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What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?

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Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 05 Aug 03 - 10:50 PM
Phil Cooper 05 Aug 03 - 10:54 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 05 Aug 03 - 10:56 PM
Bill D 05 Aug 03 - 11:01 PM
Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull 05 Aug 03 - 11:13 PM
Guy Wolff 06 Aug 03 - 12:23 AM
Thomas the Rhymer 06 Aug 03 - 12:29 AM
GUEST,Santa 06 Aug 03 - 04:24 AM
Gurney 06 Aug 03 - 05:00 AM
jacqui.c 06 Aug 03 - 05:18 AM
ooh-aah 06 Aug 03 - 06:17 AM
greg stephens 06 Aug 03 - 12:48 PM
Les from Hull 06 Aug 03 - 02:31 PM
Willa 06 Aug 03 - 02:33 PM
zanderfish3 (inactive) 06 Aug 03 - 02:44 PM
izzy 06 Aug 03 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Jim Hancock 06 Aug 03 - 08:43 PM
GUEST,weerover 07 Aug 03 - 11:43 AM
RolyH 07 Aug 03 - 04:08 PM
Snuffy 07 Aug 03 - 06:09 PM
Liz the Squeak 07 Aug 03 - 07:23 PM
zanderfish3 (inactive) 08 Aug 03 - 07:03 AM
A Wandering Minstrel 08 Aug 03 - 07:38 AM
Garry Gillard 08 Aug 03 - 10:33 AM
GUEST 08 Aug 03 - 12:02 PM
GUEST 08 Aug 03 - 01:24 PM
zanderfish3 (inactive) 08 Aug 03 - 02:55 PM
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The Barden of England 14 Aug 03 - 06:08 AM
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GUEST,Pelrad 22 Aug 03 - 10:11 AM
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red max 05 Sep 03 - 05:11 AM
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Ed. 10 Sep 03 - 08:51 AM
GUEST 10 Sep 03 - 09:19 AM
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Subject: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 10:50 PM

HElo, wahts your fabourite martin cartyjy song?
I like plrbty of him songs , so im not sure, anyway my ideae thread so i pick 3,, butbyou can only ppick one]-
1Marrowbones
3=Biker Hill
2-Stars In My Crown [as waterson Carthy]
ps[anyway, he done loloads of good songs, as him, waterson cartyh, ,stelyety span etc]
all around my hat etc,, scarbourer fair etc, anyay, i put 5 thghere already! so eahts your favourite then?
PS- i know i probly spelled somethinfg wrong, if you dont like dislexic people then get lost,mthis is music site , not spelling site,.john


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 10:54 PM

Famous flower of Serving Men, Death of Young Andrew as a close second.


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 10:56 PM

anywat, if you take the e out it fits ok, i dont think it needs an e, not sure really? can a sober joe clone tidy this up plesase.john


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Bill D
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 11:01 PM

oh, I like the OLD ones with the driving guitar...like, Three Jolly Sneaksmen, and Bonny Lass of Anglesey and The Bedmaking


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 05 Aug 03 - 11:13 PM

anyway= i tjink the best thing about his songs is= they tell a story, so , if you shut youre eyes and pretend your in the olden times etc, and listen, its like a play, shut your eyes and listen , you like it more.john.


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:23 AM

Famous flower of Serving realy was an eye opener and is a masterpeice. Geordy is incredable.. Shepard Oh Shepard is a song that never leaves me as well . THat live vertion of SkewBall is realy great. >><> Hard to stop . As I have said before Martin Carthy and Ry Cooder have in their very different ways enlarged the way I think of the Guitar. Huge thanks to Martin !!


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:29 AM

Here's Adieu to all Judges and Juries is my favorite... ttr


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 04:24 AM

The Maid and the Palmer with Brass Monkey.

Not a song, but The 51st Highland Retreat from St. Valery - I don't think that he has recorded it with solo guitar but it moves me.


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: Gurney
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 05:00 AM

The Bonny Black Hare. And that Hamlet thing.


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: jacqui.c
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 05:18 AM

Famous Flower of Seving Men for sure. I also like The Bloody Gardener.


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: ooh-aah
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 06:17 AM

Willie's Lady, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Sheepstealers.


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Subject: RE: Whats Your'e favouri Martin Carthy Song?
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 12:48 PM

"Girls" was I think the title ("Ever tried to squeeze a peach" the final line)


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 02:31 PM

I'm almost sure the 'famous flower' was on a 45rpm single. I think I actually saw it on a jukebox! Mind you I think I remember all sorts of things...


