Submitted by William Pint

This moving song came to me forty years ago by way of Louisa Jo Killen. It demonstrates the amazing power locked within a ballad when delivered by a brilliant singer.

The story is that of a fishing vessel capsizing in a storm off the coast of Scotland in the late 1800s, the fate of the captain and first mate, and the power of faith to give strength and comfort in terrifying circumstances. I am not a religious person by any means, but this song has a profound effect on me every time I hear it. Listen to it and marvel at how it conveys such tremendous emotional content. 

Listen to Louisa singing “The Rose in June:”

Sheet music for "The Rose in June"
Download the sheet music for “The Rose in June.”


On the rocky coast of Scotland, in a little village there,

There dwelt a righteous man, serving God without a care
He was not a man of honour, but a humble fisherman,

Working hard to earn his living, his name was Andrew Davidson.

He was the master of a vessel, and he claimed her as his own.

She was fitted with all was needed; she was called The Rose in June.

And with eager expectation he was waiting for the day

When the time would come for fishing and the boats would sail away.

Now, Andrew had been lately married, and before he left his home,

Andrew and his wife together knelt in prayer before the Throne,

Asking God for His protection on his wife while he was gone,

Praying nothing would befall her, not of danger nor of harm.

And his wife was kneeling by him, and she heard his fervent prayer

Asking God for her protection, not a word for his was there,

And her heart did sink within her as she rose from her bended knee,

Thinking on those terrible dangers and those perils of the sea!

Now when the Summer winds blew softly, herrin’ fishing season came.

Andrew Davidson preparing, herrin’ fishing was his game.

Andrew Davidson preparing with his crew to go to sea,

Not thinking this would be his last time ever with his friends to be.

Many vessels now are sailing and The Rose in June is one

Swiftly gliding out the harbour at the setting of the sun

Many fishing vessels sailing out that fateful afternoon

Out of sight of friends and loved ones swiftly glides The Rose in June.

In that night a storm came raging and the angry billows roared,

Many a vessel was tossed and driven all along that rocky shore.

Their crews were clinging to them, all seamen strong and brave,

Praying the Lord would save them from a seaman’s watery grave.

And all along the coast next morning, anxious eyes did watch and wait,

The children of those absent seamen, those returning ships did sight.

And one by one, those vessels sailed in, through morning until noon,

Till all were safely anchored, all but one, The Rose in June.

Whom the seas turned bottom upwards, dashed against that rocky shore.

Her crew was clinging to her, thinking the storm would soon be o’er.

Andrew Davidson, their captain, in that time of sudden fear,

Called on Jesu, Christ the Savior, and he bowed his head in prayer.
Saying, “Come on and sing God’s praises,” and at last they all begun:

Dearest Jesus, I am dying, what a comfort divine,
What a comfort to know that the Savior is mine.

Hallelujah, send the Glory, Hallelujah, amen,

Hallelujah, send the Glory to revive us again.

But these words were scarcely ended when the out-wave struck her side.

Tore their captain from his holdings, and he sank beneath the tide,
Gone to join those friends and shipmates on that heavenly shore,

Welcomed by his lovin’ Savior singing praise forevermore.

And John Allen was the young mate, and he knew he was forgiven.

“Let us keep on with our singing, our captain is in Heaven.”

And they sang so loud and trialled, till they came to this last verse:

Slowly onward we haste to the heavenly place,

For this is the glory and this is the grace.

Hallelujah, send the Glory, Hallelujah, amen,

Hallelujah, send the Glory to revive us again.

But these words were scarcely ended when the out-wave burst around.

Tore the young mate from his holdings and his body too was drowned.

Going to join those friends and shipmates on that heavenly shore,

Welcomed by his lovin’ Savior singing praise forevermore.

And the rest of the crew was rescued, but they’ll ne’er forget the scene,

In that hour and that moment when that song they tried to sing,

Oh! Were no sermons ever preached or experience ever known,

Like the power in that moment, that hour of sudden doom!

So sinners, give your souls to Jesus, it can never be too soon.

