Between 2014 and 2018 I was privileged to take part in a project with The Carnival Band, to record 100 of the most popular ballads of the C17th for a project led by Dr Chris Marsh of Queen’s University Belfast.
The Carnival Band are releasing some of these recordings in ‘A New Bag of Old Ballads’, and I sing the third in the series, ‘Little Mousegrove & The Lady Barnet’ (AKA ‘Little Musgrave’ or ‘Matty Groves’). The song tells of an adulterous & passionate tryst between a young man and a noblewoman, ending in betrayal and murder. Andy Watts from the Carnival Band introduces the project here.
|‘A lamentable ballad of the little Musgrove’ . A seventeenth century broadside held in the Bodleian Library|
Check the bag to hear ‘The Delights of the Bottle’, sung by Giles Lewin, and ‘I’ll Never Love Thee More’, sung by Jub Davis, and keep visiting for more treasures.
If you’re interested in finding out more about these ballads, watch ‘The Woman to the Plow and the Man to the Hen-Roost’: Wives, Husbands, & Best-Selling Ballads in Seventeenth-Century England, a lecture given by Dr Chris Marsh to the Royal Historical Society in 2018, with illustrations sung by me.