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Willa
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 02:33 PM

The Bloody Gardener


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 02:44 PM

The Hard Cheese of Old England, without a doubt


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: izzy
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 08:24 PM

Patrick Spens is pretty good. Sovay (in its various incarnations) is just great. I also love his instrumentals with the percussive guitar style --Old Tom of Oxford, Swaggering Boney, etc. But right now, my Carthy favourite (it changes from week to week, depending on which album happens to be on heavy rotation here) is The Queen of Hearts from his first album. Just beautiful. Anybody else wish he had done more love songs? After all, there are plenty in the English tradition --just ask June Tabor...

Cheers,

Isabel


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Jim Hancock
Date: 06 Aug 03 - 08:43 PM

No doubt about it - The Wind That Shakes The Barley


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,weerover
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 11:43 AM

"Jack Orion" with brilliant Swarbrick fiddling

wr


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: RolyH
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 04:08 PM

'King Henry' with the Bonaparte's Retreat tune. ("so with respectful nods towards Mike Seager, Doc Watson and many others, I swiped it.")


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Snuffy
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 06:09 PM

You're right, Zanderfish - The Hard Cheese of Old England is hard to beat, but I reckon Hunting The Cutty Wren with June Tabor runs it close.

WassaiL! V


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 07 Aug 03 - 07:23 PM

I rather like the one he does about the beaten wife stitching her husband into the bed and lamming him about the head with the cast iron skillet.... never could remember what it was called.

LTS


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 07:03 AM

Hey Snuffy I think you could be right, I started laughing when I recalled to mind. That June Tabor is not bad either.
Dave


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: A Wandering Minstrel
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 07:38 AM

I'm putting in another vote for "Famous Flower of Serving Men" there has to be respect for anyone who can remember as many verses as He can


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 10:33 AM

Famous Flower of Serving Men


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 12:02 PM

Broomfield Hill , Adam and Geordie...But I do love all of his stuff...oh, and The Bonnie Black Hare.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 01:24 PM

Sorry..I mean Brown Adam and Geordie.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: zanderfish3 (inactive)
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 02:55 PM

is that a new one ' Brown Adam and Geordie '


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Guy Wolff
Date: 08 Aug 03 - 09:39 PM

And the one where the sixteen year old girl puts up the sheet and monk falls down the well. Love it<><><> Guy


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 01:42 AM

hello, i'm suprised nobody mentions pR"ince Heaten" yet!,
and that one were he sings " I goy a dog, got a good dog too etc", dont know what its called.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 02:49 AM

Hamlet!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 06:29 AM

John

Why has nobody mentioned 'Prince Heathen'? Lets see: abduction, rape, humiliation, voyeurism, degradation...

This might have been acceptable folkie entertainment in 1969 but I would like to think we've all grown up a little since then. You know, I remember Kim Howells (the UK culture minister) decrying rap music for it's so-called celebration of violence and gang culture. Carthy, Steeleye, Mr Fox and other UK folk acts were doing material about rape, infanticide and so on throughout the 70s and 80s. Rap is supposedly evil, according to the government. Carthy gets an MBE. Go figure.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Glyn Owen
Date: 09 Aug 03 - 08:27 PM

"I've got a dog " is from while gamekeepers lie a sleeping" I think.
As to my own favourites...
1) False knight on the road.
2) John Hamilton.
3) Going and staying (incedibly simple backing and mind blowing)


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Desdemona
Date: 10 Aug 03 - 02:24 PM

Oh, that's not FAIR...impossible to choose.

Prince Heathen
Patrick Spens
Seven Yellow Gypsies
Famous Flower of Servingmen
The Song of the Lower Classes (love the multiple Martins on "Out of the Cut"!!)
Geordie
Hard Cheese of Old England (been torturing my children with it since infancy!)
Almost all of "Because It's There" (Think about it...May Song, Jolly Tinker, The Death of Young Andrew, Long John, Old John and Jackie North...unbelieveable stuff!)
Byker Hill

Oh...this is impossible, he's my favourite singer!

D.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Malc
Date: 12 Aug 03 - 08:15 PM

ANYTHING by Martin Carthy has to be just about the best in folk. I don't have a favourite - I like every one of 'em!!!
Many years ago, he had to cancel a gig because of 'flu, yet he still turned up and helped to set out the chairs - what a guy!!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 04:35 PM

I like the Ant and the Grasshopper, and the version of Byker Hill on Life and Limb. Also Prince Heathen, Seven Yellow Gypsies, and Dominion of the Sword.
My 5p
x e


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 13 Aug 03 - 04:55 PM

I think Chris B might have missed the point about traditional ballads, which is that they aren't, and never have been PC. But they are gut-wrenching, including especially Martin's versions of Prince Heathen, Willie's Lady and Little Musgrave. And the Two Magicians with Dave Swarbrick....


