Song of the Day, June 9: Cold and Raw by June Tabor

JuneTColdRawToday’s song is a gem from June Tabor’s delightful album Ashes and Diamonds. Cold and Raw is an old traditional song (Roud 3007) found as early as 1699 when Tom D’Urfey included it in the collection Wit and Mirth: or Pills to Purge Melancholy. It’s the story of a young woman headed to market on a chilly morning. She meets a wealthy man who offers her money, ostensibly for her barley but clearly hoping for something more. The woman puts him in his place and heads on to make her honest living. As Tabor has observed:

I liked this song because it’s the usual pretty girl and the libidinous suitor but it’s a lovely antidote to all the songs in which the rich person does get his wicked way and the poor girl probably doesn’t get the money either. … I came back to it because it was such a jaunty song.

It is indeed, a lovely track with a surprising outcome and a bit of very early feminism. Enjoy this delightful song today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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