Welcome to week #27 of our project! And we’ve started off the second half of the project with one of our all time favourites, in terms of songs, settings, and the fact that we got to spend time with our friend Anna Hester 🙂
We’d been rehearsing this song with Anna for a few weeks to make sure we did it proper justice and it’s a fair amount of words to learn! And when Sunday came we were so happy to wake up to such a beautiful day and have the opportunity to play some music in the sunshine!
The song we picked is called “Matty Groves” and we fell in love with a version recorded in 2009 by Alela Diane and Alina Hardin. We’ve covered their version of the song as it just seemed to fit Becca’s and Anna’s voices so well that there was no need to play around with it.
The song is Child Ballad #81 and dates back at least as far as the 17th century; it was first published in 1658 but is also thought to have been published in a Broadside by Henry Gosson who published between 1607 and 1641 so it may have been even earlier. The song has several variations and is known in other recordings as Little Musgrave, Lord Arland, Lord Barnard and many more. The first recording (that I know of) is by John Jacob Niles in 1956 and has been recorded over the years by the likes of Joan Baez, Martin Carthy, Nic Jones and even Tom Waits.