[Year cover]

CD - Park PRK CD 20
(UK, 1993)

Maddy Prior:

1. Snowdrops / Birth (M. Prior)
2. Swimming Song (L. Wainrwight III)
3. Marigold (M. Prior) / Harvest Home (Elvey)
4. Red & Green (M. Prior)
5. Long Shadows (M. Prior)
6. Somewhere Along The Road (R. Kemp)
7. What Had You For Supper (trad. arr. Prior / Kemp)
8. Saucy Sailor (trad. arr. M. Prior / N. Holland)
9. The Fabled Hare
    a. I Sall Goe Until A Hare (M. Prior)
    b. Ruled By The Moon (M. Prior)
    c. Scent Of Dog (M. Prior)
    d. Winter Wakeneth (M. Kiszko)
    e. The Hare Said (M. Prior)
    f. I Shall Run And Run (M. Prior)
10. Deep In The Darkest Night (R. Kemp)
11. Boys Of Bedlam (N. Jones / D. Morgan)
12. Twa Corbies (trad. arr. M. Prior / N. Holland)

musicians: Maddy Prior - vocals
Nick Nolland - keyboards
Mick Dyche - acoustic guitars
Richard Lee - bass
Rick Kemp - electric bass
Marin Loveday - cello
Liam Genocky- percussion
Andy Watts - shawms, recorder
John Dochary - bass
other credits: Produced by Maddy Prior
Recorded at VM, Oxford
Engineered by Chris Baylis and Al Hodgson
Mixed by Chris Baylis, Nick Holland and Maddy Prior
Photography by Keith Morris
© 1993 Park Records

N o t e s   a n d   L y r i c s


     This is a series of seasonal songs. All have been written separately and often with years between but I was stumped for a summer song and so I chose one of the best crafted and most evocative songs I could find.
     I'm indebted to Andy Watts and Nick Holland for the linking of the songs, and in case you miss it, the four seasons are connected by instrumental bridges that echo the chimes of a clock, in that they gather an extra phrase each quarter.


Snowdrops and bluebells
Primroses and daffodils
Will ring out loud bells
To welcome in the spring
Will ring out loud bells
To welcome in the spring


Birth is here, it's breaking out of death's hour
In fertile bulb and bud we see the promised flower
Deep in the circle of the sun's power now returning

The heart is light, the step is bright in sunshine
Throw caution to the winds now that the weather's fine
Dance in the joy that is yours and mine in spring returning

Swimming Song

This summer I went swimming
This summer I might have drowned
But I held my breath and I kicked my feet
And I threw my arms around

This summer I did the swan dive
And jack knife for you all
And once when you weren't looking
I did a cannon ball

This summer I swam in the ocean
And swam in a swimming pool
Salt in my wounds, chlorine in my eyes
I'm a self-destructive fool

This summer I did the backstroke
And you know that's not all
I did the breaststroke and the butterfly
And the old Australian crawl

This summer I swam in a public place
And a reservoir to boot
At the latter I was informal
At the former I wore my suit
I wore my swimming suit

Long Shadows

When long shadows fall and dwarf the trees at evening
When white winter light burnishes the streams
Then I will bring you a coat of soft lambs wool
To keep your back from the keen northern wind

When snow shames the sheep that huddle to the leeward
When snowdrops peep from darkness unfurled
Then I will bring you boots with fur linings
To keep your feet dry as you walk o'er the world

When home becomes a prison and snowdrifts lock the door
When February Fildyke drenches the moor
When black rain freezes and whips at your hand
Then I will bring you a carriage with wheels of wind
To take you away from this barren land


When the marigold no longer blooms
When summer sun is turned to gloom
See the forecast winter snow
See the evergreen that lonely grows
Move close to the fireplace
Neglect the garden
See the ground harden
At a ghostly place

The golden summer sun is silver now
The fruit has fallen from the bough
The season moves to chestnut time
Toffee apples, treacle and mulled wine
Quilts and furs and woolens gay
You wrap around you
But the cold confounds you
On an autumn day

Stout and strong the walls of home and hearth
Curtains drawn against the draft
The rake has reaped, the blade has mown
Nights draw in to call the harvest home
The quiet of a heart at rest
In peace abounded
By love surrounded
Here the home is blest

Harvest Home

Come, ye thankful people, come
Raise the song of harvest home
All be safely gathered in
Ere the winter storms begin
God, our Maker doth provide
For our wants to be supplied
Come, ye thankful people, come
Raise the song of harvest home

Red & Green

Red and Green together be seen
In the dark time of the year
Red and Green together be seen
In the time of dread and fear

Green for the thorn of the holly leaf
That shines in candlelight
That holds the hope of evergreen
And glimmers in the night


