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Win a full set of Kyloe CDs

Mike Yates writes:

It's been great fun getting so many emails re: the quiz.  Well done to everyone who sent in answers.  I am also pleased by the number of people who said that they enjoyed trying to find the answers.  I deliberately made it hard because the last Musical Traditions quiz that I set was solved in a couple of days!  Surprisingly, with one exception, all the replies were from men.  Now what does that tell us about how we spend our time?  In fact, no-one managed to answer every question correctly.  (I said that it was hard).  However, both Malcolm Douglas and Patrick Hutchinson came nearest, with only one unanswered question (number 5) so they both win a set of CDs.

I am also sending a set of CDs to Chris Bartram because of his comment that anyone who could answer the questions must surely already have a set.  What was needed was a set for somebody like himself who couldn't answer one question!  I'm still laughing at this.


1.  What links W B Yeats, Chinua Achebe and Robert B Parker?  Yeats' poem The Second Coming.  Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart and Parker's crime novels Ceremony and The Widening Gyre take their titles from lines in the poem:
  Turning and turning in the widening gyre
  The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
  Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold
  Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
  The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
  The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
I don't know about you, but I get a shiver down my spine every time I read those lines.  Written long ago, but so relevant today.

2.  Why might folk musicians be interested in the Miles Davis album Kind of BlueThe album is an exploration of modal scales.  But, I was also prepared to accept words to the effect that 'it's a bloody good album'!  A couple of people thought that it had to do with a track on the album that was based on a flamenco tune.  Had I wanted this I would have mentioned another Miles Davis album, Sketches of Spain, which is wholly based on Spanish themes.  Incidentally, listening to the radio recently, I learnt that quite a bit of George Gershwin's music - including Rhapsody in Blue - is based on the pentatonic scale.  Now that would have made a good question!

3.  If the Watersons were 136 and The Stewarts of Blair 138, who were 137?  The Fisher Family (i.e. Topic 12T137).

4.  What connects Dan Campbell, Joe Corrie, Manuel Hemingway and Ethel Kemish?  They all made records for the Beltona Record Company.

5.  Which American blues singer recorded a version of the old folksong Go From My Window my Love Go in 1928?  Papa Charlie Jackson, under the title No Need of Knockin' on the Blind (Paramount 12660).  This question turned out to be the hardest of all and remained unanswered.  Some years ago I wrote a short piece on the recording for an obscure blues magazine.  Obviously it was too obscure and needs reprinting!

6.  The Gaelic ballad Am Brn Binn tells of which famous King?  King Arthur.

7.  (i) Which song did Bob Dylan write shortly after having had an altercation with a hotel receptionist who would not tell him if Joan Baez was booked into that hotel?
(ii) Which Child ballad did Bob Dylan record for his second LP, although the ballad was omitted from the album?  (i) When the Ship Comes In (sometimes called Your Days are Numbered).  (ii) The Housecarpenter.  See the booklet notes to Bob Dylan: the bootleg series, volumes 1-3. (rare & unreleased) 1961 - 1991. Columbia 488100 2.

8.  Which 'Shaman in residence' at the Naropa Institute at Boulder, Colorado, was also an artist, experimental film-maker, expert on string games and important catalyst in the American folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s?  Harry Smith (who compiled the Folkways Anthology of Folk Music).

9.  Who said, 'It may be argued that we are guilty of exaggeration when we suggest that the travelling people have become the real custodians of English and Scots traditional song.'  Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger in Travellers' Songs from England and Scotland (London, 1977) p.15.

10.  Which Scottish song collector had a very public flyting with the poet Hugh MacDiarmid?  Hamish Henderson.

11.  Whose death, on 1 November, 1920, is remembered in a well-known song?  Kevin Barry.

12.  Who became 'prostrate with dismal' at the sight of 'houses, houses, houses' covering his beloved countryside?  Bob Copper's father, James 'Jim' Copper.

13.  Why should you always smash the eggshell after eating a boiled egg?  To prevent witches using the shell as a boat to cross water.

14.  On what day of the year did God kill a farmer for working?  Christmas Day.  Listen to May Bradley's carol On Christmas Day.

15.  Which battle occurred on 13 September, 1645?  (Clue: Professor Child was aware of this battle).  The Battle of Philiphaugh (Child 202).

16.  The Irish/American musician Maurice McSweeney (1895 - 1936) recorded a number of 78s in the early 1930s.  True or false?  False.  McSweeney never existed.  Recordings supposedly made by 'Maurice McSweeney's Stars of Munster' in the 1930s were made some 50 years later by other musicians and 'reissued' on later CDs.

17.  Who was awarded a Fullbright scholarship in 1954 in order to research her family songs in Scotland, Ireland and England?  Jean Ritchie.

18.  Which Irish whistle-player made a living playing saxophone in a dance band whilst he was living in England in the late-1930s?  Packie Manus Byrne.  There could well have been others.  But several people got the answer that I was seeking.

19.  John Cohen's recordings of Peruvian folk music have appeared on a number of Smithsonian/Folkways albums.  But why was Cohen in Peru in the first place?  He was accompanying his wife, who was studying traditional Peruvian weaving techniques.

20.  Which composer, at Cecil Sharp's request, arranged a number of tunes that Sharp had collected in Somerset, to produce a 'rhapsody'?  Gustav Holst.

21.  Whilst on the subject of Cecil Sharp, which island was Sharp planning to visit to collect songs just prior to his death?  Newfoundland.

22.  What do the following people have in common?  Alphonse 'Bois Sec' Ardoin, Sister Mildred Barker, Joe Heaney, Tommy Jarrell, John Lee Hooker and Bua Xoa Mua.  They have all been named 'National Heritage Fellows' by the American Folk Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts.

23.  Which vicar, in 1843, published a collection of songs, 'collected by one who has learnt them by hearing them Sung every Christmas from early childhood'?  The Reverend John Broadwood.  Actually 1843 is incorrect, although this date is shown in the book - it says that the songs were 'arranged' in 1843.  It is now thought that the book was actually printed in 1847.  But, as just about every bibliography shows 1843, I have kept to this date. Mind you, one person did spot this - well done Irene!

24.  In which book do we find the following passage?  'Twenty men and boys scythed the corn and sang as they went.'  'What was the song, Davie?'  'Never mind the song - it was the singing that counted.'  Akenfield by Ronald Blythe.

25.  Which Scottish Traveller ended his working life on the staff of Aberdeen University?  Stanley Robertson.


Rod Stradling - e-mail: rod@mustrad.org.uk    Tel: 01453 759475
snail-mail: 1 Castle Street, Stroud, Glos GL5 2HP, UK

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