A E Housman

Album cover of A Shorpshire Lad


A Shropshire Lad: CD £9.99    Book £9
Combined CD and Book package £14
The Recording of ‘A Shropshire Lad’ by Michael Raven and Joan Mills

The Housman poems are all from A Shropshire Lad, except The Deserter, In Midnights of November and Half Moon which are from Last Poems. All the tunes are traditional, fitted by Michael Raven, except those of The Deserter and Is My Team Ploughing which were composed by Michael Raven. The Welsh tunes are all traditional, arranged for solo guitar by Michael Raven, except Galaru and Rhoslan Reel which were composed by him.

The Penrhyn Castle recordings were made using a 1966 Ramirez flamenco guitar. The rest were made with a 1993 steel strung Lowden 032 with an extra wide custom neck (49 mm at the nut), and a Ramirez A1 Classic. The Lowden was played very hard in the folk-blues style called English Folk Guitar, characterised by string slapping, vibrato, chord damping, heavy ornamentation and, above all, a fiercely rhythmic attack. This is especially suitable for performing the ‘wild laments’ such as the Bard’s Dream and Farewell to Llangyfelach, both typical of what scholars believe to be survivals of very ancient pre-Celtic melody. (The Welsh are a predominantly short, dark people of Iberian blood, who adopted the language of the invading tall, fair-haired Celts.)

Printed music
All the songs, accompaniments and guitar solos have been fully notated and published in a companion book also called A Shropshire Lad. The guitar music is printed in both staff notation and tablature. The book measures 9 inches by 12 inches and has 64 pages. It can be obtained from this website.