Doug Eunson and Sarah Matthews duo:

EXCITING NEWS – Doug and Sarah’s third duo album is now available and we have our album launch date set for Wednesday 7th Oct.  The album is entitled SONG AND LAUGHTER:

CD cover

Each of our three albums has been recorded in as live and genuine a way as possible, to capture the expressive essense of the duo performance and represent the sound produced at intimate live gigs:  CDs available from

Song and Laughter – 2015:

1 – In Praise of Alcohol – From Robert W Service “Later Collected Verse” and set to
music by David Parry, this song came to us via Ian Robb
2 – Songbirds in June – This new Mazurka was written with love in honour of the
marriage of Fiona and Christopher Jackson
3 – The Grey Goose and the Gander – New words to this traditional nonsense song
written for Doug’s Grandfather’s 100th birthday in June 2014
4 – High Flyers – A modern working ballad written in praise of Rolls-Royce in Derby
5 – The Ordeal of Andrew Rose – A true tale of brutality on the high seas, this version
is adapted from one collected in Newfoundland in the 1960s
6 – Good Ale for my Money – “The good fellows resolution of strong ale, that cures his
nose from looking pale!” … or so sayeth the Broadside
7 – Lily Gilders – Written by John Tams for the Radio Ballads of 2006 in celebration of
the painters and decorators of the fairground rides
8 – The Dutch in the Medway – A Rudyard Kipling poem set to music by Peter Bellamy
9 – Windmill at Heage – Shelley Posen was inspired to write this song, after a visit to
Derbyshire in 2012.  He asked Sarah to set the words to music, and she added in a chorus
10 – Tom Coulter’s Waltz / Treasure Trove – Two gorgeous waltzes from two
talented friends of ours, Lester Simpson and Steve Butler
11 – The Ant and the Grasshopper – One of Aesop’s Fables set in this song by Leon
Rosselson in the 1970s
12 – Apple Tree Wassail – A traditional wassail we learnt
from our Canadian friends Stefan and Paul Read

Proper Swell – 2006:

1 – Belltower / New Hornpipe (Simon Care / Dave Shepherd)
I learned Belltower from Simon at Sidmouth Festival in 1996, and it seemed a natural partner for Dave Shepherd’s New Hornpipe, which I had picked up by osmosis over the years from Blowzabella’s annual dances in Nottinghamshire.  Doug.
2 – Six Jolly Miners (Trad – Sarah Matthews)
From the singing of Pete Castle on ‘The Derby Ram’ CD, I learnt this song to the tune of Van Dieman’s Land.  It describes the life of the roving miners in England, set to a new time signature to let the words flow.  Sarah.
3 – Mazurka de St Pierre (Sarah Matthews)
This piece was composed in 2004 when two special friends were married at St Peter’s Church in Derby. They love French dancing, and the mazurka is their particular favourite.  Unlike the atmospheric rain at the beginning of this recording, their day was sunshine throughout!  Sarah.
4 – Will Ye Come to Flanders (Trad)
A powerful description of war in two verses.  Originally published in David Herd’s “Scot’s Songs” in 1776 as “Will Ye Go to Flanders”.  For me, “come” is grammatically a better fit, but then I’ve never known whether I’m coming or going anyway!!  I learned this from Miranda Sykes.  Doug.
5 – Fourpence a Day (Tommy Raine – Sarah Matthews)
Having searched unsuccessfully for a Derbyshire lead-mining song for a while, I learnt this song at Whitby a few years ago.  With its new melody in five time, the Derbyshire version was born.  Sarah.
6 – La Petite Jaune (Trad)
I heard this first at various Scandinavian dance workshops whilst learning to polska. It has also appeared on the Tref album “Accordeon Diatonique”, and latterly I’ve polska’d my heart out to it as an Andy Cutting solo at dances.  Doug.
7 – Shuffling Jack (Lester Simpson)
A song with a chorus that you just can’t stop singing.  This is our version of Lester’s superb depiction of the life of an aged First World War veteran.  Doug.
8 – Bending the Ferret / The Spirit of the Dance (Doug Eunson / Trad)
I wrote “Bending the Ferret” because, apparently, you can! (According to a demonstration on a BBC wildlife programme.)  The Spirit of the Dance is a popular tune from the Thomas Hardy collection guaranteed to upset unsuspecting dancers / drummers. Doug.
9 – Tha Lewks a Proper Swell Lass (Lal Wood – Ric Scollins)
Keith Kendrick sang us this fabulous tale of rags to riches while we were collaborating on a project called “Derbyshire Born and Bred”.  Written in Derbyshire dialect by Lal in the 1950s (after the song “Fare Thee Well my Lovely”) and Rick’s poignant melody takes some beating!  Doug.
10 – The French Assembly / One Sock (Trad / Frank Vickers)
As with many dance tunes written in three time, these two tunes could be played as Waltzes, Mazurkas or Bourrees.  Here we have chosen Mazurka into fast French-style Waltz.  What ever happened to the other sock, Frank?  Sarah.
11 – The Parting Glass (Trad – Sarah Matthews)
Using a combination of melodies from the original “Parting Glass” and “Just as the Tide was Flowing”, I reworked the traditional lyrics into a very personal tribute to my Mum who sadly died of cancer in May 2006.  Sarah.

