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Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Too Many Songs About Love and Not Enough About Whaling

So said Mike Harding of the new acoustic and folk scenes.
Stuart Maconie in his excellent book - The People's Songs - the Story of Modern Britain in 50 Records affectionately describes folk music as containing a surprising number of tales concerning people being murdered down by the river,having their maidenhood taken by inconstant lovers and unfaithful knights, going on whaling expeditions,seeing sudden apparitions of drowned lovers, being robbed by good-time girls in the middle of the night, and prospecting for gold.

You will be delighted to note that all of the above feature in the music of Steeleye Span. You will also be happy to hear that gritty ballads of industrial labour, sea shanties and work songs appear on their 21st album from 2009 Cogs, Wheels and Lovers.
Featuring the dulcet tones of Maddy Prior

Steeleye Span - Creeping Jane

Steeleye Span - The Machiner's Song


  1. I have some of their early stuff, but this is the first 21st century Steeleye Span I've heard. 'Creeping Jane' is a bit like Status Quo fronted by Maddy Prior. I enjoyed 'The Machiner's Song' a great deal though.

    1. Maddy Prior fronting the Quo - you heard it here first!

  2. I don't have anything quite like that in my collection. Never would have guessed it was from 2009... maybe 1609. The Machiner's Song, in particular, is fascinating. Really interesting choice today, CC.

  3. With you on the Stewart Maconie book which I've had for a while but only just got round to reading over Xmas. The bloke is a terrific writer, raconteur and social commentator. The chapter on goth music was particularly impressive and indeed moving....I had forgotten all about that dreadful murder of the poor lass just cos she dared to look and dress differently from the norm in her small town.