In Praise of Dorset Apples is one of our new songs, with words and music by Ridgeway member, Anna Eveleigh-Morse. About the writing of it, she says:
The song came about while I was researching songs about apples for one of the singing groups that I lead. I expected that Dorset would have its own apple song, being such a cider-friendly place. I started my researches in the online archive of the English Folk Dance and Song Society – and although I found songs from Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, wassails from Sussex and Devon, our own dear county was surprisingly unrepresented.
In desperation, I typed ‘Dorset Apples’ into the search engine, and lo and behold! There appeared a couple of websites giving lists of names of apples known to be growing in Dorset.
‘Buttery Door’! ‘Sweet Sheep’s Nose’! Who could overlook such names as these? As a songwriter, these were irresistible to me, and I was seized with an overwhelming urge to hear our Ridgeway tenors giving full exuberant voice to ‘Slack-Ma-Girdle’.
Although we associate apples with blossom time and harvest time, they have a year round appeal – in fact they were at one time considered to be a symbol of everlasting life – so it seemed appropriate to gather them into a turning seasons song, rounding off with a good glass of cider to enliven the dark winter months.
Hurrah for Dorset Apples! Hip-pip-pip … !