Martin and Shan Graebe's website

 Martin and Shan Graebe



Important News

We have recently launched a new CD - a compilation of some of the songs from our previous albums which have now sold out. You can find the details here or by clicking the tab to the right.

This is the trigger for a much-needed overhaul of this website and this may take some time. The changes will, almost inevitably, create a few errors, for which we apologise in advance. Please be patient. Normal service will be resumed.

One problem that I have become aware of in the last few weeks is that the plug-in software, Sibelius Scorch, which we have used for many of the songs on the website is no longer supported by all web browsers. We will need to find a way round this. At present I know that it does work with Firefox. There may be a fix for other browsers - watch this space


Martin and Shan

30 August 2016



Welcome to our website!

From here you can find your way to the other pages using the links to the right of the screen. The main pages are:

   Latest News - for the latest news about what we are doing see below

   About us - who we are and what we do

   Lists  -  Gigs and talks, bibliography, discography and links to related websites

   Parallel Strands - pages for our 2005 CD with details, words, samples and photos

   Dusty Diamonds
- pages for our second CD, released August 2008

   Martin's Songbook - A Collection of songs written or set by Martin

   Voice - download the hand-outs for Shan's Voice workshops

   Education - download the hand-outs for Shan's work with SEN teachers

   Song School  Songs - as taught by Shan at the Baring-Gould Song School

We will continue to add material to this site and try to keep the 'Lists' page up to date. Shan is still writing handouts related to her voice workshops and teaching and we will add anything new as she does so.

We hope that you enjoy exploring the site. If you would like to get in touch with us then contact details are on the card below.

If you have found this site useful, then you might like to have a look at our other site that deals specifically with the song collection of Sabine Baring-Gould - There you will find information about that wonderful collector and an increasing number of songs selected from his marvelous hoard.


Martin and Shan





Latest News:

Rather late with the latest news!

Moving to Cirencester has been great - but settling in took a lot of our time in 2015 and reduced the time we had for getting out and about singing. We are now well settled and while we have continued to visit several of the clubs and places that we knew well when we lived in Gloucester, we have discovered more great singing opportunities are now within reach.

The other reason for cutting back on our gigging was to allow Martin to spend a greater part of his time on writing his book about Sabine Baring-Gould and his folk song collection.* last week the last chapter of this was written and the first draft of the book is complete (apart from appendices, Bibliography and index - Still a bit to do). After all the years of research that have gone into it, it is a great relief to have got to this stage. Watch this space for further news.

We're delighted that our planned holiday to Canada has coincided with a couple of festivals and we have been invited to perform at the Mill Race Festival in Cambridge, Ontario. If you are going to be there, be sure to say hello.

* Look back to 2014 to see how far behind schedule he is!

We've moved

As we come to the end of 2014, our big news is that we have moved from Gloucester to Cirencester. Our new address details are above and on our contact page. We have a number of interesting gigs coming up in 2015 and we will continue to add to the list as we go into the New Year.

Shan's collection of children's songs, Rosy Apples, is selling well and we have already gone into our second print-run. Details on the tab to the right.

This is a short update, as there is a lot to catch up on after the move and we have been without a broadband connection for a couple of weeks. We will look forward to seeing both ild and new friends in the coming New Year.


Not so quiet on the Western Front!

We really spoke too soon when, back in May, we wrote about 2014 being a bit quiet. We have been pretty busy for people  who were trying not to do too much. I have, it must be said, made a lot of progress with my book about Sabine Baring-Gould and, while I won't now finish the draft before the year's end as I had hoped, it is well on the way. The reason why it won't be finished by then is that we are hoping to move by the end of the year, and that is, obviously, going to be pretty disruptive.

The really good news is that Shan has finished her book of songs for grandparents and their children, Rosy Apples, More details of this can be found on the tab to the right.  


This weekend we will be going down to the Baring-Gould Folk Festival in Okehampton, though as punters, rather than performers. This was the event at which we met in 2000, so it is a bit of a wrench to be moving on - but after discussion with our friends at Wren we have agreed that we will take a break from this and from the Song School. Sadly, another festival with which Martin has been associated from its beginning 17 years ago has come to the end of its run. The Cheltenham Folk Festival in February is being replaced by a three concert event 'Folk Three'. We will miss the festival and, of course, the unpredictable, nerve-wracking but always enjoyable 'Noon Interview' that I did on the Sunday. My favourite memory is, without doubt, Shirley Colins' use of a four letter word when describing a well-known figure in the folk movement of the sixties. John Shorter put a lot of effort into creating the festival in its original form - the first winter folk festival in the country. We are grateful for his hard work - and look forward to his next venture!

Now back to sorting out the junk accumulated over the 24 years in one house. I will soon be on first-name terms with the guys at the Recycling Centre. We will update contact details when we have them - wish us luck!


2014 has been a bit quiet

This is, in part, due to our having taken a deliberate decision to hold back a bit on seeking out additional things to do, as Martin is determined to get his book on Sabine Baring-Gould in draft form before the end of the year (at present, there is a good chance that he will succeed). Another reason is that February and March disappeared when Martin picked up a bite which became infected and needed six weeks of antibiotic treatments - not nice. We also had a couple of deaths in Shan's family which meant more time out. We are now back up to full speed and getting on with our various projects.

