The listed children's songs comprise two categories namely the ones that I regularly sing to adult audiences and which are mostly to be found in the Clancy Brothers repertoire. The other category covers children's' songs which my mother, Peggy Grainger sang.
I had the good fortune to spend almost whole two days between 3rd and 4th October 2000 with my mother whilst on holiday in Singapore, taking down her repertoire of childhood songs. Some of these she sang to her five children and she sang others for her own pleasure either during her own childhood or later as a young mother.
She learned all these songs by rote from four main sources; a children's' home in Worcester (1920-1925), St. George's School, Barbourne, Worcester (1925-1929), Stanley Road School, Worcester (1930-1933) and The Worcester Secondary School for Girls (1933-1937).
She has very firm memories of her music teachers, a Miss Cole of St. George's School who she describes as being tall and thin with very black straight hair, and her Stanley Road teacher, Mrs Spires. Mrs Spires, who she personally liked very much, made a particular impression as she was a "widow-lady" whose husband had been killed in 1918. The tears in this good lady's eyes during the annual November Remembrance Services made a life-long impression on my mother, then a girl of some 10-11 years.
The number of songs, poems and ditties recovered during this two-day period was surprisingly large and we have enough material for a songbook and a CD, please watch this space!.
Geoff Grainger, Bremen-Vegesack, January 2001