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Auldtimer
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 05:31 AM

Maybe you should checkout, "Martin Carthy The Definitive Collection" out now on Highpoint Recordings HPO 6001.(If I could have fitted in a short sample from the CD this could have been quite a snappy advert.) "Highpoint Rcordings" is a sub-devision of Topic Records so expect a high quality product at a reasonable price level. (Enough already) Trying not to sound like a salesperson on comission, this is yet another collection from past Topic recordings and very fine it is too and presumably someone's list of favorites. Many of my own favourites are included altough sadly not, "The Siege Of Delh", still maybe next time. cheers


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: The Barden of England
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 06:08 AM

'Company Policy' for me. True folk music and observation


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: John P
Date: 14 Aug 03 - 09:06 AM

Screw the idea of picking just one. In no particular order, this week's list:

Willie's Lady
Bonnie Lass of Anglesey
Prince Heathen
Nothing Rhymed
Hamlet
The Maid and the Palmer
Sovay
The Famous Flower of Serving Men
Cold Haily Windy Night
The Broomfield Hill
Siege of Delhi
Billy Boy
I Was a Young Man
Outlandish Knight
John Blunt
The Wife of the Soldier
Domeama
Arthur McBride and the Sargeant
The Bed Making

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Pelrad
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 10:11 AM

Maybe I'm crazy, but I remember Martin Carthy's version of Famous Flower of Serving Men being much more graphic and involved than what's in the digitrad. I heard him do it live at the Mystic Sea Music Festival in 2002, and I literally forgot to breathe for the duration of the song. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever heard.

So have I got a really fertile imagination? Or can someone point me in the direction of that version?

Kim


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 05:36 PM

Every single song mentioned here is great (well, 'Hamlet' I haven't heard), but my favourite album is still his first, and the song that sticks in my mind is High Germany.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Desdemona
Date: 25 Aug 03 - 07:45 PM

Pelrad,

I actually requested Famous Flower of Servingmen, and Seven Yellow Gypsies (my husband was at the time absorbed in learning to play the latter) at the Mystic Sea Music Festival in 2002; the lyrics Martin sang that night are the same ones I've always heard.

D.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 03 Sep 03 - 10:37 PM

Anyway-I went to whitbly folk festival, and in the music stand i see a really nice thing,
it was a box set, Martin Carthy Coillection, 4 CDS and about 100 songs, it was 40 quid, and loads of songs that i havent got yet, i wished i bought it, but i dident have 40 quid, i am going to save up for it, there is 4 cd's in it and a book in it about the songs, did anyone buy it yet?
My frend called Dodgy Dave can get pirates cds, i ask him about this he says " who the hell is martin carthy, i neber heard of him"!
Its mostly modern pop tunes, and rave music etc, that he does,
only 3 pound for each cd, but he neber heard of martin carthy, and no folk musics, so looks like i'll have to buy it from the shop, its good cd though and woth it, if they havent got it, i will order it from hMV.john


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Dano
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 04:36 AM

The Bows of London! Suprised no one mentioned it yet.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: John P
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 09:34 AM

John from Hull,
The 4 CD box is great. You should buy it. Lots of live tracks with Martin's personality shining forth.

Please support your favorite musicians by NOT buying pirated CDs. Be honest, not a thief.

John Peekstok


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Arne Langsetmo
Date: 04 Sep 03 - 04:44 PM

I go with "Rigs of the Time". . . .

I'm sure that present events call for an upgrade to
the lyrics, though. . . .

Cheers,

                            -- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: red max
Date: 05 Sep 03 - 05:11 AM

Skewball

A few thoughts on the old albums...those last three in the late 60s before Swarb departed were wonderful, but why did Swarb never contribute any vocals? I love his singing

The early 70s ones, Landfall and Shearwater are rather bleak. Perhaps he was going for the purist approach in reaction to his work with the Albion Country Band and Steeleye?

I don't think you can top his late 70s LPs. Sweet Wivelsfield, Crown of Horn and Because It's There. Wonderful stuff, warm and powerful


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 09 Sep 03 - 10:21 PM

anyway=wahys that song called were he goes " joy, and love and piece"?, thats a nice song., i heard somwere that he recorded over 1000 different songs", i only got a few of them, but i buy siome motre wehen i got the money.joghn.
ps, did anybody know the best martin carthy cd's that i should buy? cheers.john


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Ed.
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 08:51 AM

John, the "Joy, Love and Peace" song that you're asking about is The King

Martin has recorded it several times. The Steeleye Span version is the best to my ears.

