“Cornish Patriotic and Dialect Songs” is a collection of 7 songs composed and arranged by Richard John Noall (1871-1944) which was published as a pamphlet in 1934. It was part of an ongoing project to encourage to Cornish people and Old Cornwall Societies in particular to take an interest in songs from Cornwall and include them in their singing sessions. The death of Ralph Dunstan in 1933 before the anticipated publication of a further collection of dialect and folk songs and subsequent loss of the manuscripts had focussed attention on Cornish singing tradition and probably prompted this publication.[i]
Richard John Noall was a stalwart of the Celto Cornish revival. He was one of the founders of the Old Cornwall Society movement and was initiated as a bard of Gorsedh Kernow during the first modern ceremony in 1929 taking the bardic name of Kenteller – collector.[ii] As a musician, singer and choirmaster he encouraged interest in traditional Cornish songs and carols alongside of the dialect and patriotic songs of the revival and published a number of songs in the Old Cornwall Society Journal. The St Ives museum holds two collections of his music scores; “Carols and Cornish Folk Songs” dated 1926 with 29 songs; and the manuscript for “Cornish Patriotic and Dialect Songs”.
Richard John Noall reprinted “Cornish Patriotic and Dialect Songs” with additional notes, newspaper reviews and an insert with Henry Jenner’s Bro Goth Agan Tasow in 1935. [iii]
List of Songs
- Courtin’ in Cornwall
- Come Along Down W’ We
- Cornish Place-Name Song
- My Shiner
- Magic Fire: Midsummer-eve Song and Dance
- Cornwall My Own
- O Spirit Of Our Cornish Land
[i] Herbert Thomas, Cornishman – Thursday 24 January 1935 p3
[ii] Obituary, The Cornishman – Thursday 27 July 1944, p.5
[iii] Copy supplied by Paul Phillips, Federation of Old Cornwall Society Dialect recorder in Sept 2020.