LisaKnappTV, Cherries and Albert Lloyd
I have gotten round to getting myself a video recorded and have a YouTube Channel all of my own LisaKnappTV. Hurrah!
The song is called 'I Wish My Love She Was a Cherry' and I first heard it upstairs in the Sound Archive listening room at Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House.I was watching a very interesting documentary made about A L Lloyd as I recall called 'Bert' (a fascinating character in the story of English Folk Music and indeed World Music way before the term was invented, author in collaboration with Vaughan Williams of the classic standard 'Penguin Book of English Folk Songs'). The documentary features him singing the opening line 'I wish my love she was a cherry..' unaccompanied in his enticing manner. I was very taken with it at the time and thought it sounded like an American song. I obtained a copy of the 'Classic A L Lloyd' CD which contains the song listed as 'I Wish, I Wish' and began to listen more to his recordings. I must say that I hadn't really heard him as much as I'd heard of him before but I've become very fond of his recordings and have just been made aware of a new issue of a live recording 'An Evening With A L Lloyd' on Fellside.
I was quite surprised that this song was actually noted in a manuscript of collector John Bell who collected around the early 1800's in the Northumberland region of England. It's often listed as 'Pitmans' Love Song' or 'I Wish My Love Was A Cherry'.
However, I can find absolutely no other examples of it listed anywhere which is very odd, suspect even, for a 'traditional' song. Of course that doesn't mean it's necessarily not traditional but that it certainly raises the question in scholarly terms.
Either way, I like the song with it's overtly lustful lyric and winding and intense tune. For me it calls to my mind a handsome young man sat on some sunny bank on a beautiful day reminiscing about his girlfriend and becoming more and more, how do I say?.... enthusiastic with each verse. It certainly has some curious imagery, though oddly more as if it were sung by a shepherd than a pitman.
I found myself with banjo in hand one evening at home and with a bit of tweaking in between the whole thing sort of fell out together and I like it like that, quite simple.