This track is definitely a departure from 'The Norm' here at Spunky Onions but I must admit I have always liked this song. I originally had it on a homemade compilation cassette and could not remember how or where I managed to tape it from. So I have researched the song and have been lucky enough to find out the it appears on a Musical Traditions CD titled ' Here's Luck To A Man - Gypsy Songs and Music from South-East England'.
This album is a digital version of a unique and classic set of field-recordings made by Mike Yates in the late sixties and early seventies. It features various Gypsy singers from the south-east of England, led by Mary Ann Haynes and Jasper Smith, with other items by Minty, Levi and Derby Smith (Jasper's son), Chris Willett, Joe and Lena Jones, Bill Ellson and Alice Penfold.
Derby wrote the words to this song after experiencing a lifetime of prejudice. The tune comes from a 1932 Jimmy Rodger's song Hobo's Meditation . Derby Smith came with his father to one of the recording sessions at Cecil Taylor's house and it was then that he recorded this superb gypsy protest song.