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The Brave Ploughboy

The Brave Ploughboy (Transatlantic XTRS 1150)

The Brave Ploughboy
Songs and Stories in a Sussex Pub
Various Artists

Transatlantic XTRS 1150 (LP, UK, 1975)

Recorded on 11 May 1974 at the Lewes Arms, Mount Place, Lewes, Sussex;
Produced and engineered by Karl Dallas;
Remixed at River Side Studios, engineer Adam Skeaping;
Design and art direction: Bill Hutton;
Photography: David Ellis


Side 1

  1. Cyril Phillips: The Sussex Molecatcher (Roud 1052) (3.50)
  2. Bob Lewis: The Lost Doorkey / Ale, Ale, Glorious Ale (Roud 1512) (4.25)
  3. Bob Blake: Courting With a Light / Old John Braddlem (Roud 1857; TYG 134) (2.35)
  4. Bob, John and Lynne Copper: Two Young Brethren (Roud 202) (4.30)
  5. George Belton: Jim the Carter Lad (Roud 1080; G/D 3:457; Henry H171) (3.55)
  6. George Spicer: The Triplets / Down in the Fields Where the Buttercups All Grow (Roud 1736) (7.11)

Side 2

  1. Bob and John Copper: The Brisk Young Ploughboy (Roud 1205) (3.12)
  2. George Belton: We’re All Jolly Fellows that Follow the Plough (Roud 346; G/D 3:418) (3.36)
  3. Bob Blake: The Basket of Eggs (Roud 377; G/D 2:307) (4.26)
  4. Bob Lewis: The Lost Sheep / John Barleycorn (Roud 164; G/D 3:559) (5.26)
  5. Cyril Phillips: The Lakes of Coolfin (Roud 189; Laws Q33; G/D 2:228; Henry H176) (3.57)
  6. George Spicer: The Barley Mow (Roud 944) (4.18)
  7. George Belton: The Sussex Toast (Roud 885) (3.36)


Vic Smith reminisced in the Mudcat Café thread The recordings of Henry Burstow in September 2011:

The date was 11 May 1974. The folk club was located at the Lewes Arms in Mount Place in Lewes. At the time we held an annual Sussex Singers’ Night and would invite about a half-a-dozen of the surviving traditional singers of the county to each of these and give the whole evening over to them. On this occasion as well as Bob Blake, there was The Copper Family, Cyril Phillips, George Belton, George Spicer and Bob Lewis.

As well as the evening being recorded by Keith Summers, it was also recorded by Karl Dallas on rather superior equipment and some of the recordings that Karl made were edited and made into a an LP - The Brave Ploughboy: Songs and Stories in a Sussex Pub on Xtra XTRS1150 (1975).

All the singers who had sung on that evening were later assembled to have their photograph taken for the album cover. However, instead of photographing them outside the pub where the recordings were made, the photograph was taken outside a much posher pub, The George in the centre of Crawley. The choice of photographic venue annoyed Cyril Phillips who later told me, “What did they want to take us to that place for? They’d no more let you shit on their carpets than let you sing in that bloody place!”