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ROBERT LENG & JOSSY ‘POP’ MAINPRIZE WITH JIM ELDON - Songs And Tales From Flamborough Head 

ROBERT LENG & JOSSY ‘POP’ MAINPRIZE WITH JIM ELDON - Songs And Tales From Flamborough Head 
Musical Traditions MTCD203 

Musical Traditions continue their mission of making essential tradition available to a wider public. Here are 25 tracks, recorded by Jim Eldon in 1988 and 1989, of songs and stories from Robert Leng and Jossy ‘Pop’ Mainprize – two seamen of Flamborough Head. Jim Eldon leads one song (Windy Old Weather) but contributes fiddle accompaniment on that and on Heave Away The Trawl. Otherwise, the CD belongs entirely to Robert and Jossy: both songs and anecdotal tales. Some of the songs may be familiar, although here they are definitely ‘made their own’ by Robert and Jossy, for example, Roll The Old Chariot, Grace Darling or Good Luck To The Barleycorn. Others are less widespread – one might cite Wreck Of The Brownlow And Walmo or Opening Time At Thornwick!

What stands out on every track is the sheer mutual enjoyment of two friends sharing songs and stories they both know. There is no ostentation of performance to other than themselves and the style and delivery are, in themselves, a lesson in the nature of the tradition; of singers totally embedded in the local culture. This is further demonstrated in one paragraph of the CD notes which reads: “Now that Jossy Pop and Robert are no longer with us, their songs are still much sung and much requested by local people whenever there is reason to party around Bridlington and Flamborough.” What better legacy? Full credit to both Jim Eldon for recording these gentlemen and to Musical Traditions for issuing these recordings.

Tom Brown

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This album was reviewed in Issue 127 of The Living Tradition magazine.