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The Old Songs Podcast: Se2Ep10 – ‘The New Bury Loom’, ft. Jennifer Reid

The 10th episode of The Old Songs Podcast, Jon Wilks chats to broadside ballad singer and researcher, Jennifer Reid, about 'The New Bury Loom' [Roud V9197].

Thanks again for tuning in to the Old Songs Podcast, not just to this episode but to the 20-odd that have gone before it. It has been a pleasure recording them, and my huge thanks go out to the English Folk Dance and Song Society for their help and support in creating the latest series.

The Long Song Seller, holding a pole with his songs.
‘The Long Song Seller’, as mentioned by Jennifer Reid in this episode.

Today, I’m talking to broadside ballads singer, Jennifer Reid. Although Jenn has been involved in researching and singing these songs for a decade, I’m ashamed to say that she only turned up on my radar when she appeared as the ballad-singing bar owner, Barb, in the recent BBC adaptation of The Gallows Pole. I’ve since discovered that she’s a force to be reckoned with – one of the most passionate proponents of old songs that I’ve so far had the good fortune to meet.

In this conversation, we discuss her background with broadsides, their history, what a ballad hawker might have been, who might have been singing these songs and why, and how Jenn ended up singing unaccompanied traditional songs to a Pulp audience at the behest of Jarvis cocker. Along the way, we chat a little about one of her favourite ballads, ‘The Bury New Loom’ [Roud V9197]. Pull your ear goggles on and let’s get underway.

Click to listen on: Apple | Spotify | Google | Mixcloud

The red and white logo of EFDSS English Folk Dance and Song Society, featuring a set of crossed rapper swords.

The Old Songs Podcast is supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

‘Bury New Loom’ podcast notes


Track listing

  • ‘New Bury Loom’, performed by Horden Raikes (1972)
  • ‘Old Simon the King’, performed by Jennifer Reid as part of The Gallows Pole (BBC, 2023)
  • ‘The New Bury Loom’, performed by Jennifer Reid (2023)