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"I've been going back on old repertoire, just having a look. I've recently started doing it again. I learnt it in the 70s. One of the first times I did it was at the Philadelphia Folk Festival. I mean I'd learned it, worked it out, cos there's not that many verses and I'd seen it in the book, I squeezed out another couple of verses, and then put a last verse in, which is what she sang but it doesn't tell the actual story, but it says what the story should have been, you know. I don't care, I'll tell anybody - it's not a secret, I change songs. Marina Russell. It was a name that kept coming up - astonishing. She had a fabulous repertoire, the only English person who ever had that song, and she only sang three verses, the bugger, she only gave collectors fragments. She had all sorts of songs…, I wish someone had recorded her I really do.
Around that time I did this West Country arts centres tour, and one of the gigs was at Weymouth Arts Centre, so I thought, I'll do a few of her songs. I put this little cluster of songs together, the Bedmaking, Sovay, A Jug of This, Ye Mariners All. I announced it: "This is a woman who lived in Upwey which is a suburb of Weymouth now, and her name was Marina Russell. And there was this squeal, right up in that corner: "That's my grandma!" And an old person said it. And I said, really? It's your Grandma, that's really interesting! "No it's not, we thought she was mad!" (laughs). Well that squashed that one straight away, you think you've made a big discovery…Then I found out, when I sang it at Philidelphia, I was doing a workshop with Frankie Armstrong, and she was singing it as well, she said. I didn't know anyone else sang that. [After recording] There's nothing like the first take. It was exactly what I wanted."