Times are hard / Dozmary Five

Emma and I performed this set in Penzance a couple of weeks ago when we supported Martin Carthy at St Mary’s Church, at a gig arranged by Inn the Bath Productions.

Times are Hard is an adaptation of a song collected in Canow Kernow – Songs and Dances from Cornwall, edited by Inglis Gundry. The book is a wonderful and well-used source for traditional Cornish songs and tunes, and it can be a challenge to find something new in such a well-known collection.

This song caught my eye because it begins in 5/4, a popular dance time for the kabm pymp in Nos Lowen dancing, although in the original transcription it quickly diverts back to 4/4, swapping to 5/4 again for a bar here and there throughout. However changeable the time signature, the sentiment remains current – times are hard, particularly in Cornwall, in the current economic climate. Here is the original from Canow Kernow:

Times are hard original

I adapted the tune to make it minor, more fitting for the lyrics, and made the rhythm a consistent 5/4 throughout.

Download the dots for my version of the song here: Times are hard (pdf)

The tune which follows in the Salt & Sky arrangement is Dozmary Five, written by Emma Packer.