FAIR NOTTAMUN TOWN

Latest update on 17/08/2017

Artist: Jean Ritchie
Author: Jean Ritchie
Label: Elektra
Year: 1954

On 10 inch Kentucky Mountain Songs (as Nottamun Town). Reissued on cd box set Washington Square Memoirs (Rhino). The Ritchie family was the American equivalent of the Copper Family and the Watersons in England. Jean was the youngest of 14 children in a Scott-Irish family in the Appalachians, visited by song collector Cecil Sharp in 1917. The version he noted was the one by her older sister Una and her cousin Sabrina. Jean applied for several copyrights for her family, the one for Fair Nottamun Town was approved in 1964. A major portion of the royalties she donated to Kentucky charities. Jean herself was recorded by Alan Lomax and wrote The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore, covered by Michelle Shocked.

Covers:

1962:

Judy Collins

1963:

Bob Dylan [tune for Masters Of War (see also: Looking Glass)]

1964:

Davy Graham & Shirley Collins

1965:

Odetta

1965:

Pete Seeger [as Masters Of War]

1965:

Julie Felix

1966:

Bert Jansch [on Jack Orion-lp]

1966:

José Feliciano

1967:

Barry McGuire

1968:

Cher [all as Masters Of War]

1969:

Fairport Convention [as Nottamun Town]

1970:

Leon Russell

1977:

Don McLean

1996:

Vera Coomans

2000:

Roland Van Campenhout & Wannes Van de Velde [as Oorlogsgeleerden]

2001:

Roger McGuinn [with Jean Ritchie on dulcimer]

2008:

RPWL [as Masters Of War]

Bob Dylan got the melody of his Masters Of War from an old English mummers' play song he learned from Bert Jansch when in England in '62. Bert hadn't even touched Nottamun Town himself; he knew it from Davy Graham who learned it from Jean Ritchie. Her publishing company failed to sue Dylan for use of the melody. He successfully maintained that his variation with new original words made it a new song. As for that mummers origin, no one can testify, not even in Nottingham. If anyone could, the magic would vanish. The (Old) Gray Mare, a broadside first published in Henry De Marsan's New Singer's Journal (1860) has the same first line (As I was a-going to Nottingham fair) while in Nottamun Town an old gray horse is usually used to approach city centre.

Contact


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info@originals.be

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