Wednesday, March 06, 2013

It's Mothering Sunday! Time for pancakes and a beautiful English folksong.

english folk song for mothering sundayI was contacted by a pastor in the England's Lake District this week - he wanted to know if it would be ok if he played our version of "Mothering Sunday" for his congregation this weekend. (That's his church on the right there.)

I was amazed. It always has seemed to me that the English loathe Americans singing their songs, but he said no, they are not that xenophobic, and that he loved it and knew they would love it too. It made my day. Here it is if you want a listen:

My mother died when she was 50, which didn't seem so young to me at the time, I was 26, but now I have outlived her by almost 20%. I have lived to see my daughter married, which my mother didn't, and soon - if I don't get hit by a truck - I will have lived to see a grandchild, which my mother never did.

Jacqueline Schwab, Robbie Link and I recorded this on "Sedgefield Fair" almost twenty years ago. It's a folksong from a time when many families in England could not afford to keep their children; the boys were sent away to work on faraway farms and the girls were sent out as maids. The kids worked six days a week and rarely could spare the time to travel back to their homes. One of the few times the family might be together was "Mothering Sunday." The children are supposed to make pancakes and the mother sits back and tries not to think about all the mess they're making in the kitchen.


At 7:42 PM, Anonymous pixordia said...

That must be the roots of Mother's Day. It is interesting to ponder where our modern tradition might come from. I stumbled into your blog looking for info on Edith Beale because I have just watched Grey Gardens. What an amazing story that be sure.
Now is Pratie the irish diminutive for potatoes. Thanks for all the fascinating subjects you broach.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Chapel Hill Fiddler said...

Hi Pixordia, yes, Pratie is a Gaelic word for potato. Thanks for visiting...

At 5:36 PM, Blogger novelera said...

Just a lovely song. Thanks!


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