Northumberland Rant

By Various Artists

  1. Archie’s Fancy
    Holey Ha’penny
  2. Keening The Wind
    Alston Flower Show
  3. Torryburn Lasses
    The Wandering Tinker
    Marry Me Now
    Mrs. Wedderburn
    Randy Wives Of Greenlaw
    La Russe
    The Winshield’s
    Jane’s Fancy
    Da Road To Houll
  4. Rothbury Hills
    Whittingham Green Lane
    The Cott
    Border Fray
  5. Murray River
    Roland And Cynthia Taylor
    Alistair J. Sim
  6. I Saw My Love Come Passing By Me
  7. Captain Norman Orr Ewing
    Redford Cottage
  8. The Lady’s Well
    The Cliff
  9. Dargai
  10. Skye Crofters
  11. Speed The Plough
  12. There’s Nae Guid Luck About The House
    High Level
  13. Robertson’s
    The Grand Chain
  14. Jock Of Hazeldean
    Gentle Maiden
  15. The Pearl Wedding
    Nancy Taylor’s
  16. Lament For Ian Dickson
  17. Keel Row
    Durham Rangers
    Yankee Doodle
  18. Miss Hannah Ormston
    Katie Elliot’s
  19. Mr. Nelson’s Birthday
  20. Border Spirit

Sixteen comments

1999. Smithsoniam Folkways Recording. With the notable exception of Tom Clough, this CD contains some of the best recorded playing of traditional Northumbrian music.

“Northumberland Rant” ~ artists & instrumentation

S = Northumbrian Smallpipes
F = Fiddle
C = Concertina
A = Accordion
G = Guitar
O = Mouth Organ
M = Mandolin

01.) Billy Pigg - S
02.) Chris Ormston - S
03.) The High Level Ranters - FCAG
04.) Jack Armstrong - S
05.) Willie Taylor - F
06.) Anthony Robb - S
07.) Willie Taylor, Joe Hutton & Will Atkinson - FSO
08.) Pauline Cato - S
09.) Anthony Robb - S
10.) Billy Pigg - S
11.) Wayne Robertson & Nigel Jelks - AM
12.) Joe Hutton - S
13.) Billy Pigg - S
14.) Willie Taylor - F
15.) Colin Ross - S
16.) Willie Taylor - F
17.) Anthony Robb - S
18.) Jack Armstrong and the Barnstormers - Band
19.) Chris Ormston - S
20.) Kathryn Tickell - SF
21.) Billy Pigg - S

Track 7 ~ is wrong on this recording and in the accompanying booklet

7.) Dance De Chez Nous / Aunt Mary’s Canadian / Neil Taylor’s

No, it isn’t any of these, and it is only two tunes. The track listing has been corrected so that it will link to the proper transcriptions once they are on site…

7.) March: Captain Norman Orr Ewing / Jig: Redford Cottage

Oops! ~ I wrongly thought this was one I’d contributed. I’ll have to see if Colin is about and will make the changes? 😏


Thanks ceolachan, I had a listen and changed the track listing.

Is the information in the linear notes true for the tune title (published on the CD) or for the actual tune played?

The liner notes are mostly about the musicians, and you can hear them on track 7, as well as the setting, but the tune information is incorrect.

The set,

“Dance De Chez Nous” / “Aunt Mary’s Canadian Jig” / “Neil Taylor’s Jig”,

was recorded by “The Shepherds” and is on another recording ~ “Harthope Burn: Music from Northumberland and the Border Country”,1983. This is no longer available, and I’m not alone in wishing it were… 🙁

Re: Northumberland Rant

For the time in which they were recorded, Tom Clough’s recordings are of a fairly good quality.

Re: Northumberland Rant

Seems to me the entire track listing, at least as it appears on Apple Music, is totally and completely wrong as regards the tunes played. Maybe someone more familiar with this music can help parse it?

Re: Northumberland Rant

Hi, I’m very familiar with Northumbrian traditional music, and unfortunately I remember seeing it on Apple Music and it didn’t seem like the track names corresponded to the tracks uploaded. I also remember when I saw it that some tracks wouldn’t play in the US.


On the Apple Music / iTunes version of this album, all tracks are named as appears on this page, although one track was split up, so there are a total of 21 rather than 20. However, the tracks / tunes themselves are scrambled. Following is an ordered list of tracks in the iTunes version with the corresponding track as listed here (e.g., for track 2 in the iTunes version, what you actually hear is track 9, “Dargai”, so track 2 = track 9).

Track 1 = track 18
Track 2 = track 9
Track 3 as listed here was split up on the iTunes version. It corresponds to the first half of track 3 on this page (“Torryburn Lasses” to “The Randy Wives of Greenlaw”), but is labeled as the other set of tunes (“La Russe” to “Da Road to Houll”).
Track 4 = track 10
Track 5 = track 17
Track 6 = track 2
Track 7 = track 16
Track 8 = track 12
Track 9 = track 6
Track 10 = track 1
Track 11 = track 14
Track 12 = track 7
Track 13 = track 8
Track 14 = track 5
Track 15 = track 4
Track 16 = track 15 (the only track where the name matches the music, except that the tunes are backwards!)
Track 17 = track 11
Track 18 = track 20
Track 19 = track 13
Track 20 = track 19
Track 21 is the second half of track 3, from “La Russe” to “Da Road to Houll”.

What a mess! However, I hope this was helpful for people confounded by the mismatches. Many thanks to everyone who submitted most of the tunes on this album, thereby enabling me to untangle everything. Incidentally, Whimbrel, I was able to play all tracks in the U.S.

Re: Northumberland Rant

Thanks for figuring that out, Daniel! I’ve never seen the tracks in such a mess like this before except for the album “Highly Strung” by Alistair McCulloch. And, now it seems like I can listen to all the tracks! It’s interesting that The Pearl Wedding and Nancy Taylor’s are reversed, because I’ve heard that exact same track on a different collection with the same set and name.

Re: Northumberland Rant

There are also a lot of great Northumbrian trad albums that are not mixed up with the tracks which are easily available, both on Apple Music and on Bandcamp.

Re: Northumberland Rant

I don’t know the Highly Strung album, I may have a look despite everything. 🙂 Yes I do have a few very good Northumbrian albums. This style isn’t my favorite, but I do like it. As for the “Pearl Wedding” set, maybe there was a mixup here on The Session and in fact they are listed correctly on the albums? And out of curiosity, what was that different collection?

Re: Northumberland Rant

Yep, I should probably listen through Highly Strung at some point and do what you did with this album. I’ve seen other albums with tracks that are somewhat off, but usually there’s a pattern to it or it’s just one mixed-up set of tracks.
Anyway… about The Pearl Wedding and Nancy Taylor’s, perhaps it’s like a case similar to the tunes The Bride’s Favourite and Tansey’s Fancy, where I saw discussion on here about which one was which. The name of the album I found it on is Celtic Music from Smithsonian Folkways. It has some Northumbrian stuff like that track, but also Scottish, English and Irish. I actually have not listened to the whole album, since I’d been looking for a version of The Pearl Wedding to listen to when I found it!
Great to be back in touch, BTW. I hope you are doing well!

Re: Northumberland Rant

Well, if you don’t do Highly Strung at some point, perhaps I will. 🙂 I actually do know the Folkways album you mentioned, but I had forgotten that set was there.

I’ll send you a pm soon. 🙂