Martin's article on Marianne Mason, the first woman to collect folk songs, was published in Folk Music Journal at the end of 2013. We made one final stop on the journey we have taken with her over the last four years when, while in South Africa, we visited the National Archive in Cape Town to see her papers and then visited her grave



While we were in South Africa we also took advantage of the opportunity to meet Sabine Baring-Gould's last surviving grand-child, Julian Baring-Gould and his wife, Dawn. We spent a pleasant time with them, hearing about Julian's life and his memories. He was born after SB-G died, and so did not know his grand-father, but he had interesting memories of other family members, as well as stories that he had been told by them.

Shan is working on an interesting project, inspired by her singing to, and with, our two lovely grand-children. She has brought together a collection of traditional songs from England and America which she has found work particularly well for singing to young children. She is planning to publish these in a book targeted at Grandparents who want to sing with their grandchildren. This will be published later in 2014.

Elsewhere on this site you will find details of the two CD's that Martin and Shan have made together. The first, Parallel Strands is now completely sold out and we only have four copies of the second, Dusty Diamonds, left. We are thinking of producing a compilation album from the two CDs, with a few additional tracks from other recording projects. Watch this space for further details.

Maybe not all that quiet, then!


Honiton Lace goes to the wall!


We were surprised and delighted to be asked by Sarah Watson, the owner of the Lacemaker's Cafe in Honiton, whether they could put a copy of Martin's song, Honiton Lace, on the wall of the cafe. We visited the cafe recently and, though Sarah was away that day, we met her husband Ray. We had expected that there would be a nice little poster but found that they have put individual verses all the way round the walls. 




Do drop in for a cuppa if you are in the area - they will be delighted to see you.  (14 Nov 2012)


Jack in his Element




As mentioned in my last news update, we have produced a new booklet of 29 sea songs from the Baring-Gould collection which were used at the workshops at Whitby and at the Baring-Gould Song School where Shan taught songs.   (14 Nov 2012)


Falling back to Earth 

In the last of these notes I was talking about Spring flowers.Now the colours are all in the leaves that are only just starting to fall from the trees. And in between we've done a lot of singing (and talking) in some lovely places and met some old friends as well as made new ones. The Sea Music Festival at Mystic was certainly a highlight but there have been so many other enjoyable festivals - Chippenham, Sidmouth, Whitby and, of course, the Baring-Gould Folk Festival and Song School that we have just returned from, tired but happy. Next weekend we head for Hungary for a few days and then settle down to doing a few folk clubs during the winter.

After a friendly discussion over a few glasses with Ron and Maddy we have decided that we are not going to continue to sing together as G and T. We are pleased that a number of people said how much they enjoyed what we did together and we are sorry that we have disappointed some people who had been hoping to hear us again. We plan on sinking a few more glasses together and you can be sure that we will still be singing in the other combinations that you have seen us in.

We have just produced a second edition of the book of songs from the Baring-Gould collection 'Come And I Will Sing You' that we have been using to teach songs at festivals and other events over the last year. We are now planning to produce a second book, this time of sea songs - watch this space!

We also plan to revise and add to the songs that are on this site and also those on  Shan has now completed the transcriptions of Baring-Gould's 'Personal Copy' manuscript and we are now checking these through. Once this has been completed (and it will take some months to do) we hope to find a way to put them up on the web. So we'd better get on with it. We'll look forward to seeing you at one of our gigs - see 'Lists'. (31st Oct 2011)


Springing into action!

The daffodils and crocuses are out, we are enjoying the Cheltenham Folk Festival weekend, and it has been an amazing couple of weeks. Most importantly we became grandparents. Eleiah Cowan has joined the family - the smallest and brightest of our jewels.

Now back to folk song. G and T sang at the Cheltenham Festival last night and we got some great feedback. We are now gathering pace as a quartet and looking forward to more appearances during the year. But Martin and Shan are also taking on more gigs and there are still a number in the pipeline - see the lists page to find a date near you.

The launch event for the Baring-Gould Manuscripts on the EFDSS 'Take Six' website went off well last week, and we are already seeing the site being accessed and used. Visit the Devon Tradition Project website to find out more and then go to the Take Six pages to look at the manuscripts.You can see a YouTube video of Martin and Shan singing at the event here.

Now the sun is blazing on my keyboard, time to get on with the singing. We hope to see you soon. (12th Feb 2011)


Digging in - or out!

After a hectic few weeks we've settled back home - just in time for the weather to go all funny and unseasonably cold. A great excuse to settle in and update websites, tidy up files and then get on with all that writing that needed doing. And, of course, to start planning next year's travels, gigs and diversions. A few things have already been added to the gig list for 2011 - more will be added as they happen.

Over the last few months we have started working with Ron and Maddy Taylor in a new group that we have named 'G and T' (for Graebe and Taylor). We will be performing at a few venues with this line-up over the next few months. See the gig list and, if you want to know more about G&T click here 

This time last year I was working on the article that has just been published in the Folk Music Journal - 'Gustav Holst, Songs of the West and the English Folk Music Movemen't. Though it started with Baring-Gould it moved far beyond what I had expected, both in terms of content and length. But it was an interesting and educational exercise and has brought me into contact with some more very interesting people. (8th Dec 2010)

Our 'World Tour' 2010

We had a great time traveling in Hong Kong, Australia, Fiji and the USA and thoroughly enjoyed meeting and making friends. Thank you to all who made our trip so much fun and for exchanging your songs with us. If we still have any money when we've added up the cost of our lovely holiday we just might do it again. It is a real joy to be with people who enjoy the music that we love so much ourselves.

And now back to summer of singing nearer to home. Even though Shan is saying that I'm not allowed out until I've done some serious work on 'The Book' we will be at a few festivals and have a couple of trips planned to Ireland in the Autumn. And we have a raft of new songs to learn! Watch this space! (7th June 2010)