Side 1 of the LP opens with “Jams O’Donnels Jig” (2.33). This is an instrumental, and as it starts, one fears the worst; it is a laid back bass based phrase with distinct shades of the “gently funky” nature of the previous disastrous album. Once the track gets going, however, this is not a bad Swarbrick violin thing, and a good piece on the whole.
Track 2 is “The Eynsham Poacher” (2.24). This is a close harmony jolly little ditty and it SOUNDS RIGHT, absloutely right, thank God.
Track 3 is “Adieu Adieu” (2.26) and the same description can be applied to it as for Track 2. The good times have returned. 1977 is looking really good now.
Track 4 closes Side 1 of the LP and is the title track, “The Bonny Bunch of Roses” (12.27). This is a long “Sloth” style classic epic, and a tour de force. However, it is in the spirit of “Reynardine” from ” Liege & Lief” from 8 years previously [see above] in its delivery, and so a bit on the turgid side. It is largely a Dave Swarbrick solo vocal, and resembles “A Sailor’s Life” from the phenomenal “Unhalfbricking”, [see above] in that it livens up a bit after the first four minutes, or so it seems at that point. In fact, what is happening with this one is that Dave Swarbrick & Co are trying their level best to keep the song varied, throwing in a few bits of “Sloth” style harmonies mid way through, and ending the piece with a dramatic, though sparse, srirring crescendo.