Cyril Phillips

CYRIL PHILLIPS (1911 – 1990)

Cyril was born on 5 November 1911 in Dorset.  While he was still a small boy his father moved their entire farm and family by train to Firle in Sussex.  Cyril left school at the age of 14 to work on his father’s farm. They had their first car in 1927. He learned his songs in the villages and farms of Sussex and between the wars was a regular performer in village smoking concerts, harvest suppers, and later the South of England Show and local pubs.

The early recordings by Brian Matthews and Tony Wales show him to be a better singer than the later Cyril in folk clubs but still he gave much pleasure to his audience with the unbridled zeal which typified his performance.  Cyril made rough accompaniments on melodeon and did a bucolic, sub-Albert Richardson act, including a smock and folding five-bar gate!  He loved his contacts with the folk revival and visited many clubs and festivals, often as chauffeur to other singers. Scan Tester, George Spicer and George Belton all told hair-raising stories of his particular style of driving and personal experience could add to them.

After he retired from his farm he travelled to Australia, the US and Canada, sending home long hilarious letters of his latest escapades.  He was always much in demand at village gatherings, not just for his songs but also for the monologues he composed, his traditional stories and reminiscences of his youth and his travels. He died in 1990, remembered not just for his songs but also for his friendship and generosity – and his driving.

(Vic Smith 2016)

 

Profile of Cyril Phillips, by Vic Smith

profile-cyril-phillips.pdf
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Cyril Phillips (1911-1990), by Clive Bennett

Legend of the Long Man, The (Monologue)

Oive lived round ere since the year '21

FARMER’S BOY, A

Sun had set behind yoj hill, across the dreary moor, The

MINER’S DREAM OF HOME, A

It's ten weary years since I left England's shore

WRAP ME UP WITH MY STOCK WHIP AND JACKET

REST OF THE DAY’S YOUR OWN, THE

One day when I was out of work a job I went to seek

FARMER GILES

Oi come from the country me name it is Giles

TURMOT HOER, THE

I be a turmot hoer, from Somersetshire I came

Text-and-tune-CP_The_Turmot_Hoer.pdf
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TURMOT HOEING

I be a turmot-hoer, from DerbyshireI came

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