If in heaven you meet the captain, meet the mate of The Rose in June.
Oh, sinners, give your souls to Jesus, it can never be too soon.

If in heaven you meet the captain, meet the mate of The Rose in June.

William Pints heart was captured by traditional music at the impressionable age of seventeen, and sea shanties and maritime songs by his twenty-fifth birthday. He and his partner, Felicia Dale, have released numerous recordings of mostly traditional material with innovative and highly energetic arrangements.

Submitted by Judy Cook

“Bed is Too Small” is an anonymous American song that I learned at Girl Scout Camp May Flather, in Virginia in the early 1960s. I like that, as a lullaby, it speaks not only to the one going to sleep, but also to the singer who would like to be going to sleep.

Sheet music for "Bed Is Too Small"
Download the sheet music for “Bed Is Too Small.”


Bed is too small for my tiredness;
Give me a hill topped with trees.
Tuck a cloud up under my chin.
Lord, blow the moon out, please.

Rock me to sleep in a cradle of dreams,
Sing me a lullaby of leaves.
Tuck a cloud up under my chin.
Lord, blow the moon out, please.

Judy Cook is an author, entertainer, and folk-singer. She has been living in Oberlin, Ohio, with her husband Dennis since 2013. Since 1998 she has been touring throughout both Britain and the US. She is known for her repertoire and storytelling ability in song. Judy has one book and several CDs. You can reach her through her website.

Winter 2022


Special This Issue

Recurring Contributions

Submitted by Matthew Byrne

Written by Keith Marsden, who founded the West Yorkshire folk singing group Cockersdale. Keith was from Morley, near Leeds, and although he died at the young age of 52, he left an impressive repertoire of brilliantly crafted and cleverly written songs.

This song tells of a captivating storyteller who held a crucial role for children looking to indulge their imaginations and escape the dreary day-to-day of a dull factory town in postwar England. Some great language in this one: a “pierrot” is a mime street performer, and a “corky” refers to a cricket ball.

Listen to Matthew singing “Jack Ashton:”

Listen to another version by Finest Kind:

Sheet music for "Jack Ashton"
Download the sheet music for “Jack Ashton”


Oh the times were hard and mean and our childhood days were lean,
In the land they said was fit for Flanders heroes
It was all a seaside show where poor folk couldn’t go,
We just stood outside while others watched the pierrots.

And we only had to spend what our friend Jack Clegg would lend,
There was little of Lloyd George’s promised glories,
But each evening down the street by the gaslamp we would meet.
And we’d listen while Jack Ashton told his stories.

And we sat there and listened with our mouths open wide,
Though we knew in our hearts that the old devil lied.
But we needed to believe in the magic he would weave,
And we took a glass for old times’ sake the day Jack died.

Now our all-wise parents said that he’d a screw loose in the head,
And that we were daft to listen to his lies.
But we saw their daily grind and heard the magic in his mind,
And we all knew who was daft and who was wise.

Though he nearly broke our necks playing soccer on the Rec.,
And his bowling with a corky could be gory,
As the evening sun went down, by the lamp we’d gather round,
And we’d listen while Jack Ashton told a story.


Now that Jack’s been laid to rest, if there’s any justice left,
He’ll be spinning yarns now to the Holy Ghost.
And gathered round his knee, open-mouthed as we would be,
Sit saints and angels, all the heavenly host.

And he’ll tell them how he saved old Moses from the waves,
And slew Goliath with one mighty blow.
While an all-forgiving Lord listens smiling at his words,
As we did by the gas lamp long ago.


Storytelling through song is a fundamental duty of traditional music, and Matthew Byrne does this brilliantly. With a repertoire shaped by his musical upbringing, Byrne supports the tradition with powerful vocals, polished guitar work, engaging storytelling, and a presence that fills the room.

Byrne’s parents were both singers and song collectors and he grew up with a strong family focus on sharing songs. He has inherited a unique repertoire, as well as a fascination with unearthing and reimagining traditional music.

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Submitted by Jennifer Armstrong

My parents (George and Gerry Armstrong) learned this song from Sandy and Carolyn Paton of Folk Legacy fame, who learned it from the McPeake family.

