Albums »Folk Songs of Olde England, Volume One

tim hart and maddy prior folk songs of olde englandDespite my well documented love for Renaissance Rock, I'll be the first to admit that it can be hard to pull off. The genre seems to just want to be annoying sometimes but in the hands of some of the British folk movement's most adored, Tim Hart and Maddy Prior (who became founding members of frequent Brix Picks songs of the week entries, Steeleye Span) the music should sound perfect. On Folk Songs of Olde England Volume One, it does.

Comprised of all traditional English songs, this album was recorded by the love birds as they were playing the folk club circuit. These are simple, beautiful renditions that highlight both of their unique voices.

There's a great murder ballad called Bruton Town, a rousing ode to drink and play called Lish Young Buy A Broom which happens to be my favorite song in the collection, but by far the dominant theme is the call of the sea coming between the powerless love of a man and a woman just listen to Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy, Maid That's Deep In Love, Farewell Nancy, and The Rambling Sailor.

Looks like Looking Glass would have had a runaway hit on their hands with the similarly themed Brandy (Your a Fine Girl) if only they had released it in the 17th century.

While this album may not sway those that hate this kind of music (trust me I tried with a non believer), it is sure to become a favorite of fellow fans. Unlike their later more complex arrangements, these are pure and pleasant and each songs is as good as the last. Even though it was reissued in 1991, it is no longer available, but used copies pop up on ebay and it can be found to download too.

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Posted on September 1, 2008

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