Gipsy melodeon player, Lementina “Lemmie” Brazil, was born near Southampton and spent 26 years of her youth in Ireland, before her family returned to England to settle in Gloucester. She described some of her tunes as “Irish” and used to play for step-dance competitions. Peter Shepheard recorded her in the 1960’s and early 70’s and Gwilym Davies recorded her twice, in October 1977 and April 1981, when she was living on a caravan site near Gloucester. She played a one-row melodeon in C. We have transcribed her music in D or G.
Take me to my Kind Old Mother: After playing the tune, Lemmie Brazil quoted words, which appear to be:
Darkies is your heart still merry?
Darkies is your heart true now?
Take me to my kind old mother,
And there let me live till I die.
This is clearly derived from Stephen Foster’s (1851) song The Old Folks at Home or Swannee River.