Martin's best album? That's a difficult one. I'd probably say Shearwater, but I'd doubt that many would agree.

There are a number of compilations which would be a good starting point. If you let me know what you already have, and what you particularly like, I might be able to offer better advice.

(To answer the original question):
Siege of Delhi
Palaces of Gold
Willie's Lady
Sovay

and every other song anyone else mentioned!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 09:19 AM

Bonnie Lass of angelsea..........wow wow wow


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Ash
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 05:25 PM

Personally, Ilove "Oor Hamlet", but I'm sure I heard him sing a song with June Tabor about hunting wrens. Has anyone else heard this?


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 06:06 PM

Ash,

Are you sure that you're not confusing June Tabor with Maddy Prior?

Martin recorded Hunting the Wren during his second stint in Steeleye Span.

To my knowledge, he's never recorded with June Tabor.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: RolyH
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 06:19 PM

Martin Carthy and June Tabor sang 'Hunting the Cutty Wren' on Les Barkers 'Oranges and Lemmings' album.

("Made popular by the late 'Stupid' Sedgewick, the last of the very thin Barnoldswick wren hunters")


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Sep 03 - 06:36 PM

Thanks for the clarification, RolyH

And to get back to the original question, furthur favourites include 'Dominion of the Sword' and the version of 'The Outlandish Knight' on Shearwater.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Rt Revd Sir jOhn from Hull
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 12:50 AM

Stars in Your Crown is good, [really nice],
he sings it with his wife [mrs carthy], and his daughter called elixa.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: MBSLynne
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 05:45 AM

Old John and Famous Flower of serving men

Love Lynne


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Sooz
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 06:23 AM

jOhn, your spelling has improved no end since you started this thread!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Bagpuss
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 07:27 AM

Sovay and possibly Lord Franklin


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 23 Aug 04 - 08:54 AM

Herga Kitty

I see someone's resuscitated this thread so I thought I'd have another look.

Yes, murder/rape etc ballads are 'gut-wrenching' but then so is Saturday night in the casualty unit at my local hospital. As it happens, I agree that 'Prince Heathen' is a very powerful song in the same way that 'Straw Dogs' is a very powerful film, and like that film the song is by no means without artistic merit. Perhaps it's unfair to pick on it too much.

I do know, however, that I played it to an old girlfriend several years ago with the usual 'You've GOT to hear this song' preamble. She didn't like it much. About a year later she told me she had been raped while she was working abroad so perhaps it was understandable that she didn't quite get the appeal.

OK, you can't allow for everyone's sensibilities and you shouldn't try or you'd never create anything. But, you know, I used to LOVE Steeleye Span in the 70's. Then after they broke up I sort of forgot about them (as you do if you have a life) until another old girlfriend (don't ask) bought me a then-new album by them which featured yet another grisly ballad about babies being murdered. By 1989 I couldn't quite bring myself to treat this as innocent entertainment in the same way I could when I was a teenager and even more ignorant than I am now.

I realise we're getting away from the 'What's you favourite song' thing but we've all grown up (if that's the right word) with this music. Maybe it doesn't do any harm to reflect on what it means to us now by comparison with what it might have meant to us 30 years ago.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Johannes Schiefner
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 11:29 AM

Hello John P and all,

the 4 CD Box you mention, what is the exact title of this and on which label did it appear?

Johannes Schiefner


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 11:52 AM

Carthy Chronicles on Free Reed.

My favourite today is Famous Flower of Serving Men as re-recorded on his new release Angels. Tomorrow, something else...


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Stephen
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 12:55 PM

Geordie is my all time favourite (the original version... I've never much cared for the new version he released a couple of years back)... Also, The Trees They Do Grow High, Sovay (the Swarb versions, not with Brass Monkey - not that they're not very good), Lord Franklin, Polly on the Shore, Streets of Forbes... the list could go on and on and on!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: *Laura*
Date: 13 Sep 04 - 04:40 PM

I love the way in Prince Heathen he says the word "dog" - he really spits it out, it's really powerful. And I like The Foggy Dew

xLx


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: English Jon
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 12:22 PM

currently "King Knapperty"....but hey, Carthy is a way of life in this house!

Jon


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Teresa
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 12:51 PM

I love everything of his, and have loved seeing him perform live.

I want a recording of "Hamlet" ... did he record it? I've seen him perform it several times. For anyone who doesn't know ... a hilarious summary of the play that will put any study guide to shame!

