Spencer the Rover

Here we have Vicky Swan and Jonny Dyer with the great traditional folk song ‘Spencer the Rover’.

The New Penguin Book of English Folksongs tells us that

‘…the earliest collected version of this song, “from a Derbyshire peasant”, appears in M.H. Mason’s Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs (1878), but there are many broadside printings, from all over the country, back to sheets printed in London in the 1820s or 1830s.’

Mudcat Café has a discussion on the origins of the song here, including an interesting collection of variations on the lyrics from different sources. Mainly Norfolk gives the British recording history of the song here.

Vicky Swan and Jonny Dyer seem to have started out mainly as instrumental artists, but have since branched out into arranging traditional songs and writing their own material. Their website is here.


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