Frequently asked questions

Songs frequently requested:

Q. I cannot see the CD version of "WILL YE NO COME BACK AGAIN" on Jean's website and I wondered why it was not available from you. This material (previously done on vinyl) was released on CD in the UK earlier this year to coincide with the 250th anniversary of Burns' birth and the Year of Hamefarin' and I am at a loss as to why it appears to be unavailable from you when it is readily available from many sources in the UK.

A. Mysterious are the ways of record companies and the licensing laws. Of course I would like to see everything I have ever recorded readily available wherever there is an interest, but, alas! the gods of economics dictate otherwise. I do not list "WILL YE NO COME BACK AGAIN" (the CD not the cassette) on my website for sale, because I do not own the recording. Rounder Records, which does, has found it more cost effective to make the contents available for download online than to produce a CD. They have, however, licensed the collection to Greentrax Records in Scotland which has released a CD in the UK. They, however cannot sell to the USA. I am just grateful that the recording hasn't sunk without trace.

Q. Is sheet music available for Sonny's Dream? If so, where may I purchase it?

A. As far as I know there is no sheet music for Sonny's Dream, but Ron Hynes (the author: www.hynesite.org) has a songbook in which it is included:

Songs Of Ron Hynes - Volume 1
26 Songs arranged for Vocal and Guitar
ISBN 0969715390. SPIRAL BOUND. 70 PAGES. Songbook: 8-1/2" wide x 11-1/4" high.
Includes: Sonny's Dream, St. John's Waltz, Godspeed, Atlantic Blue...and more.
$30.00 (tax and shipping included)

I found this information online at Borealis Music.

Q. Did Ms. Redpath record her famous "Ode to the Tuna Noodle Cassrole" from her days on A Paririe Home Companion? I enjoyed the humor and complexity of this tune, any information would be helpful.

A. That particular parody was fun, wasn't it. Garrison provided the words, and the harmony; the tune was, of course, "Whispering Hope."

I seem to remember that the recording DID show up on a cassette issued by MPR many years ago, but I'm afraid I don't have particulars of that nor do I know if it is still available. You might try a query to Prairie Home Companion, though?

UPDATE: "Tuna Food of My Soul" can be purchased at http://www.audiobooksonline.com/shopsite/0942110277.html

Q. Are there any items on the cassettes that have not been reissued on various discs?

A. Happily all the cassettes are now available in CD format, except Frae My Ain Countrie.

Q. I am on a long hunt for an old song that may have been preformed by Jean Redpath on a televised episode of Prairie Home Companion many years ago. It may have been broadcast on PBS, or the Disney channel. This could have been up to 15 years ago. I belive I was a teen at the time.

The little bit that I have to go on is something like this: Sonny don't go away, I'm here all alone, Your daddies a sailor, he never comes home... It would appear, from all of my research, that I'm not alone in this search. The tune has stayed with me all of these years. If Ms. Redpath, did preform this, I would be interested in knowing how I may obtain a copy of a recording or sheet music.

A. The song you are looking for is called Sonny's Dream. It has proved to be a favourite with others, too, and as a result is included on the recent CD By Request JRR 113

Q. Many years ago I listened to an LP — probably you first recording — and you had recorded The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie. I have heard a number since but I think yours is far and away the best. Not only because you are a superb singer but also because you didn't play around with it and it seemed to me that the words made more sense in the order that you had the verses. I was told at the time that you had made the LP in New York. It also contained The Barring o' Oor Door and The Banks o' Red Roses. I would dearly like to purchase a recording of any kind of the above song if you could tell me which of your LPs, CDs or DVDs it is on.

A. What a delight to know that someone is still interested in the traditional ballads!! Those early vinyl recordings are long since unavailable (except, I'm told, sometimes in yard sales!) But I have been trying to resurrect some of that early material. The Bonnie Lass o' Fyvie is on Maiden Voyage JRR 112 along with more material from the LPs made in the 1960s.

Q. Years ago during a TV performance I heard Jean Redpath sing a Halloween song about a young newly married couple who went to their cabin in the woods. With a full moon shining, the husband awoke to find his wife missing. He tracks her in the new fallen snow until her tracks turn into those of a wolf. He tries to get back to their cabin, but does not make it. I still get goose bumps.

At a live performance about 20 years ago I asked Jean if she had ever recorded this song. She said she had not. Has she since and where can I find it?

A. My, but you ARE patient! Not yet, but hopefully before another 20 years drift by!! Patience should be rewarded though?

