Original Songs in the Jersey Language

Original Songs in the Jersey Language

Arthur Edward Balleine (1864-1943) emigrated from Jersey as a young man and made a life-long career as a civil servant in London. In 1896 he was a founder member of The Jersey Society in London and was its Honorary Secretary until his retirement to Jersey in 1920. The society enjoyed the enthusiastic support of a number of eminent Jerseymen living in the United Kingdom and a major feature of its activities was a notable annual dinner held in London on the 14th October (the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings) to which the Bailiff of Jersey and prominent personalities in the U.K. were invited. The Jersey language was spoken as far as possible at these functions and some traditional Jersey songs were sung, notably those now presented in this album.

The words of these songs were written, or were retrieved from family papers and other sources, by some knowledgeable members of the society and the tunes were put into appropriate musical form by Alfred Amy (1867-1936) of Jersey who in 1887 became an L.R.A.M. in London. He returned to London nine years later spending five years at the Royal Academy of Music and was awarded the distinction of Associate. He won a first prize for the composition of a song at the Stratford Musical Festival in 1900 and was in great demand as piano accompanist at leading concerts in the country. He returned to Jersey in 1912 to become the Island's leading musician and teacher.

Tags: Jerriais, jèrriais