Jon points to Martin Carthy for this one saying, “Hell of a Carthy track this. I don’t normally like double tracked voices in harmony but there’s something punky and at the same time vaguely prog about the way he pulls it off over a fairly brutal dulcimer drone. What a genius. It’s a good song too.” There’s a little flourish of guitar here and there as well. Having dug out The Carthy Chronicles Box set to check this out, I must say I’m impressed with the arrangement and the notes add the following…
“To trace Martin’s involvement with this song, one must turn to the BBC. He had performed it as part of Steeleye Span on the John Peel show on June 27, 1970. On March 1 1973 he would revisit the song on the same show – this time with the Albion Country Band.”
His recorded version sits between the two and again the notes make mention of the multi tracking (“the effects of being in a band”), but his version also served as the template for the Albion Band’s recording on Battle Of The Field. The vaguely eastern vibe of the dulcimer drone is taken further that way by Sue Harris’ oboe in one of those bold fusions that makes you question where melodies come from. You can read more at Mainly Norfolk here and Mudcat is quite interesting here, referencing a Scottish version, which chimes with Tony Rose’s notes, reprinted by Reinhard. They refer to the [Greig-]Duncan collection and you may want to have a little look at this Mudcat thread for more information on that, although it starts some years ago and a swift shufti on Amazon suggests vols 1,2 and 8 are available. They sound worth researching further and if anyone has them already or knows more, I’d like to know and I’m sure others would to.
You can buy the October digital album now from all good download stores: