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Sleeve Notes for Crux by Crucible

CruxThe second album from the multi-talented band - Crucible. They are a young band singing and playing traditional music with a strong English flavour that springs from living, working and playing together in the vibrant traditional music scene of Sheffield.


RICHARD ARROWSMITH     voice, melodeons
GAVIN DAVENPORT             voice, guitar, cittern
JESS ARROWSMITH              voice, fiddle, viola
HELENA REYNOLDS             voice, five-string & octave fiddles, bagpipes

1 georges son/ jakes progress
We first heard Georges Son, written by John Kirkpatrick, on the Brass Monkey album See How It Runs and sang it unaccompanied before our current version evolved.  Helena wrote Jakes Progress to go with the song, in memory of another fine, brave dog.

2 chemical workers song
Richard learned Chemical Workers from the singing of Vin Garbutt.  It was written by Ron Angel, who was a founder member of the Teesside Fettlers and used to work for ICI, but who managed to get out of the chemical industry before it was too late.

3 bobbing around / banks of the dee / swaggering boney
A Crucible set wouldnt be right without a good dose of morris, so heres three all at once for your delectation.  Bobbing Around comes from the Bampton tradition, Banks of the Dee from Fieldtown, and Swaggering Boney, Richards most favourite morris tune ever, is in the Longborough style.

4 sorry the day i was married
We put this much told tale to a tune we got from Nancy Kerr called Gan to the Kye and added some extra verses from J.O. Halliwells Nursery songs and rhymes.  All characters herein are not meant to resemble any real person, either living or dead

5 within the shadowed secrecy (psalm 91)
Before we recorded the first album, Gavin and our friend and co-conspirator Simon Heywood decided to rewrite all of the psalms from the King James Bible into four-part songs. This hasnt quite come to pass, but stilltwo down?  Helena and Jess based the music around the melody to Eternal Home found in The Social Harp.

6 fair maid walking
Gav remembers hearing his dad sing this song when he was young, and this version comes from the singing of Steve Gardham of Hull. The girl in the song is smart enough to use her no means no to get exactly what she wants.

7 thieves song
Though we tend to avoid overtly political songs, this one popped into Gavs head a while back when numerous town councils across England were aggressively tackling beggars and vagrants with new moving on policies, deeming them unsightly and bad for tourism. Age old perceptions of all street people as criminals persist whilst big-business and political corruption is rife. The first lines of the chorus are traditional and come from James Orchard Halliwells Nursery Songs and Rhymes.

8 pink gin/ mopping nelly
Pink Gin is the result of Gav messing around on a newly acquired melodeon and coming up with an A music to which Jess added the B.  The tune is named for Jesss prodigious gin consumption at IVFDF 2004, which made her turn a shade of shocking pink.  Mopping Nelly is a cool tune Helena found in Vickers Great Northern Tune Book (part 3!)

9 the 14th of november
Always a fan of songs about women showing the men up, despite not being particularly political about these things, Helena found this in the George Butterworth collection, from the singing of a Mr Skinny Crow from Norfolk.

10 the hunt / mrs casey /jack come sell your fiddle
Jack is a song Gav adapted from a nursery rhyme which we put to the tune of Sir Simon the King.  Mrs Casey is an old favourite while Richard learnt The Hunt from Roy Yarnell, a big inspiration for him and others in the world of morris.  Sadly, Roy passed away during the recording of this album, so this ones for him with love and thanks.

11 whipping cheer
Jess found Whipping Cheare in the Faber Book of Ballads.  A 17th Century broadside ballad, it laments the plight of the inmates of Bridewell, a House of Correction opened in 1553. All who ended up there (from paupers and vagrants to petty criminals and prostitutes, otherwise known as punkes and panders) were put to work on treadmills to spin thread, with regular whippings and beatings for good measure.  Jess put it to a new tune as it hadnt got one.

12 old horse
We absorbed Old Horse over many a well-oiled late night session in the company of Dr. Simon Heywood.  This version was collected form a traveler by East Yorkshire singer and fiddler Jim Eldon.

13 the red house / dragoons march / nonesuch
Three lovely tunes from the collection of the esteemed retro-funkmeister Mr.Playford, a chap whose music was never intended to be accompanied by cups of weak tea and pastel cardigans.

Track Notes

1 george’s son/jake’s progress

2 chemical worker’s song

3 bobbing around/banks of the dee/swaggering boney

4 sorry the day i was married

5 within the shadowed secrecy

6 fair maid walking

7 thieves’ song

8 pink gin/mopping nelly

9 the 14th of november

10 the hunt/mrs. casey/jack come sell your fiddle

11 whipping cheer

12 old horse

13 the playford set