Like Diamond Glances

Screen shot 2013-02-24 at 18.40.40On 1 March 2013 we released our début 5 track CD called 'Like Diamond Glances'. You can order the CD by emailing thefoxlgovetrio[at]gmail.com. You can also download a digital version from bandcamp.

Sleeve notes

We weren't able to include sleeve notes in the CD itself but here's what we have to say about it...

The tracks

Newry town

A story about a highway man who robs the upper classes of their riches in order to keep his wife in jewellery. It serves as a warning against the dangers of turning to crime to make ends meet. The words are traditional and we've put them to a new melody. 

In Newry town, I was bread and born,
In Stephen's Green now I'll die for scorn.
I served my time to the saddling trade,
But I turned out to be a roving blade.
At seventeen I took a wife,
I loved her dear as I loved my life;
And for to keep in fine array,
A-robbing I went on the King's highway.

I never robbed any poor man yet,
Nor any tradesman did I beset;
I robbed both Lords and the Ladies bright,
And brought their jewels to my heart's delight.
I robbed Lord Golding I do declare,
And Lady Mansel, in Grosvenor Square;
I shut the shutters and wished them good night.
And home I went to my wife's delight.

To Covent Garden I made my way,
With my dear wife for to see the play;
Lord Fielding's gang they did me pursue,
And I was taken by the cursed crew.

My father cried, "O, my darling son."
My wife she wept and sighed, "I’m undone."
My mother tore her white locks and cried;
Saying, "In the cradle he should have died.”

And when I'm dead and bound for my grave
A flashy funeral pray let me have;
With six bold highwaymen to carry me.
Give them good broadswords and sweet liberty.

Six pretty maidens to bear my pall,
Give them white garlands and ribbons all.
And when I'm dead they will speak the truth,
He was a wild and a wicked youth.
He was a wild and a wicked youth. 

Cariad Cyntaf

In the first verse the protagonist tells his lover how beautiful she is and asks that she listen to him because he's lovesick over her. In the second verse he asks her to promise always to love him and says they could make arrangements for a wedding before they part company. In the third verse he reaffirms that she is the one he lusts after and that he would like to take her as his partner. The fourth verse includes the beautiful sentiment, "in your eyes I find truth, shining with grace and virtue".  

Mae prydferthwch ail i Eden
Yn dy fynwes gynnes, feinwen,
Fwyn gariadus liwus lawen.
Seren syw, clyw di'r claf. 
 
Addo'th gariad i mi heno,
Gwnawn amodau cyn ymado 
I ymrwymo, doed a ddelo;
Rho dy gred, a dwed y doi. 

Liwus lonnach, serch fy mynwes,
Wiwdeg orau ‘rioed a gerais
Mi'th gymeraf yn gymhares;
Rho dy gred, a d'wed y doi. 
    
Yn dy lygaid caf wirionedd 
Yn serennu gras a rhinwedd, 
Mae dy weld i mi'n orfoledd:
Seren syw, clyw di'r claf.

The Sign of the Bonny Blue Bell

We took this song from 100 Folksongs for Medium Voice edited by Cecil Sharp and published in 1975. A sixteen year old girl is offended when an older man spurns her attentions because of her youth. We think the reference to the sign of the Bonny Blue Bell means she was a publican's daughter and that her keenness to marry on one particular day of the week is based on the old superstition that those who get married on a Tuesday will be blessed with wealth. 

As I was a-walking one morning in spring
For to hear the birds whistle and the nightingale sing,
I heard a fair damsel so sweetly sang she,
Saying, “I will be married on a Tuesday morning,”
I heard a fair damsel so sweetly sang she,
Saying, “I will be married on a Tuesday morning.”

I stepped up to her and this I did say:
“Pray tell me your age and where you belong.”
“I belong to the sign of the Bonny Blue Bell;
My age is sixteen, and you know very well.”
“I belong to the sign of the Bonny Blue Bell;
My age is sixteen, and you know very well.”

“Sixteen, pretty maid, is young for to marry.
I'll leave you the other four years for to tarry.”
“You speak like a man without any skill;
Four years I've been single against my own will.
You speak like a man without any skill;
Four years I've been single against my own will.”

On a Monday evening when I go there
For to powder my face and to curl my hair,
There were three pretty maidens for me a-waiting;
Singing “I will be married on a Tuesday morning.”
There were three pretty maidens for me a-waiting;
Singing “I will be married on a Tuesday morning.”

On a Tuesday morning the bells they shall ring,
And three pretty maidens for me shall sing:
“So neat and so gay is my golden ring”,
Saying, “I will be married on a Tuesday morning.”
“So neat and so gay is my golden ring”,
Saying, “I will be married on a Tuesday morning.”

Betsy Bell and Mary Grey

This song tells the story of a 17th century delivery boy who falls in love with two young women who'd been sent to live in a forest to avoid the Perthshire plague. It's a version of Child ballad 201. We end the track with a traditional Irish tune called Morrison's jig. 

Oh, Betsy Bell and Mary Gray, they were two bonnie lasses,
They biggit a bower on yon Burnside and theeked it o'er with rashes,
Fair Betsy Bell I loved so well and thought I ne'er could alter,
But Mary Gray's two cheeky eyes caused all my fancy falter.

Chorus:

Oh, Betsy Bell and Mary Gray, they were two bonnie lasses,
They biggit a bower on yon Burnside and theeked it o'er with rashes.

Betsy's hair is flaxen gold, she smiles like a May morning,
When Phoebus starts from Thoetus lap the hills with rays adorning,
White is her hair, soft is her hand, her waist and feet flow gently,
With every grace she can command, her lips I vow are dainty.

