Cold Blow And The Rainy Night


Jon  refers to a legendary Irish combo here saying, “Possibly the folk album that made the biggest impression on me as a teenager was Planxty’s Cold Blow And The Rainy Night it even inspired me to try to learn the Uileann pipes. There are a fair few English songs in the Planxty repertoire – I think this is one, but I’m not 100% sure.”

With both Christy Moore and Paul Brady passing through the ranks, Planxty are without doubt a hugely important band and this is the title track of their third LP from 74, the year when the latter stepped into the formers shoes. Notes on the CD version reveal that Christy learnt this from one Mike Harding of Crumpsall, Manchester. A version of this is of course a highlight of the first CD from The Imagined Village, but the tune’s somewhat different. Martin Carthy, with and without Steeleye has recorded this, as has daughter Eliza and you can read more about that at Mainly Norfolk. As to origins, well it’s fair to say that Mudcat, erm, muddies the waters somewhat. Inevitably it’s part of a family of similarly themed songs that seems to be popular on both sides of Hadrian’s Wall. It seems sensible to call this version English, however, given Planxty’s accredited source and the soldier as the protagonist is another signature. Oddly no one suggests an Irish version and even Planxty imported it, which given the numerous versions, even Burns had a go at improving it, seems odd. Maybe I’m just missing something, so if you know better please let us know. Personally I love the I.V. version of this and that album in general, but this is great. There’s a  jauntiness in the tune that favours the soldier, if you know what I mean, although this is another of those moral fables about the perils of persuasion. Young maidens – you have been warned!

You can buy the February digital album now from all good download stores.


27 Responses to “Cold Blow And The Rainy Night”

  1. Adam says:

    Great rendition! Thank you for this, Jon. Your pipes seem to be just fine without being Uileann!

  2. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    Good to hear an old favourite & tune&lyrics that I know.

  3. Shelley says:

    Not heard the song sung to this tune before. Great song and very appropriate for the current weather conditions!

  4. Nick Passmore says:

    I look forward to hearing this. Anyone know what’s happened to the i-tunes podcast? Haven’t had this or the previous 2 songs yet….

  5. John Burton says:

    I just had a very strange experience, I was listening to Dave Eyre’s radio show
    Thank Goodness its Folk 28-01-2011 at 10:00, it was just going throught the opening part of the podcast. So, I opened in a new tab AFSAD to see what the new song was for the day, when this voice I recognized came out of the radio saying “Hello this is Jon Boden and you are listening to……” I thought what did I press then? when the voice continued introducing Dave’s show, most confusing.
    Anyhow back to AFSAD, I don’t remember Mike Harding doing this song, but I did go to a few different Fok Clubs in the late 60’s around Northern Manchester which were in some cases run by Mike, where Christy also sang. So they definitely knew each other back then.

  6. Reinhard says:

    Nick, I’d guess it was a cold blow and rainy weekend (even the local soccer derby Hamburg HSV – Hamburg St Pauli was cancelled due to the flooded lawn!) and the Simon clone responsible for uploading to itoons didn’t want to leave his snug and warm home. So we’re looking forward to a bunch of songs tomorrow.

  7. Nick Passmore says:

    Thanks, Reinhard: it seems to be sorted now; and I’ve get tomorrow’s song already!

  8. Jane Ramsden says:

    I love this version of the ‘Soldier, Soldier, Won’t You Marry Me?’ song variety that I learnt as a child. Well, the 50s grown-ups were hardly gonna teach the saucy one to maidens, were they? Ha ha!

    There is a Dubliners’ ‘Night Visiting Song’ by Luke Kelly with a very similar, but more touching story:

    I must away now, I can no longer tarry,
    This morning’s tempest, I have to cross,
    I must be guided, without a stumble,
    Into the arms I love the most

    And when he came to his true love’s dwelling,
    He knelt down gently, upon a stone,
    And through her window, he whispered lowly
    Is my true lover within at home.

    Wake up, wake up, love, it is thine own true lover,
    Wake up, wake up, love, and let me in,
    For I am tired, love, and oh so weary,
    And more than near drenched to the skin.

    She’s raised her up her down soft pillow,
    She’s raised her up, and she’s let him in,
    And they were locked in each other’s arms,
    Untill that long night was past and gone.

