Jennifer Cutting's The New St. George

The NSG Master Set List

as of January 1995

The following Master Set List reflects the total repertoire performed by The New St. George during its last year. The master list was only ever performed in its entirety at 3-set bar gigs; usually it was distilled into a one- or two-set concert performance featuring the best and most original work.

JOHNNY HAS GONE ELECTRIC [original by Jennifer Cutting; tells the story of traditional folksong archetypes Johnny and Polly as they leave the hedgerows behind and PLUG IN! Featured jangling electric 12-string in a 5/4 time signature]

EXILE [original by English songwriter Steve Knightly; the source was Polly Bolton’s excellent album No Going Back]

OUR CAPTAIN CRIED ALL HANDS [English traditional song extensively arranged by Jennifer]

JACK OF ALL TRADES [traditional song with a new lefty twist at the end; this version from from Leon Rosselson, re-arranged by Jennifer]

BRANSLE GAY [16th-century French dance tune from the Gervaise collection published by Attaignant in 1557 -- not to be confused with John Renbourn’s Bransle Gay -- there are hundreds of ’em, and this one is different! Jennifer turned it inside out by converting it from minor to major to give it a jauntier sound and make it sit better on the melodeon]

BALHANNA WHALERS [this was one of Bob’s solo spots, sometimes with light accompaniment from bass and piano; he got it from Nic Jones]

LARK IN THE CLEAR AIR [traditional Irish air set to words by an Irish nobleperson; performed as a keyboard and vocal duet]

MATELOT [Jennifer’s signature squeezebox tune, from the southern English dance repertoire]

RAGGED HEROES [a great original by John Tams that roasts the politicians (an appropriate song for a Washington, D.C.-based band to be doing...) The source was the Albion Band’s album Rise Up Like the Sun]

MAYDEN LANE [An English country dance tune from the 1651 edition of Playford’s Dancing Master; a techno-pop version that is Jennifer’s most extensive re-working of a traditional tune]

WHEN A MAN’S IN LOVE [Scottish and English traditional song, with another extensive remodeling job]

TEXAS [a crooked little West Virginia fiddle tune that was originally collected by Jennifer’s boss Alan Jabbour from the late Henry Reed; brought into the band by Bob, who learned it from the late Dave Olive; usually performed as the band’s big finale number, ushered in with a rip-it-up drum solo]

UPTON ON SEVERN STICK DANCE [a traditional Morris stick dance from you-know-where]

BONNY AT MORN [Northumbrian version of a traditional English/Scottish song; source was Bob Fox and Stu Luckley]

SCOTTISH TUNES [two Shetland fiddle tunes, All the Ships that Sail, and A Pound, taught to Jennifer by her earliest melodeon mentor, the late great Nigel Chippendale]

MERMAID [Hampshire version of a traditional British ballad that Jennifer found in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs; opens with bass lick that sounds oddly similar to the one from Ricky Don’t Lose that Number...]

SALLY WHEATLEY [another gem - probably a sentimental Music Hall song - from Bob Fox and Stu Luckley; Bob often performed this one at the end of a long night in the local bar, causing women for to cry and throw their panties at the stage]

PROPER CUP OF COFFEE [an English Music Hall comedy number sung by Bob, performed complete with kazoos and audience shouting "OI!" at appropriate junctures]

IRISH POLKA SET [three Irish polkas for melodeon and whistle, with electric backing]

THE STEGGIE [New St. George’s “greatest hit” with festival audiences, often performed as the barn-burning final number; a Scottish bawdy song the band got from a Rod Paterson album in Myron Bretholz’s record collection, remade by Jennifer into a pop song complete with a melodeon hook]

ALL THE TEA IN INDIA [Jennifer’s very first original song, written from the Indian perspective, of the British who established the tea industry in India in the mid- 1800s. A hypnotic and meditative piece usually performed mid-set]

THE FALSE BRIDE [a traditional song, again from the Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, that tells of watching one’s true love go off with another. Jennifer transformed a relatively cheerful little version of the song into something morbid, spooky, and sad]

SNOW FALLS [another John Tams original, performed only at the NSG’s annual Birchmere Boxing Day double-bill with the Washington Revels]

INNS OF LONDON [a traditional song brought in by Bob; also performed at the Revels show]

THE MONTH OF JANUARY (another winter Revels show repertoire item; a traditional Irish song performed a cappella by Lisa)

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE (also from the Revels show; a British traditional song performed a cappella by Bob)

CRANE & TOWER [Jennifer’s original anti-development song about the insidious paving of the world; a dark song in a more alternative rock style representative of her recent work]

THE NEW ST. GEORGE [The song the band was named for! An original by the fabulous Richard Thompson]

ENGLISH POLKA SET [a melodeon-led filler piece for those summer gigs where a band can never have enough bouncy, uptempo stuff]

CHESAPEAKE [an Al Petteway original, performed only in the last days of the band, when Al guested in the guitar slot]

ONE APRIL MORNING [the last arrangement Jennifer did for the NSG; a jangle-pop recreation of a traditional tune performed only once at the band’s last gig, replete with jangly, ringing 12-string by Eric Rose. Jennifer got the song from southern English singer Tony Rose]

 

INACTIVE

These fall into two categories: Songs which had been performed a lot in the past, but were retired for a rest; and pieces that had been performed once or twice but never quite “gelled.” Some of them were performed only occasionally in the wee hours at bar gigs when the material was running low...

THE QUEEN’S DELIGHT [a Bucknell Morris dance tune]

BONNY GATESHEAD LASS [a love song in jig time, again from the fabulous Bob Fox and Stu Luckley]

OYSTER WIFE’S RANT/PET O’ THE PIPERS [tune set in the key of A; Jennifer’s first outing on the piano accordion]

18 YEARS OLD [a traditional Irish song from Delores Keane that Lisa brought into the band but stopped performing because she was “sick of it”]

MERLIN [a mysterious, dissonant original about Merlin the Magician from stellar English songwriter Graham Pratt; originally performed as an a cappella vocal trio by Bob, Jennifer, and Elise Kress; later by Bob, Jennifer, and Lisa]

IRELAND SONG [an original song about the troubles in Ireland, written by Lisa’s friend Irene Wellington; performed as a vocal and accordion duet only once or twice]

DON’T YOU GO [John Martyn’s original anti-war song, retired because of over-playing during the Gulf War]

STREAMS/BALHAM [Streams of Lovely Nancy is from The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs, and Balham Brawl is Jennifer’s original tune named for the seedy southwest London neighborhood where she used to live. Many a drummer was confounded over the tempo change going into the Morris-like “capers” in the piece’s mid-section, and many guitarists pronounced the piece "unplayable." The Brawl was dropped from the repertoire when Jennifer abandoned her old Kawai K- 3 synth for a new Roland JV-80 that could not duplicate the needed chime sounds.]

THE SECRET MARRIAGE [a masterpiece of an art song from Sting’s album Nothing Like the Sun, adapted and set to a beautiful lyric by Sting from a melody by Hans Eisler, who was a colleague of Bertold Brecht]

THE TEMPEST [an English country dance tune, also called Ap Shenkin, that Jennifer paired with The Matelot Jig whenever the band needed to stretch a set]

 

[NSG Homepage | Bios | The High Tea Album | Other Recordings | NSG Set List | Lyrics | Photos & Press Clippings] | [The NSG Nemesis | The Breakup | Sound Bytes | Ordering Info | Jennifer Cutting Homepage]