The website for Dr Martin Shaw OBE FRCM (1875 –1958)

"I reckoned myself no fool - till I met a maid on the Brookland Road..."

Brookland Road


First bars of sheet music fading out into a circle shape. Instruction, 'urgently'.


17: Brookland Road

Recording Artists: Iain Burnside & Roderick Williams

Brookland is a village in the middle of Romney Marsh in Kent. The subject of the song is a young man walking through Romney Marsh to Brookland (hence the title) who encounters a fairy maid. The encounter leads to his unrequited love.


Shaw’s song dedication is To my brother Geoffrey.

Geoffrey Shaw was a composer and musical educator, who became organist at St Mary’s Primrose Hill after Martin Shaw left to become Music Director at St Martin’s in the Fields in 1920. The two brothers and their families enjoyed a close relationship.

Whilst it may be a mistake to read too much into the subject of this dedication, it does happen to be that when Geoffrey was courting his wife May, at the time a pupil at his mother's school on the coast in Kent, roads were involved. Geoffrey would walk all the way from London to see her, sometimes bedding down in a haystack overnight.


See also How we Met: Joan Cobbold and Martin Shaw...


Rudyard Kipling
from Songs from Books 1913
Poem first published 1910 in Rewards and Fairies
Curwen 1919 currently out of print