screening standards at airports, something we never had problems with when the transfer was done on CD/R's either posted or carried as personal luggage.

Inthealley said...

Hi Gonzo,

Delays are no problem!! Just been delayed myself by the funeral of my father, sadly, and life has a habit of getting in the way of our schemes, which is why all this music which has survived so long has so much to say to us ........ yes, I can wait - it's just great to have the possibility of getting these two at last!!! Thanks again.

tsintskaro said...

I just wanted to say a massive thank you for your work on these Topic albums. I have been trying to put together a soundtrack from Pasolini's Canterbury Tales, and save for 5 tracks I now have the almost complete version. I've posted up the compilation on my blog, and all the tracks (save for two of them) are from the albums you have shared here. This is the link if you are interested Massive Thanks!

Gonzo said...

@tsintskaro. Glad to be of assistance, a worthy effort on your part too, putting it all together, time this work was re-aired, languished too long in the annals.

By the way I tried to post a comment on your blog, it seems to reject it, I couldn't even review it, just kept presenting me with a fresh comment screen?

tsintskaro said...

Hi Gonzo,

I've had the same problem myself. I'm looking into it. It seems to be an issue that has developed in the past couple of weeks and there isn't any obvious cause.

Thanks for the encouragement and keep up the good work.

tsintskaro said...

OK, looks like it's fixed. If you want to leave a comment then please do...

Unknown said...

Thanks, Gonzo, for all these classic posts. The spirit of this music takes me back to a lost world of backstreet Brummie pubs on the outskirts of the city centre back in the 60's. Nondescript places around Digbeth and Deritend where in smokey upstairs rooms a strange mixture of folk would gather to hear, often, the same old guys, mainly Irish labourers, sing straight from the shoulder the songs of their youth. After 2 or 3 weeks of course you knew all the words and joined in with everyone else.

Years later I went to a similar upstairs room in Bristol, but we were all self-consciously sat in a circle, and the 'gauntlet' was passed around in turn to sing or play something. Those who couldn't had to pass it on - making for an odd atmosphere. Never went back!