On Shining Wings – 2007:

1 – The Ashbourne Shrovetide Football Anthem (Anon – D Atkinson)
These two verses of this anthem are sung by a fater and son duo at the pre-game ceremonial dinner on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday each year.  The whole event is quite amazing and has to be seen to be believed!
2 – Roman Reel / Country Gardens (Trad / Trad)
One of the dance tunes from the Ashover Collection in Derbyshire, followed by this well-known yet still totally groovy step-hop piece.
3 – So Smile in your Sleep (Hush) (J McLean – Trad)
Written about 40 years afo, this song tells the story of the Highland Clearnaces at the turn of the 18th / 19th Century.  England evicted the small landowners from the Highlands to make way for large-scale sheep farming.  The melody is traditional: “The Mist Covered Mountain”.  Doug explores his Scottish roots.
4 – Smugglers (Trad – I McCalman)
These traditional lyrics hail from the Western Scottish coastline and islands with melody by Ian McCalman.  Also made popular by “The Men They Counldn’t Hang”.  Put into five time by Sarah and given a slightly more English feel.
5 – The King of Rome (D Sudbury)
Though June Tabor made this song sotry famous, it came to me from the writer himself: Dave Sudbury, a modest composer of great songs from Ticknell in Derbyshire.
6 – Glorious 13th / Schottische de Lion (J Swayne / M Heintzen)
This is a set of two pipe tunes – a French-style schottische from English piper Jon Swayne, and a deceptively English sounding piece by La Chavanee’s Maxou Heintzen.
7 – Borneo (Song for Vic / The Blind Sailor) (K Cockrell)
Ken wrote this song for friend Vic Simpson in the 1960s, in a round-about way, to help with the ladies!  They had no idea it would become so popular.
8 – The Boar’s Head Carol (Trad)
This proud and ancient carol is traditionally sung at Queen’s College, Oxford at Chirstmas time in thanks for food and praising God.  It features in the Oxford Book of Carols and is sung regularly in the Derby area.  For Sid Long.
9 – Borombondo / Parsou  (trad / Trad)
Two traditional French tunes in three time. could be mazurkas or waltzes, we learnt from playing with the Massif Village Orchestra a few years ago.
The Derbyshire Miller (P Caslte – Trad)
The first verse and melody of this jaunty piece are taken from the Llewellynn Jewitt book of Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire.  The following sassy verses were developed by Pete Castle.
10 – Jean / She Sleeps (S Matthews / S Ellis)
The second piece inspired the first here.  A slow waltz written for my Mum and her love of graceful dancing, and the only piece I have composed solely for the viola.  This is followed by one of the most flowing and beautiful waltzes I’ve heard, written by Steve Ellis.

We have also several albums out with the line-up Cross o’th Hands and the Ram Company:

…and, playing with Oli Matthews, we formed Cupola and recorded Ivy in 2011 and ROAM in 2015:

Cd cover             Album Cover


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