Some Cornish Music

Now in truth I don’t know how Cornish this is, but the book was compiled by a Cornishman who also put together books of Cornish dialect songs. But this particular book has a little family history interest as well.


This is the book by Dunstan and Bygott. It is just a chance that R Dunstan could be a relative but we’ll leave that on one side.  The title sheet has an inscription from R Dunstan.


The book was sent to ‘My friend W W Piper with kindest regards from Ralph Dunstan, June 1932′. Wilfred Welch Piper was my wife’s great uncle by marriage.

He has added a paragraph of his own thoughts in a blank part of the book.image006

I have two recollections of ballad singers. One visited Trevithick Cross about two miles from Penzance on the St Just road (about 1880) and after singing several songs offered “broadsheets” with the words at 1d (a penny) each.
The other related to a very ragged old man with a wonderful voice for one so aged who visited Camelford as late as 1887.
Summercourt and St Lawrence Fairs were, I have heard, regularly visited by ballad singers with broadsheets offering at ½d and 1d each many years ago.

Ralph Dunstan died in April 1933 at Callestick, Cornwall. Let’s finish with a page of his music.


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