The Farmer in the Dell
Book review by Trevor Agnew
The Farmer in the Dell (2014) Trad, ill. Jenny Cooper, Scholastic, Auckland NZ, 32 pages, paperback ISBN 978 1 77543 195 4
The lyrics of the song are neatly matched by Jenny Cooper’s illustrations. The farmer – a distinctively antipodean type – joins hands with his wife, who is dancing in the traditional gumboots. As the song progresses they are joined by child, nurse, cow, dog, cat, mouse and cheese. Meanwhile the singer – a doleful looking bloodhound – sings, plays banjo and provides the dance instructions. “Do-si-do and take a bow!”
A simple musical score is also included.
An accompanying CD has a cheerful performance of the song, using the musical talents of the Topp Twins, Linda and Jools. They perform the song twice in lively country style.
The second version is timed to allow dancers to perform the dance and comes complete with caller’s instructions.
10 Oct 2014