Nine new folk ballads telling the long and colourful history of Lynn will be performed in the Blue Room of Hanse House as part of the town’s Heritage Day this Sunday.
All have been published by Poppyland publishing in a new book called ‘Doin different – new ballads from the east of England’ written by Sedgeford author and director of the Room at the Hanse theatre company, Gareth Calway
The ‘Doin different’ collection has been touring as a musical show since the premiere at Lynn’s Hanse Festival last May, taking in Ely Folk festival, Folk in a Field, Lynn’s Folk in the Town, the King and Queen in Foley St, London W1, and the archaeological dig in Sedgeford.
On Sunday the 21-gig tour ends where it began at Hanse House. Twelve Norfolk-based composers have written for the project, a score of performers have participated and four new folk bands have been formed as a result, with three of these folk bands on show this Sunday.
One of the aims of the book is to celebrate Norfolk’s often underestimated role in British history and another is to draw attention to Lynn’s amazing contribution to that.
The Fried Pirates will perform ballads about the heroic and under-sung cod fishers of Lynn and the Siege of Lynn in 1643. Lovehearts & Redwine will offer homages to Lynn’s religious pioneers Margery Kempe, who wrote the first autobiography in English, and William Sawtrey, parish priest of St Margaret’s, the first man to be burned for his beliefs in England. And to not-so-Bad King John, who gave the port its first independence from Norwich.
Waterline will sing the praises of Lynn’s MP for 40 years Sir Robert Walpole, Britain’s first prime minister, and of Lynn author Fanny Burney, the mother of the Jane Austen novel.
Waterline will also take your breath away with an exquisitely sung ghost ballad about Walpole’s sister, the Brown Lady, who is said to haunt Walpole’s magnificent Houghton Hall, and the Fried Pirates will add a stirring shanty about Nelson, who said Norfolk volunteers were worth two of other men and whose crews included plenty of Lynn’s sea-hardened men.
All three bands perform at 11am and 1pm and will be introduced by Dr Paul Richards, town historian. At 3pm, Lovehearts & Redwine and Waterline will perform slightly longer sets from Doin different, while The Fried Pirates will perform a different set at True’s Yard from 2pm-3.30pm. Admission is free for all events.
‘Doin different – new ballads from the east of England’ (lyrics with musical scores, photographs and historical support) is on sale at Waterstones, True’s Yard, Jarrolds and Hanse House or via www.poppyland.co.uk.
You can find online links to audio and video performances of songs, scores and extensive historical resources and features at www.garethcalway.co.uk