“Wild Mountain Thyme” (also known as “Purple Heather” and “Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?”) is a Scottish/Irish folk song. The lyrics and melody are a variant of the song “The Braes of Balquhither” by Scottish poet Robert Tannahill (1774–1810) and Scottish composer Robert Archibald Smith (1780–1829), but were adapted by Belfast musician Francis McPeake (1885–1971) into “Wild Mountain Thyme,” and first recorded by his family in the 1950s.

My mother loved this song as one of the few romantic folk songs, and sang it, “If my true love won’t go, I will surely find no other.” My father, on the other hand, sang it, “If my true love she won’t go, I will surely find another,” claiming it was more a love song to the wild mountain thyme and purple heather than it was to a person. The melody I sing is what my mother sang, and sometimes I sing “no other” and sometimes “another!”

Listen to Jennifer singing “Wild Mountain Thyme:”

Sheet music for 'Wild Mountain Thyme'
Download the sheet music for “Wild Mountain Thyme.”


Oh, the summer time is coming,
And the leaves are sweetly blooming,
And the wild mountain thyme
Blooms around the purple heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

And we’ll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather,
Will you go, lassie, go?

I will build my love a bower
By yon clear crystal fountain,
And on it I will pile
All the flowers of the mountain.
Will you go, lassie, go? …


If my true love won’t go,
I will surely find another (no other)
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?…


Oh, the summertime is coming
And the leaves are sweetly blooming
And the wild mountain thyme
Blooms around the purple heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?…


Jennifer Armstrong writes: I am a musician, singer and storyteller with deep roots in and great love for the folk tradition. I have many recordings, books and websites and invite you to take a deeper look at my many offerings at my website and Patreon.

Go straight to the Barnes Three spreadsheet

About the Barnes Three Dance Database

The Barnes Book of English Country Dance Tunes, volume three, adds over 400 tunes to the collections in volumes one and two. The goal of this website is to provide information and instructions for all the dances in the third volume. Reaching this goal with a traditional publication would be an endless task. So I am instead taking an incremental approach and posting instructions for dances as they become available. The possibility to correct, amend, and expand is a welcome advantage of on-line publication.

The material in this project is available for personal use under the Creative Commons license Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC-BY-NC-SA). The dance instructions appear on this website with the permission of the choreographers and reconstructors or persons responsible for their estates. Other dances are listed with references to published sources for the instructions. The individual dances and tunes remain under the copyright of their choreographers and composers and may not be reprinted without their written permission.

This is a volunteer project with no source of income, so the only compensation offered to choreographers and reconstructors is references and links to the published source of the dance. You are encouraged to track down these publications for the full information and background on these dances.


To view the dance instructions that are available, click on the title of the dance.

To sort on a column, select that column and, under the data tab, click on “Sort sheet” (or “Sort range” to access advanced sorting options). Note the narrow columns with gray text. They allow sorting by last names or on titles without the leading articles “a,” “an,” and “the.”

Cells with green backgrounds provide additional information not in Barnes Three. Yellow backgrounds indicate an alternate spelling, capitalization, or other minor discrepancy. Red backgrounds indicate discrepancies in titles, attribution, or form.


Unless modified in the instructions, these conventions are to be followed.

  • An instruction for dancers to pass, gypsy, side, or orbit right or left means that side of their bodies will be adjacent to the other dancers involved in the figure even though the figure may start with the dancer shifting in the opposite direction.
  • An instruction for dancers to cast, loop, or turn right or left means they will pull back that side of their bodies and turn in that direction.
  • Side by the right/left means shoulder siding
  • Side over by the left and back by the right means swirly siding as attributed to Cecil Sharp.
  • Set means step right (with a weight change left and right) and step left (with a weight change right and left).
  • Turn single is a clockwise turn (to the right) in a circle behind your original position.
  • A two-hand turn is clockwise (to the left).
  • In a back-to-back, dancers pass by the right, shift slightly to the right, and back up passing by the left.
  • Rights-and-lefts involves taking hands as you pass the other dancers.
  • A circular hey involves passing the other dancers without taking hands.