The Griesly Bride
words: John Manifold, tune: Tom Campbell

Lie down my newly-married wife
Lie easy as you can
You're young and ill-accustomed yet
To sleeping with a man

The snow was deep, the moon was full
As it shone on the cabin floor
His young bride rose without a word
And ran barefoot through the door

He up and followed fast and sure
And an angry man was he
But his young bride wasn't there in sight
And only the moon shone clearly

He followed her track through the new deep snow
Calling out loud her name
Only the dingoes in the hills
Yowled back at him again

Then the hair stood up along his neck
And his angry mind was gone
For where the two-foot track gave out
A four-footed track went on

Her night-gown lay upon the snow
As it might on a white bed sheet
And the tracks that led from where it lay
Were never of human feet

He first started in to walking back
Then he began to run
And his quarry turned all in her track
And hunted him in turn

An empty bed still waits for him
As he lies in a crimson tide
Beware, beware all trapper men
Beware of a griesly bride

Q. ...the song is about a boy who grows up taking care of his mother and then has to stay and continue to take care of her

Q. I heard the song many years ago on Prairie Home Companion. The bridge goes something like this 'My father's a sailor never comes home'

A. Sonny's Dream recorded on Leaving the Land PH 1131

Q. You sang it on Prairie Home Companion and it's about a bride who ran away from her husband and when he followed her in the snow she turned into some kind of animal and killed him

Q. Many years ago, I heard Jean Redpath perform on A Prairie Home Companion. It may have been near Hallowe'en — one of the songs, at any rate, was wonderfully eerie. It told the tale of a bridegroom on his wedding night who pursues his bride when she inexplicably runs out of their home into the snow. He follows her tracks until he finds her nightgown — and heading away from the discarded clothes are not human tracks — but wolf tracks.

A. The Griesly Bride and sorry, but I haven't recorded it (yet!) It is Australian in origin, words by John Manifold, music by Tom Campbell.

Q. I am very fond of a song which is included in Jean Redpath's CD A Fine Song for Singing. It is called 'I will make you brooches'. Do you have any idea where I might obtain the sheet music for this song? I am unable to determine from the credits on the CD exactly what the full name of the composer of that song is.

Q. The Robert Louis Stevenson Web site refers to a Stevenson poem sung by Jean Redpath. Would you kindly tell me what or which this might be and whether available on CD or cassette?

A. 'I will make you brooches' is indeed the name of the poem by RLS and it was set to music by Dave Whyte of Glasgow. It is to be found, indeed on A Fine Song for Singing, PH 1110 and on Jean Redpath Live, JR 111. Sorry, but sheet music seldom exists for traditional songs. For such as this, a poem by a known author set to a tune by a contemporary composer, all kinds of problems raise their legal heads; questions of copyright and royalties and similar headaches that I am trying hard to avoid in the construction of a songbook.

Q. I found some of your titles on the Rounder label, but only on a cassette and there are no texts and no notes included. Where can I find more information?

A. One of the reasons that I started producing my own recordings is because I think it essential that the material be documented so all of the CDs (except Live!) come with texts, glosses and annotation. It is, after all, essentially a foreign language! The LP (for those of you who remember!) was ideal for including printed material both on the back and inside the sleeve; cassettes with anything more extensive than a J-card with basic contents really required a magnifying glass but now the CD makes it possible to include a booklet of necessary information that is fairly easy to read. I am making every effort to see that the tracks that have been out of print for many years are available again in CD format.

Q. I have had a song in my head from many years ago. I am searching for the music and the rest of the words. Could you help me?

A. I do sympathize about those elusive words in the head that nudge for years! At any given moment I may have three or four fragments that I am trying to place. If it all gets too much for you, drop us a line and if my mental "global search" can identify the lines or a possible origin, I'll be happy to do so. The caveat there should probably be "allow 6-8 weeks for your order to be processed"! You might like to try the Mudcat Forum? (www.mudcat.org) About 9000 song texts on tap and discussion forums with interested parties from all over. Maybe you can drop your question in there and see if anybody comes up with the tune and the rest of the words for you?

Q. Hi — is there any re-release of Dancing at Whitsun which was on Jean Redpath and if I understand your site correctly, that has not been re-issued?

A. There isn't another recording of Dancing at Whitsun, but the Philo/Rounder CD is still available (PH 2015). Jean is trying to keep the songs on her earlier recordings available, hence the recent re-issues on Maiden Voyage, but Rounder is still carrying 2015. You can also order it through Jean's Web site. (Click here to order.)