Outstanding Natural Beauty - Vol 1
by Rob Williams and Friends

Rob's Notes

I was first inspired to make this album at the Quantock Music Festival held at Halsway Manor near Crowcombe in Somerset in May 2011. The festival was a weekend of workshops, concerts, sessions and a dance, all run by the Hotwells Howlers and the Bristol Shantymen. The most fascinating part for me was the lecture, illustrated with slides and songs, about Jane Gulliford of Combe Florey. The talk was presented by Angela Shaw who had obviously researched her material very thoroughly.

It is possible that Jane's husband Frederick Gulliford and I are distantly related since my grandmother's maiden name was Gulliford and she lived in Nether Stowey just a few miles away from Combe Florey on the other side of the Quantocks.

Jane's wonderful songs were collected by the Hammond Brothers (who referred to her as Jane Gulliver) in 1905 and Cecil Sharp in 1908. Over 40 songs were collected from Jane in all. Some of Jane's songs are versions of songs that were well known in other parts of England. Some appear to be unknown elsewhere.

There are 17 songs on the album. All except one were sung for Henry and Robert Hammond by Jane Gulliford. The Banks of Sweet Dundee was sung by Amos Ash and supplemented by Jane Gulliford. H.A. Jeboult, who was organist at St. Mary's church in Taunton, noted the tunes.

The manuscript words and music for the songs were taken from the "Take Six" online archive at http://www.efdss.org/archive/

I came up with the title for the album "Outstanding Natural Beauty" after reading that the Quantock Hills was the first place in England to be given the designation "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty" in 1956.

Rob Williams

Web Site by Rob Williams 2011
Last modified: Mon Jan 30 00:51:59 GMT 2012