My latest auto-recommendation email from Amazon is totally to giggle: Folk Songs of Newfoundland, by Alan Mills! Note also this dude has a separate album called We’ll Rant and We’ll Roar: Songs of Newfoundland, too!
Wikipedia informs me that Mr. Mills was best known for popularizing Canadian folk music, and it’s very clear, looking over the track listings for both of these albums, that my beloved B’ys either pulled hard from his songs or else were pulling from the same sources he did! Between these albums, I see a whole bunch of songs that were much, much later covered by GBS:
- From the B’ys’ very first, self-titled album: “I’se the B’y” and “Great Big Sea”
- From up and later also, Rant and Roar: “Lukey’s Boat”, and of course, “Rant and Roar”
- From Turn: “Jack Hinks”
- From Sea of No Cares: “Feller from Fortune”
- From the mighty, mighty The Hard and the Easy: “Tickle Cove Pond”, “Harbor Le Cou”, “The Old Polina”
Mr. Mills’ versions are of course much more old school, and a lot more folksy. But damn, it’s weird and fun listening to his earlier versions of these songs. I’m very tempted to get both of these albums, just for the giggle factor of the contrast to GBS’ versions!
And clearly, Amazon ignored the “sexy, bouncy, long-haired bouzouki player” part of “customer’s affection for Newfoundland folk music”, when their auto-recommender code sent me that mail. :D