(Chorus)

Oh, Mary's hair is like the crow, her eyes like diamond glances,
She's aye so clean red up and raw, she kills whene'er she dances,
Blithe as a kid with wit and will, she's blooming, tight and tall is,
And guides her airs so graceful still, by Jove, she's like thy palace.

(Chorus)

Oh, Betsy Bell and Mary Gray, ye unco saer oppress us,
Our fancies fee between ye two, ye are such bonnie lasses,
Woe's me for both I cannot get, to one by law we're stinted,
Then I'll draw lots and take my fate and be with one contented.

Betsy Bell and Mary Gray, they were two bonnie lasses,
They biggit a bower on yon Burnside and theeked it o'er with rashes,
But Betsy Bell nor Mary Gray could quell my fancy ever,
The plague came from the burrows town, it slew them both together.

Bugeilio'r Gwenith Gwyn

A terribly sad song written by Wil Hopcyn of Llangynwyd during the 18th century. Wil was in love with Ann Thomas, a wealthy landowner’s daughter. She was not allowed to marry him and was forced to marry Anthony Madox, a local squire, instead. Being unable to stay and watch Ann marry Anthony, Wil left the village at which point it is supposed he wrote these lyrics. The ledged goes that he had a dream telling him that Anthony had died but when he rushed back to Llangynwyd with the hope of making Ann his wife he found it was she, not Anthony, who was sick and she died of a broken heart in his arms that evening. In the first and second verses Wil talks of his lover’s purity, asks if she won’t come and walk with him one day and confesses that the key to his heart is in her breast. In the third verse he says that he’ll stay faithful to her as long as the sea is salty, his hair grows and he has a heart in his chest. He finishes by asking Ann to tell him whether it is he, or another man, that her heart truly loves.

Mi sy'n fachgen ieuanc ffôl
Yn byw yn ôl fy ffansi,
Myfi’n bugeilio’r gwenith gwyn,
Ac arall yn ei fedi.
Pam na ddeui ar fy ôl,
Rhyw ddydd ar ôl ei gilydd?
Cans ‘rwyn dy weld, y feinir fach,
Yn lanach, lanach beunydd!

Glanach, glanach wyt bob dydd,
Neu fi sy’ â’m ffydd yn ffolach,
Er mwyn y Gŵr a wnaeth dy wedd,
Gwna im drugaredd bellach.
Cwyd dy ben, gwêl acw draw,
Rho i mi’th law wen dirion;
Cans yn dy fynwes bert a'i thro
Mae allwedd clo fy nghalon!

Tra fo dŵr y môr yn hallt,
A thra fo ‘ngwallt yn tyfu,
A thra fo calon dan fy mron
Mi fydda’n ffyddlon iti:
Dywed imi’r gwir heb gel
A rho dan sel d’atebion,
P’un ai myfi neu arall, Ann,
Sydd orau gan dy galon.

Thank you 

We're very grateful to the many people who have helped us to develop The Foxglove Trio over the past two years. For this CD we'd like to especially thank the following people:

Mark Hutchinson at Rooksmere Studio for recording, mixing and mastering this CD and to Ted & Viv Dean for their hospitality during the recording process. 

Lisa Berrystone, John Dean and Tariq at Disc Wizards for the photo, design and art work. 

Jan Strapp, Alison MacFarlane and Joey Oliver for their encouragement and advice. 

Our families for their support. 

 

CD reviews from magazines and websites

"This is the debut CD from this Hertfordshire-based group, who’ve been playing together for over two years now. It features five traditional tracks, three in English and two in Welsh. Ffion Mair’s lead vocals are assured and precise, if somewhat tied to the rhythm of the English tracks – the Welsh are much more lyrical and Cariad Cyntaf is gorgeous. What makes the trio remarkable is the range of instrumentation they are able to bring to the tracks – guitar, melodeon, two cellos and whistle. They are used sparingly throughout, enhancing and accompanying rather than dominating. They’re heard at their best at the end of a rousing version of Betsy Bell & Mary Grey when they head off into a reel where whistle, melodeon, and cello toss the melody betwixt them like a winning team at Cardiff Arms Park. One of the trio is from Wakefield and they are hoping to play folk clubs in Yorkshire next year. This EP serves as a useful introduction and makes it obvious that any gigs they secure will be well worth attending." - Nigel Schofield, Tykes News 

"The Foxglove Trio are already well-rehearsed and sure both of themselves and their capabilities and of where they're taking their music" - Fatea Magazine

"Like Diamond Glances is a promising debut from three talented musicians." - Bright Young Folk

 

CD reviews from radio shows

"This Foxglove deserves to flower on both sides of the border" - Frank Hennessy

[The Foxglove Trio are] very good. Bill Mitton
 
Very nice. [Newry town is] an excellent track and was well received [on my radio show]. Terry Ferdinand 
 
Very very good. Superb EP. Keith Peverley & Pat Thornby
 

I'm sure I'm going to be playing some more stuff from their EP. Daria Kulesh

 

CD reviews from members of the public 

Very very good. 
 
Beautiful. 
 
I really enjoyed it. 
 
Very nice! I especially like the track with the punchy melodeon intro. 
 
Very different from any folk band I've heard before, in a really good way!
 
Really enjoyed it. It's very good. 'Backing vocals' on track 3 work a treat. 
 

I enjoyed your CD and I'm looking forward to the next one!

I enjoyed the CD; it was lovely. The last track took me back to primary school.

Lovely CD

 

 

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