Click back to Down Where The Drunkards Roll and you’ll spot the same source credited and reference made to this song, as Jon again recalls “I learnt this from Adrian Matthews many years ago on FSC. It was one of the first songs I arranged for fiddle and voice and somewhere in the vaults of Topic records there is an ill-fated solo demo with it on. Some years later John (Spiers – Ed.)and I put a duo arrangement together and I think it is probably fair to say that that arrangement became the cornerstone of our subsequent career. So thank you Adrian!” Priceless! This also relates directly back to Derry Gaol on 7th August being another of the variants of a condemned person (in this case a young maid) trying to delay her execution in the hope of being saved, by a fairly hapless cast of relatives. Thank God for the true love as the family don’t seem to have either the will or the cash to saver her. The prickle-eye or more simply prickly Bush simply refers to the mortal peril she is in. It is of course Child Ballad #95 and I have to say I was most impressed by this Wiki page. At the risk of stoking folkist ire, millions of course have this via Led Zep 111 and whilst the Wiki entry makes much of the modern variants, I found the origin details fascinating. You can also Mudcat away for some considerable time starting here.
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