Red for the berry round and full
A drop of blood on snow
That shows us our humanity
The fruit from which we grow


These rocky fields of black and white
Demanding endless toil
The misty sun gives tired light
To raise the sleeping soil


Somewhere Along The Road

     This is one of Rick Kemp's songs with its eery landscape and haunting melody.
Somewhere along the road
Somebody waits for me
Beyond these present storms that blow
Waiting patiently
No secrets held in an open heart
A spirit that soars over mountains
Somewhere along the road
Somebody waits for me

Somehow a guiding light
Always shows the way
To those that lose their way by night
Searching for the day
A day away from happiness
Tomorrow will be a new sunrise
Somewhere along the road
Somebody waits for me

Sometime when winds are still
Perhaps beyond this silent hill
A voice will call to me
Raise your eyes to see my world
Raise your voice and sing out
Somewhere along the road
Somebody waits for me

Somebody waits for me

What Had You For Supper

     I've altered the lyrics of this attractive Irish version of Lord Randall to give it an extra kick of relevance. Poison in small quantities can be healing, in gross mass is dangerous stuff.
     I heard this version of Lord Randall from the singing of Paddy Reilly and he called it `Buried in Kilkenny'.
What had you for your supper my own darling boy
What had you for your supper my comfort and my joy
I had fish all from the Irish sea
Mother make my bed soon
For I'm sick to my heart and I fain
would lie down
What will you leave your wife...
I will leave her with compensation
She can fight for it when I'm gone...

What will you leave your son my own...
I will leave him my job at Sellafield
So that he won't need to sign on...

Saucy Sailor

     Saucy Sailor is a wonderful song to sing and I've sung it for many years with Steeleye and it is delightfully comfortable. Its cynical and spiteful lyrics simply trip of the tongue.
Come me own one, come me fair one,
Come now unto me,
Could you fancy a poor sailor lad
Who has just come from sea.

O you're ragged love, and you're dirty love,
And your clothes smell much of tar,
So be gone you saucy sailor lad,
So be gone you Jack Tar.

If I am ragged love and I'm dirty love,
And my clothes smell much of tar,
I have silver in my pocket love
And gold in great store.

And then when she heard him say so
On her bended knees she fell,
I will marry my dear Henry
For I love a sailor lad so well.

Do you think that I am foolish love,
Do you think that I am mad,
For to wed with a poor country girl
Where no fortune's to be had?

I will cross the briny ocean,
I will whistle and sing,
And since you have refused the offer love
Some other girl shall wear the ring.

I am frolicsome and I am easy,
Good tempered and free,
And I don't give a single pin my boys
What the world thinks of me.

The Fabled Hare

     I've always recognized that hares are different from rabbits, but it was only when I was invited to write some music for a television wild life programme about them, that I realized their true individuality and rangey wildness.
     They do not burrow, but live precariously on the surface in ``forms'' with strong hind legs as their main asset, in that speed is their best defense against foxes and dogs. The very speed and agility of the hare has prompted man to breed a hound equal to the challenge, but the hare can dodge quicker than all but the nimblest dogs and its stamina is superior after a short distance, so may survive even the handicapped situation of ``coursing''.
     Their mad courting behaviour is related to March because that is when they are most visible although they continue their mating activities through most of the year, hidden by darkness or long grass. Mainly the ``boxing'' they indulge in is between male and female. She is keeping them in order.
     The hare has deep mythological significance and is known in Chinese, American Indian as wall as European stories. It was the symbol of Aestre, the pagan goddess of rebirth, before Christianity became prevalent in these islands, and as the old religion was overturned so its gods and symbols became associated with the devil and hares were thought to be witches ``familiars''. This piece of music opens with a spell reputed to be used by Scottish witches to change into hares to travel undetected.
     The Easter bunny is a mutated descendant of the fabled hare.

I Sall Goe Until A Hare

I sall goe until a hare
Wi sorrow and sick mickle care
I sall goe in the devil's name
An while I come home again

Ruled By The Moon

I am ruled by the moon
I move under her mantle
I am the symbol of her moods
Of rebirths cycle

I am companion to the gods
I can conceive while I am pregnant
I call the dawn and spring in
I am the advent

I bring life from water
In a cup that must be broken
I whisper to the bursting egg
I'm Aestre's token

Scent Of Dog

Scent of dog, scent of man
Closer closer smell them coming
Hot breath, hot death
Closer closer hard the running

Tongues pant, hearts thump
Closer closer through the fields
Teeth snap, bones crack
Closer closer at my heels

Nearer yet and nearer
I can feel the poacher's knife
He is running for his dinner
I am running for my life

Winter Wakeneth

Wynter wakeneth al my care
nou this leues waxeth bare;
ofte y sike ant mourne sare
when hit cometh in my thoht
of this worldes joie hou hit geth al to noht.

