Humphrey Clucas writes: 'A Clutch', for three double basses, consists of five folk songs, played continuously, as follows: 'Quand j'étais chez mon père', 'I sowed the seeds of love', 'Pure and fair', 'Early one morning', and 'Widdecombe Fair': one French, three English, and one, the third, entirely spurious since I wrote it myself, words and music.
The words are as follows:
He tickled me under the chin, my dears,
When spring was in the air;
For he was wicked as sin, my dears,
And I was pure and fair.
So I cried, "Oh sir, for shame!" my dears,
Remember your gentle birth!"
For I had never a name, my dears,
But I knew what I was worth.
I parried his every kiss, my dears,
For all the gold he'd bring;
He promised me oh! such bliss, my dears,
And I said, "But where's the ring?"
Then he's down on his bended knee, my dears,
He much have me all his life;
So I thought, That'll doe for me, my dears -
And now I'm a wedded wife.
Humphrey Clucas was born in 1941 and read English at King's College, Cambridge, where he was also a Choral Scholar. Having taught English for twenty-seven years he subsequently became a Lay Vicar at Westminster Abbey but is now retired.
As a composer he is self taught, and although he is well-known for a set of Anglican Responses written as an undergraduate, almost all his serious music has been written over the last twenty-five years. He has a growing reputation as a choral composer and has produced an impressive and steady stream of choral works, both sacred and secular, alongside much instrumental music. He has written works for Cathedrals in Chichester, Guildford, Salisbury and Winchester, as well as for King's College, Cambridge, Southwell Minster and Westminster Abbey.