Hopping Down In Kent

The Album
From Where We Stand
The Prospect Before Us
The Albion Dance Band
Uncle Bernard's / Jenny Lind (3:48)
The Hunt Is Up (1:53)
Varsovinna (2:49)
Masque (1:00)
Huntsman's Chorus (4:33)
Minuet (2:05)
Wassail Song (2:35)
Picking of Sticks / The Old Mole (3:14)
Merry Sherwood Rangers (3:21)
La Sexte Estampie Real (1:50)
I Wish I Was Single Again (3:44)
The Whim (3:28)
Hopping Down in Kent (2:46)
Horse's Brawl (3:42)
On Christmas Night All Christians Sing (3:34)
Merry Sherwood Rangers (single version) (3:05)
The Prospect Before Us
Other People's Prospects
Hopping Down In Kent
Hidden English
A Little Music or The Delights of Harmony
Notes And Things
The Back Cover

[Trad. arr. Albion Dance Band]

Ashley Hutchings noted in his songbook A Little Music:

"Until fairly recently the annual excursion to pick hops in Kent was the only holiday of the year for many Cockney families. It wasn't much of a rest for them, as this song indicates.

Gypsies, too, were regular hop-pickers - going where the seasonal work took them. This tune was collected from a Sussex gypsy, Mary Ann Haynes, by Mike Yates."

This song was recorded by the Albion Band for a single in 1976 and included on their 1977 album The Prospect Before Us. The Albion Dance Band performed this twice on BBC radio sessions. One with Shirley Collins singing was recorded on July 22, 1976 and included on The BBC Sessions; the other and much faster one with John Tams singing on probably May 31, 1977 was published on The Albion Band Live in Concert - BBC Radio 1. Both versions were also added to the Ashley Hutchings 4CD anthology Burning Bright. The Albion Band also performed this song live in Switzerland in 1978 at the 7. Folk-Festival auf der Lenzburg.

Compare this to Luise Fuller singing Hopping Down in Kent in a 1972 recording in Sussex by Mike Yates on the Topic LP Green Grow the Laurels: Country Singers from the South and CD Hidden English: A Celebration of English Traditional Music and on The Rough Guide to English Roots Music.

Now hopping's just beginning,
We've got some time to spend.
We've only come down hopping
To earn a quid if we can.

Chorus (after each verse):
With a tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay

Every Monday morning
Just at six o'clock
You'll hear them hoppers calling:
Get up and boil you pots!

Early Tuesday morning
The bookie he'll come round
With a bag of money
He'll flop it on the ground.

Says,Do you want some money?
Yes sir, if you please,
To buy a hock of bacon
And a lump of mouldy cheese.

Now here comes our old measurer
With his long nose and chin
And his ten-gallon basket
And don't he pop 'em in!

Now hopping is all over
All the money spent
Don't I wish I'd never done
No hopping down in Kent.

I say one, I say two,
No more hopping I shall do.
Tee-i-ay, tee-i-ay

the prospect before us: the album
is 2005/2006/2007 sam-and-lizzie
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