  • Instructions are given as imperatives rather than as description.
  • Instructions have been formatted in an attempt to follow the structure of
    • who (which dancers are involved in the figure),
    • what (which figure is to be executed), and
    • how (modification to the figure).
  • Instructions in bold face are suggestions as to the essential figures to include in the prompts for the dance. The assumption is that the dancers will remember some of the details mentioned during the teaching and walkthrough of the dance. Of course, the calls will need to be adjusted to accommodate the experience level of the dancers and their familiarity with the dance. As the dancers learn the sequence of figures, these calls can be abbreviated or omitted.

Dance Formations

Below are the codes for the dance formations.

DML duple-minor longways
TML triple-minor longways
SC Sicilian circle
Cc circle of couples
2cL two-couple longways
3cL three-couple longways
4cL four-couple longways
5cL five-couple longways
6cL six-couple longways
3cC three-couple circle
4cS four-couple square

These can be modified by

i top couple improper in each minor set
2i, 3i, 4i, etc. indicated couple or couples improper
B Becket formation (couples proper facing across the set)
m mixer

Difficulty and Energy Level

Here are the guidelines I use in my subjective assignment of numerical values to the difficulty and energy levels of these dances.


5 workshop dance
4 challenging for advanced dancers
3 challenging for experienced dancers
2 a few points require care
1 beginners will require help
0 straightforward dance

Energy Level

5 frantic
4 vigorous
3 moderate
2 calm
1 deliberate


  • Kate Barnes provided me with a list of the tunes to appear in volume three and has encouraged me to undertake this project.
  • Allison Thompson provided helpful advice in the early stages of this project. Her Dances from Barnes Two was the underlying inspiration for this project. She graciously shared her franchise on Dances from Barnes N for small positive integer values of N.
  • Will Jaynes offered generous amounts of time in working on the organization of this website.
  • Marge Cramton developed the design for the website and advised about font selection.
  • The many choreographers and reconstructors offered permission for the use of their material. Their artistic efforts in advancing English country dancing are the core of this project.
  • The Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS) provided support and guidance for this project and sponsors this project with links on their website.
  • AACTMAD (the Ann Arbor Community for Traditional Music and Dance) provided computer resources to host this website. Individual AACTMAD members and many of the programs offered by this organization supported me in collecting and assembling this material.

Comments and feedback

Comments and suggestions are welcome and encouraged. Let me know if you spot an error (from typographical to an incorrect or ambiguous instruction). I also appreciate receiving your ideas about improving these instructions in clarity, completeness, conciseness, or other ways. Contact me, Robert Messer, at

Go straight to the Barnes Three spreadsheet

Submitted by Margaret Walters

“I’ve Lived In Service” was collected in 1904 from Mrs Harriett Verrall of Monxgate near Horsham, Sussex by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

I learned it around 1980 from the singing of Vic Gammon, who recorded it with the Pump and Pluck Band on a cassette called “What a Beau My Granny Was.”

Vic wrote: “Yes, that is an interesting song, and pretty unique—I have never seen another version of it. (Roud number 1483.) Yet it speaks to a very real situation in pre- and early-industrial England, where youngsters would go into domestic service and apprenticeships in their early teenage years.”

Listen to Vic singing “I’ve Lived In Service:”

Listen to Margaret singing her version:

Sheet music for "I've Lived in Service"
Download the sheet music for “I’ve Lived in Service.”
Handwritten lyrics for "I've Lived in Service"
Handwritten lyrics to “I’ve Lived in Service,” courtesy of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.


I’ve lived in service seven long years
And it’s fancy I took to a maid, sir
I called her my jewel but I was afraid
Because she was delicate fair, sir

I loved this maid as I loved my life
And it’s fair I would make her my bride, sir
But as I was going upstairs one night
I saw the young master lie with her

When Sunday morn comes, to his master Jack goes
Saying “Master, I must have some money.”
“Some money, John boy, are you going to be wed
For I fear you’ll pay dear for your honey.”