The Hare Said

Man sprays no weeds
The scythe cuts the corn bleeds
Leverets trapped in a harvest blade
'Tis the time of man, the hare said

Here's the tractor here's the plough
And where shall we go now
We'll lie in forms as still as the dead
In the open fields, the hare said.

No cover but the camouflage
From the winter's wild and bitter rage
All our defense is in our legs
We run like the wind, the hare said.

I Shall Run And Run

I've been cursed, I've been despised
As a witch with darkest powers
- I sall goe until a hare -
I've been hunted, trapped and punished
In these my darkest hours
- Wi sorrow and such mickle care -

I've been thrown into the fire
But I do not fear it
- I sall goe until a hare -
It purifies and resurrects
And I can bear it
- Wi sorrow and such mickle care -

I sall goe until a hare
wi sorrow and such mickle care

I have outrun dogs and foxes
And I've dodged the tractor wheels
- I sall goe until a hare -
I've survived your persecution
And your ever changing field
- Wi sorrow and such mickle care -

I will run and run forever
Where the wild fields are mine
- I sall goe until a hare -
I'm a symbol of endurance
Running through the mists of time
- Wi sorrow and such mickle care -

Deep In The Darkest Night

     Rick Kemp wrote this beautiful song of loving friendship that is set on a strange and dreamy sea shore.
Deep in the darkest night
Under a midnight blue
Standing alone with the sea and the moon
You said that you'd come back soon
Deep in the darkest night

Deep in a memory
A fugitive on the run
Looking for somewhere to make a bed
Somewhere to lie a restless head
Deep in a memory

I'll be your harbour when there's a storm
I'll be your sunshine I'll keep you warm
I'll be your shelter in the rain and snow
Remember wherever you go
Deep in the darkest night

Dans un noir de nuit
Je n'avais rien dit
Souvenir d'un ête chaud
Souvenir de soleil et d'eau
Dans un noir de nuit

Deep in your heart you know
You're running against the wind
Taking your loneliness in your case
The same old sadness from place to place
Deep in your heart you know


Dans un noir de nuit
Dans un noir de nuit
Deep in the darkest night

Boys Of Bedlam

     Bedlam was the popular name given to Bethlehem Hospital for the Insane. This lyric, set to music by Nic Jones and Dave Moran, has a certain Brechtian quality and is certainly one of the most grotesque and alarming images of madness that I know.
For to see mad Tom of Bedlam
10,000 miles I'd travel
Mad Mauldin goes on dirty toes
For to save her shoes from gravel

Still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys
Bedlam boys are bonny
For they all go bare and they live by the air
And they want no drink nor money

I went down to Satan's kitchen
For to get me food this morning
And there I got soul's piping hot
All on the spit a-turning


My staff hath murdered giants
And my bag along I carries
I cut mince pies from children's thighs
With which to feed the fairies


My spirit's white as lightning
Would on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake
Whenever they espied me


And when that I have murdered
The man in the moon to a powder
His staff I'll break and his dog I'll shake
And there'll howl no demon louder


For to see mad Tom of Bedlam
10,000 years I'd travel
Mad Mauldin goes on dirty toes
For to save her shoes from gravel


Twa Corbies

     Reflection on death in its physical reality is known to the Buddhists and Hindus, but in the West only in Medieval times was it dealt with directly and evoked by skeletons carved on graves and gruesome images of Death the Reaper. In these more antiseptic times there is little in this line and flowers, wreaths and gentle doves cloud the unacceptable thought of our mortal destination. This song dates from earlier times and is for me a brilliant examination of decay.
     Ray Fisher set the stark old Scottish words to this moody Breton tune and we have amplified its gothic atmosphere.
     Corbies means Carrion Crow and hause bane is a breast bone.
As I was walking all alane
I met twa corbies making a main
And tane inta the tither did say O
Where shall we gang and dine the day O

In behint yon auld fell dyke
I wat there lies a new slain knight
And naebody kens that he lies there O
But his hawk and his hound and his lady fair O

His hound is tae the hunting gane
His hound tae fetch the wild fowl hame
His lady's taen anither mate O
So we maun make our dinner sweet O

Ye'll sit on his white hause bane
And I'll pike out his bonny blue een
Wi mony a lock o' his gowden hair O
We'll theek our nest when it grows bare O

Mony a one for him makes main
But nane shall ken where he is gane
O'er his white bones when they are bare O
The wind shall blow for ever mair O

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