This is a recording of A L Lloyd performing “The Wanton Seed”
I first encountered this song from the 2015 edition of “The Wanton Seed” book, a collection of English Folk Songs From the Hammond & Gardiner Manuscripts. This excellent collection has been a great source for helping me to build a repertoire & having grown up in East Dorset it was fun seeing the many familiar Hampshire & Dorset locations these songs were collected from. This song’s euphemism is obvious.
This is what A.L.Lloyd had to say about the song; “Some erotic folk songs, thought crude by genteel collectors, embody ancient ritualistic notions of love. Just as, at seed-time in primitive communities, peasants would be expected to copulate in the furrows to give good example to the plants, so too songs were raised conveying the magical idea that all natural phenomena are interdependent, and that the closest unity exists between the germination of grain and the amorous encounters of men and women. As in this genial song to be heard in Dorset pubs earlier in the present century, sometimes called The Chiefest Grain.”
I love this Nic Jones version. What a player!