Three Nights Drunk And The Market Tup

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Clare Jenkins uncovers a treasury of folk songs from across Yorkshire, recorded by a gentleman-landowner and his wife 50 years ago, and featuring such previously unheard songs as Three Nights Drunk, and The Market Tup.

From 1958 to 1978, Hudleston, a Yorkshire landowner now in his late 80s, together with his late wife Mary, recorded around 500 Yorkshire folksongs dating back as far as the 16th Century, which had been curiously overlooked by such pioneering 20th century collectors as Ralph Vaughan Williams, Cecil Sharp and Percy Grainger.

Until the Hudlestons came along, it was widely believed that Yorkshire people simply didn't have a tradition of orally transmitted songs.

Among the songs are Old Matha Gummersal Had a Mule, I'm a Collier By Me Trade, and the Craven Churn-Supper Song - sung into the Hudlestons' hefty reel-to-reel tape recorder, by singers, all now dead, in Todmorden and Whitby, Swinithwaite and Goathland, Calderdale, Wensleydale and Eskdale.

In the early 1990s, Richard Adams and Mark Gordon two young musicians from Scarborough, started painstakingly transcribing them thinking that the project would last a fortnight, it lasted eight years.

The result is a book of over 200 of the songs, called Songs of the Ridings.

Mark and Richard have included some in their musical repertoire, showing how songs can change organically and live again for a new audience.

The collection itself is now housed at the National Centre for English Cultural Tradition at the University of Sheffield.

Presented by Clare Jenkins, the programme interweaves songs with the memories and thoughts of those involved, the son of Arthur Wood from Middlesbrough, one of the main contributors, Nigel Hudleston, Mark Gordon and Richard Adams and folklorist Georgina Boyes