Tune of the Month

Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci – This Summer’s Been Good From The Start

The Furrow Collective – I’d Rather Be Tending My Sheep

Halsway Manor houses the archives of Somerset folklorist Ruth Tongue. This is a lovely version of one of her songs, Tending My Sheep called here I’d Rather Be Tending My Sheep.  It is sung here by Lucy Farrell and is from the The Furrow Collective’s 2014 album At Our Next Meeting. The song can be found in Ruth Tongue’s book The Chime Child , (London, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968). She claims to have collected it from someone called ‘Old Shepherd’.


This recording of The Seeds of Love is taken from the CD ‘Old Uncle Tom Cobbleigh and all. Folk songs sung in the West Country’ released on Veteran Records. www.veteranrecords.co.uk

George Withers was born in 1924, the year that Cecil Sharp, the most renowned collector of Somerset folk songs, died. He was the fifth child and only son of six children. Both his parents were musical and his father sang regularly in choirs and village concerts. George learned several of his songs from his parents including local songs that in earlier years Sharp had collected from James Bishop, who was a next door neighbour of the family. In 1927, the family moved to Donyatt where George lived and farmed for the next 35 years. The next move was to Isle Abbots where he met Harry Adams, a prolific singer and storyteller. Harry revived George’s interest in traditional songs and as George says: “The more I sing those old songs, the more I enjoy them.” (Bob & Jaqueline Pattern)