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4.5 out of 5 stars
12
4.5 out of 5 stars
Old English Nursery Rhymes
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:£14.14+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 21 March 2001
Jeremy Barlow's Broadside Band, with singers Vivien Ellis and Tim Laycock present a stunning array of nursery rhymes, performed with crystal clarity and huge amounts of energy. The collection is unpatronising to children, and the use of original instruments (and excellent arrangements) means that the origins of the songs are just around the corner. The nursery rhymes are grouped in sections - cats and mice, food, etc. - and end with a lullaby group; my only reservation is that at the end of the CD, there is a moderately rousing instrumental version of 'Girls and Boys Come Out to Play', which I always think may startle my daughter who has been charmed and soothed progressively by all 67 minutes of the album. One of the rewards of listening to this CD over and over again (two or three times a day on average) is that I now know the words and several extra verses of rhymes I could only half remember from my childhood. Interesting sleeve notes comment here and there on the historical background, but are uneven, and mostly taken from Iona and Peter Opie's book about the origins of nursery rhymes. I shall certainly explore the Broadside Band's other collections of traditional music.
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on 14 September 2008
I was a little reluctant to spend so much on a nursery rhymes CD (considering how cheap most of the others are), but I thought I'd take a chance. I'm very glad I did, this is a charming collection made to the highest production standards. The singing and instrumentals are outstanding. The CD also comes with a lyric booklet and historical notes that outline the origin of each rhyme. I bought this for my children, but it's also going on my iPod.
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on 27 January 2015
..for you shall be stuffed and my customers filled!" (wagtails are young ducks). That's one of the more interesting entries to be found in this collection of original, unadulterated nursery rhymes, dances and ballads, some going as far back as the 15th century. They range from the well known (JACK & JILL, BAA BAA BLACK SHEEP) to the obscure (DAME GET UP AND BAKE YOUR PIES, THE GRAND OLD DUKE OF YORK) to the downright bizarre (MY DADDY IS DEAD BUT I CAN'T TELL YOU HOW, OLIVER CROMWELL LAY BURIED AND DEAD). There are 52 in all. Most are a minute or less although several last over 3 minutes. What makes this collection outstanding are the singers Vivien Ellis and Tim Laycock. Even better is the musical accompaniment by The Broadside Band, early music specialists who perform on lutes, viols, recorders, concertinas, and hurdy-gurdys. You can close your eyes and be transported back to a much earlier England and see the villagers and their children dancing, playing, and singing away. However you should be warned in advance that frogs, mice, and certain birds do not fare well in this collection.

A little background on how I came across this album. I have been primarily a classical music announcer for a public radio station in Asheville NC for over 30 years. Shortly before the dawn of the 21st century I came across an album called ENCHANTED CAROLS. This is a Victorian Christmas album featuring well known carols as performed by street pianos, handbell choirs, brass bands and others. The CD became very popular at the radio station and I still trot it out every holiday season. The album was produced by a small unique label called Saydisc which focused on period British offerings such as 1588: MUSIC FROM THE TIME OF THE SPANISH ARMADA to PILLS TO PURGE MELANCHOLY, a collection of bawdy (and I do mean BAWDY!) 18th century songs as performed by period ensembles. I originally bought OLD ENGLISH NURSERY RHYMES in the hopes of introducing them to my children but it wound up sitting on the shelf for a number of years. I recently rediscovered it and have been enjoying it immensely. Used copies are affordable and there seem to be plenty of them.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 February 2011
Jeremy Barlow and the Broadside Band always seem to come up with an interesting concept for a recording. This recording of Nursery Rhymes is no exception.
It is a very original and interesting release.
As on other projects they have separated the programme into different sections. In this recording they have split the content into nine different sections.
Section one deals with "girls and boys" and there are seven different rhymes consisting of songs such as "girls and boys come out to play", "Jack and Jill" and "Little Miss Muffet". The second section is called "Here we go round the mulberry bush" and contains rhymes that are associated with Games and dances. For example "oranges and lemons" and "ring o roses". Then there is a section about riddles and nonsense with the likes of "Hey diddle diddle" and "Humpty Dumpty". Also there is a section associated with the "high and mighty" with songs about Oliver Cromwell and "Old King Cole", "the grand old duke of York" and "Lavender blue".
There are also songs related to cats and mice with "Ding dong dell, pussy in the well", "Hickory dickory dock", "Three blind mice" and "pussy cat pussy cat where have you been?" The sixth section deals with fortune. And the seventh deals with sheep with three songs "Mary had a little lamb", "Baa baa black sheep" and "little bo peep". The final two sections deal with Nursery Rhymes related to Food and Bedtime.

Nursery Rhymes have been around for centuries in Britain. The first collection of published Rhymes appeared in 1744. But the book Nursery Rhymes with tunes by Edward Rimbault in 1846 that came with the development of colour printing was the real start of the popularity of these Rhymes. Some Nursery Rhymes go back a long way. The song "I had four sisters over the sea" dates back to the `15th century. The Broadside Band takes the 1846 reference and the later Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes 1951 research as a guide for the lyrics. But they also have looked to other Folk song collections to gain research into the origin of the tunes. They have sourced the collections by John Playford`s Dancing Master and the Ravenscroft Deuteromelia.
The Broadside Band has skilfully matched the instrumental interpretation to the era that the Rhymes originate from. Including recorders, percussion, violins, lute, mandore, cittern, bass viol and hurdy gurdy. There is also a concertina for tunes from English Folk Tradition collected orally.
Vivien Ellis and Tim Laycock join the Broadside Band for this digital recording from 1996. The performance is lively and good fun. And the whole programme makes entertaining listening to all ages. The sound on the recording is crisp clear and full bodied and the arraignments are excellent.
This is an important recording of a section of our musical heritage.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 February 2011
Jeremy Barlow and the Broadside Band always seem to come up with an interesting concept for a recording. This recording of Nursery Rhymes is no exception.
It is a very original and interesting release.
As on other projects they have separated the programme into different sections. In this recording they have split the content into nine different sections.
Section one deals with "girls and boys" and there are seven different rhymes consisting of songs such as "girls and boys come out to play", "Jack and Jill" and "Little Miss Muffet". The second section is called "Here we go round the mulberry bush" and contains rhymes that are associated with Games and dances. For example "oranges and lemons" and "ring o roses". Then there is a section about riddles and nonsense with the likes of "Hey diddle diddle" and "Humpty Dumpty". Also there is a section associated with the "high and mighty" with songs about Oliver Cromwell and "Old King Cole", "the grand old duke of York" and "Lavender blue".
There are also songs related to cats and mice with "Ding dong dell, pussy in the well", "Hickory dickory dock", "Three blind mice" and "pussy cat pussy cat where have you been?" The sixth section deals with fortune. And the seventh deals with sheep with three songs "Mary had a little lamb", "Baa baa black sheep" and "little bo peep". The final two sections deal with Nursery Rhymes related to Food and Bedtime.

Nursery Rhymes have been around for centuries in Britain. The first collection of published Rhymes appeared in 1744. But the book Nursery Rhymes with tunes by Edward Rimbault in 1846 that came with the development of colour printing was the real start of the popularity of these Rhymes. Some Nursery Rhymes go back a long way. The song "I had four sisters over the sea" dates back to the `15th century. The Broadside Band takes the 1846 reference and the later Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes 1951 research as a guide for the lyrics. But they also have looked to other Folk song collections to gain research into the origin of the tunes. They have sourced the collections by John Playford`s Dancing Master and the Ravenscroft Deuteromelia.
The Broadside Band has skilfully matched the instrumental interpretation to the era that the Rhymes originate from. Including recorders, percussion, violins, lute, mandore, cittern, bass viol and hurdy gurdy. There is also a concertina for tunes from English Folk Tradition collected orally.
Vivien Ellis and Tim Laycock join the Broadside Band for this digital recording from 1996. The performance is lively and good fun. And the whole programme makes entertaining listening to all ages. The sound on the recording is crisp clear and full bodied and the arraignments are excellent.
This is an important recording of a section of our musical heritage.
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on 29 March 2011
My husband and i love this cd (as much as anyone can love childrens music!) as it throws up all the quirkiness of english historical culture (e.g. the Oliver Cromwell song etc etc). I think it is important that children know some of these songs. They are sung by either the same man or same woman (sometimes both) and accompanied by traditional english folk intruments. My favourites are Three Mice Went into a Hole to Spin and The Grand Old Duke of York. Buy it, you wont regret it when there is so much crap out there as an alternative.
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on 29 November 2010
I remember listening to nursery rhymes on an old vinyl record when I was a child and enjoying them. I wanted to find something similar for my kids and came across this CD in a bookshop. My kid's have loved it and, fortunately, the music is enjoyable for adults too (if you enjoy folk), as the CD got played over and over on long car journeys! The music is in the style of old English folk and seems to fit the old rhymes perfectly. Now my friends have small children I am looking to buy this CD again as I am sure they will love it too!
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on 1 November 2011
I wanted a CD of rhymes with real instruments and decent vocals and this CD delivers! Yes it is in a folk-ish style but if you hate acoustic type music then buy something else. The delivery suits the music, no lame attempts to make very old childrens rhymes contemporary/pop/rock. It turns out that my boys (6 & 3) really like them and we all sing along like mad in the car. Bonus is that the words are in the sleeve notes so great if you're unfamiliar with the more obscure ones. One warning - these are the original rhymes with some gruesome bits (which my boys really loved)!
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on 28 April 2009
This CD took a long time to arrive, via the USA and Slough. This was annoying because it was produced not 10km from my home.
The quality is satisfactory.
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on 23 September 2008
I bought this CD based on the rave reviews it had received and because there was such a long list of songs. However the style of the music is not quite what i was expecting. I am no music buff but the style of the singing is more Irish folk/light opera music than jolly children's music. The words of some songs are not very clear and hard to sing along to. Also, the music sounds quite samey due to the style of the two singers. If you are a music pro this might be for you but if, like me, you wanted something simple and jolly to entertain your child and sing along to this is not the right CD.
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