‘Sweet Lemany’ [Roud 193] is a traditional folk song that has entranced countless singers, not least Hannah Martin of Edgelarks, SykesMartin, Gigspanner and Saltlines. The song is an aubade (a piece of music for the morning) and features mystical lyrics that may (or may not) refer to a druidic figure and the magic of early summer. Ahead of her performance with SykesMartin at Cecil Sharp House on September 29th, 2022, Hannah joins Jon Wilks on the Old Songs Podcast, supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society, to chat about the history of the song, where she first heard it, and what caught her attention in the first place. Make sure you stick around to the end of the podcast to hear a truly gorgeous, unaccompanied performance of the song by Hannah Martin herself.
Click to listen on: Apple | Spotify | Google | Mixcloud
The Old Songs Podcast is supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
‘Sweet Lemany’ podcast notes
Over the course of the hour, Hannah Martin and Jon Wilks mention the following links:
- The English Folk Dance and Song Society
- The Cecil Sharp’s People website
- ‘Sweet Lemany’ [Roud 193] on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website
- Paul Sartin discusses Marina Russell on the Old Songs Podcast
- Billy Bragg discusses the Copper Family on the Old Songs Podcast
- Pre-order the Saltlines album
- Visit the SykesMartin page on the Edgelarks website
- Book tickets to see SykesMartin at Cecil Sharp House
- The Tradfolk Instagram channel
- ‘Sweet Lemany’, performed by Burd Ellen
- ‘Sweet Lemeney’, performed by Peter Bellamy
- ‘Lemany’, performed by Nick Hart
- ‘Sweet Lemany’, performed by Jarlarth Henderson
- ‘Sweet Lemany’, performed by the Askew Sisters
- ‘Sweet Lemany’, performed exclusively for the Old Songs Podcast by Hannah Martin
For more info on Hannah Martin, head to Edgelarks.co.uk.
Hi Jon, I have a copy of The Foggy Dew from 1974, and the version of Sweet Lemminy seems to make it clearer as to what the ‘white robes’ is about, and to my mind is reference to him wishing to marry her ie, a wedding dress. The lines in this version: ‘because her cruel parents look so slightly upon me, all for the white robes I’d have her wear’.
Really enjoying the podcasts!