(Buying the albums sampled on “Picnic”).
Side 2 of the LP is very nearly indeed up to the almost perfect standard of Side 1. Unlike Side 1, it contains separate and unrelated songs, seven in all, but every one (with one arguable exception) a winner.
Track 1 is “Rambleaway”, a most beautiful and haunting song, and well suited to the ancient instruments. Likewise the second track, “Ca’ the Yowes” (Robbie Burns).
Track 3 is “God Dog”, written by Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band, and wonderfully suitable for the “Anthems” treatment. There is an ISB version of this one on the Chelsea sessions CD, and since then various other admirable fanzine compilations.
Track 4 is “Bonny Cuckoo”, a song I had first heard done by Pentangle, but again a perfect fit for these old rebecs and things.
Track 5 is the romp of the LP, the splendid “Nellie was a Milkmaid”, in the same vein as the Islington Maid one on “Love, Death & the Lady”. Excellent fun from beginning to end.
Track 6 is my least favourite one on the LP, as Shirley sings it unaccompanied. Nothing wrong with that, but I just love those ancient instruments. It is here called “Gathering Rushes in the Month of May”, again one I had previously heard by Pentangle, under a different title, and where curiously Jaqui McShee also does it unaccompanied.
The last track is Track 7, “The Gower Wassail”, a brilliant song which I had first come across in a rather longer version as the first track on Steeleye Span’s “Ten Man Mop”.
The words “..within sound” appear in this song, and form the title of the Shirley Collins box set.