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Audio CD, May 8, 2012
I’ve Rambled This Country (trad. arr. Rathje) 3:41
Who Killed Cock Robin? (trad. arr. Rathje) 4:45
Little Blonde (trad. arr. Rathje) 2:06
Cowboy Concerto (Rathje) 1:36
Pais Dinogad (trad. arr. Rathje) 4:06
Little Darling (trad. arr. Rathje) 2:45
The Cutty Wren (trad. arr. Rathje) 3:44
Jolie Blon (trad. arr. Rathje) 3:48
Gartan Mother’s Lullaby (trad. arr. Rathje) 3:34
Samanthra (trad. arr. Rathje) 3:45
Total playing time, 33:52
This CD consists of my adaptations of songs from traditional sources. “I’ve Rambled This Country,” found in a number of songbooks, is also called “Pretty Polly,” though quite different from the murder ballad by that name.
“Who Killed Cock Robin?” is a very old song, similar to the song Phyllyp Sparowe, written by John Skelton around 1508. What does it mean? There are various theories that Cock Robin represents one or another political figure, or that he represents the Norse god Balder.
“Little Blonde” is my adaptation of a French lyric, found in Lomax as “What’s Wrong, Little Blonde?” The “bums” in the song, with “a jug in their hands and brass knucks in their pants,” could be Gypsies.
“Cowboy Concerto” is an original instrumental.
“Pais Dinogad” is my adaptation of a Welsh lullaby. The mother comforts her baby with tales of his father’s hunting prowess. “Pais Dinogad” is one of the oldest surviving Welsh nursery rhymes. The melody is my own.
“Little Darling” is my adaptation of a Celtic lullaby. In this case, the mother, caressing her babe’s brow, predicts that he will grow up to steal sheep and goats from neighboring tribes.
“The Cutty Wren,” like Cock Robin, is obscure in origin. Some think the Cutty Wren represents the human sacrifice of the Year King. Or the song might refer to the English peasants’ revolt of 1381, with the wren being King Richard II, who was killed and fed to the poor.
“Jolie Blon” is my interpretation of a Cajun waltz.
“Garten Mother’s Lullaby” is my interpretation of an Irish song written by Herbert Hughes and Seosamh Mac Cathmhaoil. It contains references to various figures from Celtic myth.
“Samanthra” is a Quaker shape-note song, a beautiful hymn of praise.
Dean Rathje: voices, guitars, mandolin, banjo, dobro, piano, bass.
© 2012 Dean Rathje
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