Much of the traditional musics of the British Isles and the United States are but mildly differentiated flowers springing from the same branch; the folk song revival has tended to induce in myself — an many others — a chauvinism of repertoire which, historically, is absurd. It has been particularly absurd for me, as my singing stlye has always drawn heavily on many traditions, notably Irish and Appalachian, as well as English. The mental barriers have finally been kicked down. The songs on this record are all traditional and all come from English-speaking cultures; otherwise the only criteria have been those of affection for verses and melodies, and whether or not I have felt the pieces to come within the scope of my ability. No other recording project has given me so much enjoyment.
BARBAREE — A hybrid of Bob Roberts' East Anglian version and a Carolina variant collected by the late Frank Warner.
THE TREES THEY DO GROW HIGH — Learned from Walter Pardon of Knapton in Norfolk. (One verse omitted, one verse from a variant inserted).
THE LORD WILL PROVIDE — Derived from a recording made during a Primitive Baptist service in Kentucky featuring Lenville Ball.
THE GALLANT FRIGATE AMPHITRITE — This song appears in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs under the title of . Rounding the Horn; it was collected in 1907 from a Mr. Bolton of Lancashire.
A-ROVING ON A WINTER'S NIGHT — From the family repertoire of Doc Watson of Deep Gap, North Carolina …
DERRY GAOL — Adapted from the singing of Sarah Makem of Armagh.
LONG TIME TRAVELLING — Entitled White in the Alabama hymnal Original Sacred Harp, this was learned from the 1927 recording by J.T. Allison's Sacred Harp Singers.
THE SHEPHERD OF THE DOWNS — The Copper family of Sussex believe this to be the oldest song in their repertoire.
THE HOUSECARPENTER — This version learned from a recording of , the Watson family of Deep Gap, North Carolina, with additional verses from a forgotten source.
WHEN I DIE — Another gem from the Watson family's treasure house.
EDMUND IN THE LOWLANDS — Based on the version learned from the singing of Geordie Hanna of Co. Tyrone, with additional verses from English variants.
AROUND CAPE HORN — Taught me by Gale Huntington of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
THE TURFMAN FROM ARDEE — Learned from the singing of the 'Queen of the Irish Tinkers; Margaret Barry.
AMAZING GRACE — Learned from several American sources, notably Jean Ritchie, Clarence Ashley and Ralph Stanley.