OUP, 1924


Graham Trew (baritone)
Roger Vignoles (piano)
Meridian E 77032
(LP )

John Shirley-Quirk (baritone)
Martin Isepp (piano)
Saga EC 3336-2
"A Recital of English Songs"
(1996, CD )
[excludes 'The Lads in their Hundreds']



Musical Times,
Jan 1925


Further Writing

Complete Lyrics






Ludlow Town (1920)

  1. When smoke stood up from Ludlow
  2. Farewell to barn and stack and tree
  3. Say, lad, have you things to do?
  4. The lads in their hundreds

Moeran's first settings of Housman date from 1916, a mid-summer respite from the war. Ludlow Town was composed in 1920 following the resumption of studies at the RCM with John Ireland.

Moeran chose to set Housman's 'Word-music' in closely corresponding terms; compare, for example, the contrasting subtleties and simplicities of "When smoke stood up from Ludlow" with the more grisly "Farewell to barn and stack and tree".

When the text demands a background of colour and suggestion, the 26 year old composer can respond as effectively as any of his contemporaries. If the harmonies of "Say, lad, have you things to do?" betray more than a hint of his teacher, the final song of the cycle points the way ahead. "The lads in their hundreds" describes the bustle Ludlow Fair; fair days always excited Moeran and usually brought out the 'Irishness' in him. The lively jig that we hear would have its apotheosis in the wild Rondo of the Violin Concerto twenty years later.

Notes by Barry Marsh



"the 26 year old composer can respond as effectively as any of his contemporaries"

©2001 The Worldwide Moeran Database