    And when that long night was passed and over
    And when the small clouds began to grow,
    He’s taken her hand and they kissed and parted,
    Then he saddled and mounted and away did go.
    (Repeat first verse)

  9. Peter Walsh says:

    Well trancsribed Janie! Great. I’ve put that one in a Spotify playlist and you got it word perfect. Now to Jon’s performance: fantastic! Blew me away; which it would on a cold and rainy night, hahaha! Last version I heard was totally different, by The Imagined Village (as Simon has pointed out) at the Cambridge Folk Fest, —from the telly; I still haven’t got round to attending one, comes of living ‘up North’!!!

  10. Muzza(NW Surrey.UK) says:

    Drat…………I had intended to get my version up before this came up again!!…
    and I’m getting fed up with people noting down my love life and writing folk songs about it!…………….We have had a tiddly bit of snow “Darhn Sarf”….
    my ex-wife has been staring through the window for the last 3 hours…..I might let her come in later.

  11. Diana says:

    I remember Jane’s song very well “with your musket, pipe and drum” but there the woman got away unscathed, and they don’t usually in a lot of folk songs and certainly not in Jon’s song today.

  12. Linda says:

    @Diana, Colin still off work at least three weeks. Has to wear split at night but has to take it off during the day and do exercises. Has to go for physio now and back for another xray in six weeks!
    Liked todays song fits well with the weather we’re having. Just finished clearing snow off the car!

  13. Jane Ramsden says:

    @ Diana: Well, she got let down in ‘Soldier, Soldier’ and we don’t really know whether the reason she was so keen to marry him was ‘cos she’d already given him her all! T’was ever thus!

    We were snowed in up here, Muzza, but is thawing now so can move car off hill up to the top road, ready to get to garage for MOT & service in the icy morn! Seems to me your love life’s so many and varied. Little Musgrave, that it’s encapsulaTed in several songs! Don’t know one about a lost sock tho…

    3 hours is a long time to leave a woman standing in a snowy bower… methinks you should let her in. You’ve obviously still got what it takes, Muzzy!

    I like this song, but the FaceBook ‘Like’ button has disappeared for the mo. If I disappear tomorrow, will be ‘cos that’s when my McEffYee cover runs out and the renewal has not activaTed. No doubt sthg else that should be simple, but turns complicaTed, to sort out!

  14. Daina says:

    I expect you are right Jane, I cannot remember all the words to the song but like you said nowt changes. Hope “Like” button does not disappear on FB, but you can’t rely on anyone these days and once your cover hasn’t been activated it will probably cost you to sort it out. Keep at em!

  15. Diana says:

    Sorry to hear the bad news Linda. Poor Colin is having a rough time of it isn’t he. He must get bored with being home all day and not able to do much. It has been a long stretch for him and I don’t expect physio is fun either.

  16. Linda says:

    Still fits the weather, cold, snowing and let out from work early!
    Another of those songs that Jon sounds to enjoy singing.

  17. Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    I can’t believe that I haven’t put my version on Youtube yet as I have been singing this one for years………..Jon’s version just right.

  18. Diana says:

    Pull yourself together there Muzza – and get going. Would like to hear your version.

  19. Little old Muzza(N.W surrey.UK) says:

    Yep..still haven’t done my version!…….

  20. Diana says:

    Well sung by Jon, but Muzza still waiting to hear your version so get a hustle on do!

  21. Jane Ramsden says:

    Love this song, esp. since heard Eliza Carthy sing it live, but looking forward to Muzza’s version on YouTube!

  22. Old Muzza (N.W.Surrey UK) says:

    Still haven’t put on youtube……….will do it by the end of the month

  23. Old Muzza(N.W.Surrey.UK) says:

    Hoo-blooming-ray…..the daft old git has managed to upload his version at last …..
    (with a little frail voice and sounding more like Henry Kipper every day!!!!)
    Some bad news(debateable)…THE HAT….was loaned to the morris men and subsequently nicked by an uncouth youth during a lapse in the Christmas mummer’s performance…
    some folk have no taste eh Jane!

  24. Linda says:

    Missed this last year Muzza glad you got there eventually……

  25. OldMuzza9NWSurrey UK) says:

    Ref the video above…..Cor Blimey guvnor….the old voice was certainly struggling five years ago but I must get some Brownie points for hanging in there and rescuing the blip near the end…..I usually smile when that happens but I looked a bit serious this time!

  26. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    What a lovely od fella singing in that video!

  27. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Not that it matters but…..the clock on each comment…..
    is an hour fast (until the 21st March!)
    Yup has taken me 5 months to spot that!

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