The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #421   Message #551027
Posted By: Bearheart
15-Sep-01 - 06:20 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Heather Down the Moor (from June Tabor)
Subject: RE: Tabor - Heather Down the Moor
June Tabor did record Belle's version, Queen Amang the Heather, on one of her first two albums, many years ago. It is the version of this song that I've been singing myself for about as many years. Archie did record it also. In the early-mid '80's Belle sang it at Scottish Week at Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops (alas, Scootish Week no longwer exists). Belle herself recorded it though I have no info on that as I don't own the album, but it was one of her best songs, in my humble opinion.

Since that time I've heard at least two other versions, one Paul Brady recorded I think in the '80's. Again, don't own the album so I can't give details.

What I like about the version June recorded first is its lyrical, poetic quality. One of those gems that is actually best without accompaniment, and which encourages the singer to ornament in the old style. Many of the more up-tempo ones seem best with instrumental arrangement. This version is really a singer's song... Also if you like the old songs June did a great job of doing some of the old ballads on those two early albums. They are really worth looking for. She also did great covers of two of Eric Bogle's best on those early albums, The Band Played Waltzing Matilda and The Green Fields of France.