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Lyrics for our albums

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Traditional songs and new songs in traditional style.

Our latest album, what they think –


This is the fourth recording from Paul and Liz and, for reasons I have yet to work out, the first I’ve heard. I’ve been aware of their research work into the customs and traditions of South Yorkshire, their almost messianic championing of sword dancing (reflected in the CD’s opening track ‘Come, See the Boys Go Round’) and sat through and enjoyed their concert sets both as a duo and in the company of family. All I can do is apologise, and say it was worth the wait.

Given that they both hail from Hull, we shouldn’t be surprised that many of the songs have a nautical bent. Paul’s ability as a songwriter is without question, as evidenced by ‘Silver in the Pocket’ and ‘The Price of Cod’. But for me, the strongest of the self-penned songs moves inland. Inspired by Antony Gormley’s sculpture, ‘Iron Angels’ gives us a vision of a bleak, industrial upbringing that is still the grim reality for many... definitely Old Testament angels, terrible in their beauty.

Some very lovely traditional songs include ‘The Nightingale’ (the ship, not the bird... ), and moving outside the north of England ‘Seven King’s Daughters’. This is a version of ‘The Outlandish Knight’ from Virginia which, strangely does away with the talking parrot... usually my favourite bit. Paul’s explanation is nothing if not interesting. Liz’s version of ‘The Lass of Humberside’ is poignantly sung, due perhaps to the fact that the story reflects the life of her maternal great-grandmother and so many other women of the east coast.

The voices are strong, both solo and in harmony, and Paul’s duet concertina adds yet another layer to the sound. I enjoyed this immensely, and if you enjoy good songs well sung, you will too.

Baz Parkes ‘ED&S’ – Spring 2011

I found this recording really intriguing, principally because I didn’t expect to enjoy it half as much as I did, and so I found myself asking what it was that made it so listenable. My misgivings were not down to Paul and Liz themselves, who I’ve had the pleasure of hearing on many occasions, but were due to the fact that more than half of the 17 songs on this CD are contemporary compositions - of which I am always wary. I needn’t have worried. Paul’s very considerable background in traditional song has been employed to excellent effect in the seven new songs that he’s contributed to this CD and his own masterly turn of phrase shines through time and again. He’s also put a fine tune to A E Housman’s The Lads That Will Never Be Old and translated and adapted a French version of the Cruel Sister. Paul and Liz’s choice of traditional material is also done with discernment and the entire recording seems to fit together well, wrapped up as much by its homogeneity as by the intended theme of ‘time and tide’.

For me, one of the highpoints was a fascinating version of the Outlandish Knight, here titled Seven Kings’ Daughters and with a most unusual ending .Two other tracks that I found outstanding were from the fishing (or ‘tide’) element of the theme – Silver In The Pocket and The Price Of Cod, two powerful pieces from Paul’s pen and as notable for the quality of the songwriting as for the singing. Indeed, the couple seemed to be more at home with their own material on occasion than with the traditional songs.

Most of the songs have to do with the area north of the Humber and with the adjacent North Sea, but any risk of undue ‘regionalism’ is immediately dispersed by reference to the concise and illuminating sleeve notes, which do what they should – fill out the background to the song. And I can’t finish without referring to the tasteful duet concertina accompaniment (Paul again), which adds a fine counterpoint to the voices.

There are a lot of good songs on this CD and they deserve to be more widely sung. In fact, after listening to them a couple of times, you’ll be joining in.

John Waltham ‘Living Tradition‘   Spring 2014


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We specialise in unusual versions of Ballads and other narrative material. Our songs stem from research and personal experience. We are available as a duo or a quartet with Gavin and Amy Davenport for club and festival bookings, concerts, workshops and other events during 2016/17.

See us at:

Sunday Singing Session

4th Sunday - Kelham Island Tavern 8.00


Maltby Folk Session

1st Tuesday, The Sheppey, Grange Lane, Maltby

Doncaster Folk Club

Mason’s Arms, Market Place, Doncaster


For details of our past performances click HERE

St. Peters VC Cof E School, Bradford

Yorkshire Songs project.

21st Feb 2017

Maritime Concert, Hull Streetlife Centre, East Yorks.

18th March 2017

Sing in the Spring, The Fleece Inn, Bretforton, Worcs.

7th to 9th April 2017

Sheffield Folk Sessions Festival

14th to 16th April 2017

Chippenham Folk Festival, Wiltshire

26th to 29th May 2017

Newark Traditions Festival, Nottinghamshire

22nd & 23rd July 2017

Warwick Folk Festival, Warks.

27th to 30th July 2017

Whitby Folk Week.

18th to 25th August 2017

Tenterden Folk Festival, Kent.

Oct 2017


Under the Leaves          [2006]      HATRCD01

Songbooks                     [2008]      HATRCD02

Spring Tide Rising         [2011]      HATRCD04

Wait for No Man              [2014]      HATRCD09

Blue Bell Folk –

Folk Union One 1969

                                         [2014]      HATRCD10

Kelham Island Voices    [2014]      Savile House

And the Ladies Go Dancing

                                         [2015]      Talking Elephant

                                                          TECD 3015

Paul & Liz Davenport