(Buying the albums sampled on “Picnic”).
Today, again,some more from the notes, dated January 1993 and credited to David Suff and John Tobler, from the liner to the expanded CD.
“Shirley Collins recalled in a 1988 interview with Maggie Holland in “Folk Roots” “Dolly and I used to go along to rehearsals of Musica Reservata, and got to know the musicians. It was suggested, and we all agreed,that it would be a good idea to wed English traditional tunes to these wonderful Early instruments that were so rough and not perfectly tuned. We just took it from there.”
“The suite of interlinked songs describing the break up of relationships brought about by the huge numbers of young men slaughtered on the battlefields of Europe during the First World War – “When the maypole, which had once been the centre of so many village greens, was replaced by the memorial stone” – was first titled “Anthems Before The Fall”. The piece was originally recorded for BBC Radio 1’s “My Kind Of Folk” in August, 1968. A recording contract with EMI’s “progressive” Harvest label soon followed, and the suite was recorded in February, 1969. The second side of the album featured material from Shirley’s repertoire at the time, again with accompaniments by the “natural orchestra”. Shirley later recalled “Most of our energies were directed towards “Anthems”. When I look back on it, I think it is a rather random selection of material on side two, but they were current in our repertoire and I loved singing those songs.””
Just one more bit to go, next time.