“How much money, John boy?” “Ten guineas” Jack says
“Ten guineas all in bright money?

When you are married, I will lay down
A thousand bright guineas for your honey.”

Then upstairs Jack goes, his clothes to tie up
And he’s tied them all up in a wallet
And out of the window he’s flung it so high
But the deuce* of a bet could he follow.
* deuce = devil

And when he’s got down, he’s gazed all around
And his wallet flung over his shoulder
And he is away to fair Norwich Town
And he’s left the young maid to his master.

Margaret Walters lives in Sydney, Australia and has a passion for unaccompanied traditional or trad-style songs, especially those absorbed during many visits to England between 1976 and 2013. She also sings Australian songs, including those by songwriter John Warner. Her albums are available on Bandcamp.

Fall 2022


Special This Issue

Recurring Contributions

Submitted by Ed Miller

I know this is an Irish song, but I’ve always had a fascination with emigrant songs, whether to 
America or to England and Scotland.

At the Swannanoa Gathering a few years ago, John Doyle and Eamon O’Leary came on stage and said they’d like to introduce a friend who had never sung here before….on came Kevin Burke! Now Kevin is a world famous fiddler; but singing a song he had written? I was very moved by the song and immediately sought out a recording of the show.

By a lovely coincidence, Kevin was playing in Austin when Rich Brotherton and I were recording this CD, and we were delighted he agreed to play on the instrumental breaks.

In search of work, the Irish have moved to Britain for centuries; but after World War II, many thousands came over to work in construction, rebuilding London and other cities badly damaged in the war. Kevin’s parents came to London from Sligo when he was young, and he grew up in the London Irish community (hence his unique accent!); so this song is partly autobiographical and partly an homage to the many characters/musicians he grew up among at London sessions in the 1950s.

Listen to Ed singing “London Town:”

Sheet music for "London Town"
Download the sheet music for “London Town.”

London Town (Kevin Burke)

A bus leavin’ Sligo a long time ago took Michael away from his home;
He’d heard there was work o’er in England, to the Dublin docks he did roam.
On the Holyhead boat there were others like him, from Leitrim and Kerry and Down,
Sons and Daughters from all over Ireland, bound for London town.

He rambled the city in search of the start or even a room for the night,
In his left hand a suitcase of leather and wood, his grandfather’s fiddle in his right;
Through the streets of the bombed-out buildings, past the rubble that Hitler blew down,
This strayaway child from the west of Ireland, alone in London town.

He signed on with a ganger from Dublin the cruelest little tyrant that ever ye met,
Had him sweatin’ in trenches for 12 hours a day, ’twas hard work but all he could get;
He’d take out his fiddle when the work was all done, when the shovels and picks were laid down,
A tune for the broad-backed sons of Ireland come to rebuild London town.

There were 7 day weeks with nary a break, Sligo was left far behind;
Till one of the boys says “pick yerself up, come down the road for a pint.”
When he opened the door, Michael thought he was home, Oh what a glorious sound!
Sons and daughters from all over Ireland playin’ music in London town.

There was Mairtin Byrne from Galway, McCarthy and Casey from Clare,
McGlinchey, the Roger, Roland and Farrell, seemed half of all Ireland was there.
They bid him take out his fiddle and they played till the lights went down,
Raise a glass to the 33rd county boys, right here in London town.

Now many’s the year has passed and gone; but it seems just a fortnight ago,
Those sessions in the White Hart and the Favourite, Fulham Broadway and Holloway Road.
It’s the music that carried the heart and the soul, it’s the same way the whole world round
Whether ye’re livin’ in New York or Donegal, or here in London town

It’s the music that carries the heart and the soul, it’s the same the whole world round,
Whether ye’re livin’ in New York or Donegal, or here in London Town.

Ed Miller, Scottish singer, folklorist, radio host ( Sundays 4-5pm CST), tour guide and soccer player, has lived in Austin, Texas for several decades and performs everywhere from house concerts to Highland Games all over the U.S. In summer, he leads folk music-based tours to his homeland.