Peter Warlock's 'The Magpie', by Anna Harvey and Mark Austin

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

The original text recorded for the first time, and taken from their new album on Rubicon

On Friday mezzo Anna Harvey and pianist Mark Austin release their debut album featuring songs by Peter Warlock and Frederick Howe – including nine world premiere recordings of English folk song arrangements by Howe.

One particularly interesting track is Warlock’s 'The Magpie’, featuring the original, uncensored words which inspired ‘Yarmouth Fair', as the artists explain:

'The song found itself at the centre of a copyright claim and was subsequently published as "Yarmouth Fair". The story goes that a road mender named John Drinkwater had sung the tune and words of "The Magpie" to composer E. J. Moeran, who noted it down. Drinkwater claimed that he had found the words in an old newspaper, and the tune had simply come to him. Moeran shared it with Warlock, who arranged the song for publication, only to find that it was a duplicate of an older Music Hall song. To avoid a lawsuit, Hal Collins wrote new words for what became "Yarmouth Fair". That song was first published in 1924, and the version with the original text finally saw publication in 1989.'

You can watch them perform it below.

'Songs by Warlock and Howe', by Anna Harvey and Mark Austin, is available from Friday on the Rubicon label

 

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