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Never Mind The Bocs
"A Moon to Hang Coats On" - album sleeve notes

Click the title to go to the info for each song:
1 Glan Meddwdod Mwyn (tradd.)
2 The Wren (Neil & Meg Browning)
3 Full Catastrophe Living (Neil & Meg Browning)
4 Marwnad Yr Ehedydd / The Breton Cat (tradd. / Pete Walton)
5 Tom Fahey's Wall (Meg Browning)
6 Fi Wela Ynys Cynon (tradd.)
7 Barton Island (Meg Browning)
8 Y Gwcw Fach (tradd.)
9 Thin Ice / The Autotelic (Neil & Meg Browning)
10 Maggie Matthias (Neil & Meg Browning)
11 Y Dyn Heb Fochyn (Meg & Kate Browning)
12 The Discomfit of Lloyd George (Meg Browning)
13 Don't Tell Me What to Sing (Neil & Meg Browning)
14 Seven Stars (Neil Browning)
15 A Moon to Hang Coats On (Neil Browning)
[Pete and Ermintrude]

1 Glan Meddwdod Mwyn [Back to top]
The title of this beautiful tune is often translated as "Good Humoured and Fairly Tipsy". It was one of a number of tunes used, with suitable stanzas, to close proceedings at Eisteddfodau in the mid-19th century. Glan Rhondda (the tune now used for the Welsh national anthem "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau") was composed in 1856, but only gained National popularity towards the end of the century.

2 The Wren [Back to top]
The song sprang from the experience of hearing the dawn chorus from Meg's home in Beeston, Nottinghamshire almost drowned out by the singing of a single wren outside her window. It grew into a song about friendship: a celebration of the kind of friend who helps you to see the better things in life, when all seems miserable. In memory of our great friend and wonderful musician Jen Walley ('Jenny Wren').

3 Full Catastrophe Living [Back to top]
Parts of this tune are not quite as odd as the time signatures (11/8 and 10/8) would have you believe! We ended up writing silly lyrics to fit these bits- e.g. "I got stuck in a catflap" (x3); "somebody give me a shove"... The peaceful traditional tune in the interlude is The Isle of Mull, a place we love very much.

4 Marwnad Yr Ehedydd / The Breton Cat [Back to top]
Some say that the 'lark' to whom the elegy refers in this song is Owain Glyndwr, the Welsh chieftain; or it may just be a fanciful tale. The tune that follows is one of Pete's, with a rather Breton feel to it. Meg heard something feline initially (although it's changed a bit since then), but the name irrevocably became The Breton Cat.

5 Tom Fahey's Wall [Back to top]
A few years ago, during one of our visits to County Clare, Meg chanced upon a uniquely decorated wall built by a local farmer to celebrate the millenium in 2000. In its design he pleased no-one but himself, including whatever he wanted. You can see it on googlemaps if you know where to look! We discovered that Tom is himself a story teller and traditional singer.

6 Fi Wela Ynys Cynon [Back to top]
We learned this South Wales song from the wonderful Julie Murphy, and enjoyed putting our own harmonies to it.

7 Barton Island [Back to top]
This tune of Meg's has become a firm favourite in sessions in North-West Wales. She has resisted requests to write it down, preferring to see what will happen to it as it passes through other musicians' instruments and memories. Nevertheless, it has already found its way into ABC notation on the internet, courtesy of someone we do not know!

8 Y Gwcw Fach [Back to top]
Our samba-influenced arrangement of this lively traditional song features some dynamic percussion from Dave, and a kletzmer-tinged clarinet solo from Kate.

9 Thin Ice / The Autotelic [Back to top]
Thin Ice was the first tune that Meg ever wrote, while we struggled with a tax return late one January. It is still one of her most rhthmically off-the-wall compositions, but it does have a compelling logic nonetheless. You can find the music here!
Neil and Meg wrote The Autotelic together, and it stays quite firmly in 15/8 throughout...

10 Maggie Matthias [Lyrics] [Back to top]
Meg's grandmother, Maggie Matthias, was born in a tiny pit village (long since demolished) in County Durham, into a Welsh mining family. The song is both a brief life story and an imagined snapshot of her early life, based on what is known about her. (clarinet choir: Kate)

11 Y Dyn Heb Fochyn [Back to top]
Meg wrote the first tune a long while ago, and when Kate came up with the second, they became inextricably linked. We rather like the deliberate 'swing/straight' rhythmic tension in the arrangement.

12 The Discomfit of Lloyd George [Back to top]
Meg and Dave were in a cafe in Bangor, perusing a newspaper during the MPs expenses scandal. A local character pronounced: "if Lloyd George were alive today, he'd be spinning in his grave!" A tune just had to be written. The percussion on this track is something of a tribute to Harold 'Danny' Denningberg (1923-2011), erstwhile Mayor of Godalming, and drummer/caller with 'The Boffins', the band run by Neil's dad (in which both Neil and Meg cut their ceilidh teeth, on bass guitar). On this track Neil plays Danny's own percussion set, which we now own.

13 Don't Tell Me What to Sing [Back to top]
This is a response to the feeling that individuals must behave, think and create in a stereotypical way, to fit other people's expectations.

14 Seven Stars [Back to top]
Another tune of ours that has been in existence for many years before this recording. It was written in Bethesda when Neil was off work ill, and he didn't discover until much later that there were already other tunes with this title.

15 A Moon to Hang Coats On [Back to top]
Just as Meg's solo squeezebox introduced the dawn at the beginning of the album, we thought a second solo performance (this time from Neil) would be an appropriate way to bring it to a close. After the bustle and variety of a busy day, a crescent moon invites us to quiet reflection, before it all begins again tomorrow...

16 Folk Song For the Working Man ('hidden track')
In these days of digital CDs, one cannot 'hide' a track very easily. A pity, we say!
Anyway, this tongue-in-cheek lament does just what it says on the tin!

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