Jon says,“The Steeleye version of this is one of my favourite of their tracks,” but goes on to name his source for this as The Witches Of Elswick adding, “but this version is much more robust and most suited for massed voices.” Having managed to put my hands on their version (on the Hells Belles CD) I have to agree, as they do it so very well with four part harmony to kill for. Their sleeve notes humorously refer to Bryony Griffith hearing it, aged 14, on a borrowed copy of a Steeleye album and she“was most impressed that a folk song had her name in it.” (It took me a moment!) But their recorded version was eventually “found in a Baring Gould and Cecil Sharp book of English Folk Songs For Schools.” I turned to Mainly Norfolk for the usual detailed illumination into the recordings and note an early Bellamy version, now to be found on the Fellside double CD set Fair England’s Shore. It’s shorter and not quite as mellifluous as the Witches’ or indeed Jon’s versions. Steeleye go a bit further and really bring out the slightly dissonant drone in the second half of the verse in their arrangement, which I also really like. I know some of you won’t fully approve of their rockisms, but I’ve realised I’ve got some serious shopping to do. In the meantime get those harmonies working see what you can do.
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