T


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Eric the Streetsinger
Date: 14 Sep 04 - 01:12 PM

Carthy's version of "The Great Valerio" on the album "Beat The Retreat"
(Richard Thompson tribute!) with Maddy Prior on vocal is hard to beat-
he plays that wonderfully eerie guitar piece at the end of it which is just chilling! I'm also partial to "Skewbald", and the very odd and upbeat version of "John Barleycorn" he recorded with Steeleye Span!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Little Robyn
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 08:19 AM

The words for Oor Hamlet are in the DT.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Paco Rabanne
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:48 AM

"Stairway to heaven" Oh..... I'll get my coat.....


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,eliza c
Date: 15 Sep 04 - 09:54 AM

Chris B, surely the point of songs like Prince Heathen is to stop people from behaving the way they do in the song? I am not sure that it's particularly "grown-up" to ignore issues of human personal politics-and I am certain that MC doesn't sing this song in the spirit of innocent entertainment.
Maybe we don't need these songs to remind us how terribly people can behave as we now have the news on every day showing us full in the face; or maybe we need them more than ever. As the news washes over us in the background, perhaps the jolt we feel having something with that important message on the stereo is necessary? It's a message that has been passed down in the form of this song through generations-shouldn't we listen to that advice?
Sometimes difficult things can be said in music that you don't have the platform to say elsewhere-which is where, incidentally, I have no problem with rap music.
Sorry if latching on to this part of the discussion isn't appropriate, all. I have wondered about this in the past.
cheers,
x ec


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Reinhard
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 04:12 AM

Teresa, a live recording of Oor Hamlet is on the Carthy Chronicles box set.

And, to continue the thread, my favourite Martin Carthy song is (nearly always) the one I heard last. Though, his recent re-recording of Famous Flower of Serving Men is absolutely breathtaking.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 05:31 AM

I'm sure I heard Martin Carthy sing a version of Chris While's 'Circle Round the Sun' here in Auckland. Does anyone else remember that or was I just dreaming?


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Eisbaer
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 09:56 PM

John Barleycorn!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Teresa
Date: 18 Sep 04 - 11:27 PM

Thanks, Reinhard.

T


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 01:50 AM

Got it, eliza! Yes, I too ask meself the same question most days... Is this song cathartic? Should I be singing only 'feel good' songs to the warm fuzzy audiences that long to smile and hum those sweet memories of yesteryear... Sure, I do love the purely positive songs... and those that wind up reality checks and melodrama to the feverish breaking point ... and then end with happy ever after...

The message is in the medium... i guess... It's just so complex, this simple thing called music...

And while I keep learning all manner of songs that relate the hard won morals of previous ages... I sometimes need to give 'em a break and get 'light' for a while. It goes both ways.

These days, people seem to be overwhelmed with fighting... and the news and information glut is too large of a glass to drink in one sitting (maybe if it was something good for us it'd be different)... so we're shutting down... turning off anything that doesn't inspire tangable hope we can sink our teeth into...

This too shall pass... and the pendulum just keeps swinging. But I daresay we have much to learn from that ol' pendulum... For healing must occur, and the feedback from a moved, insipred responsive audience is sometimes our only guide through the darkness.

May the swinging lantern always lead you safely... home.
ttr


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 02:48 PM

Paul Downes once told me he had asked MC(his hero)why he had recorded a Glbert O Sullivan song

MC poked him in the chest and said because its a good song


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 05:26 PM

I didn't know he wrote any but I suppose you mean 'What's your favourite song sung by Martin Carthy'


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 19 Sep 04 - 05:44 PM

I didn't know he wrote any

MC has written several extremely powerful songs. Those which spring immediately to mind are A Question of Sport and Dominion of the Sword. There are many more which he has, in effect, reconstructed from fragments, probably the best known of these are Famous Flower of Serving Men and Brown Adam.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,XGK guest
Date: 20 Sep 04 - 03:21 PM

My own favourite is a song called Streets of Forbes so much I name my son after the character sung about
If I can pick another John Barleycorn


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Lou
Date: 27 Sep 04 - 05:08 PM

I love the songs that tell a defined story...where can I find the one about the Old Blind Harper? I'd love to play that to my daughter. Saw Martin in Oxford 10+ years ago - ground-breaking stuff for me with my then Led Zep obsession. I love to chase the story on through the ages - listen to Carthy's Skewbald and Leadbelly's Skewball and you'll see what I mean...


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: s6k
Date: 03 Oct 04 - 10:30 AM

if you ask me, MARTIN CARTHY (debut album) is without doubt his best album.

it would be my top 10 of all time, and the album surely contans his best songs.

you need only listen to 'high germany', 'the trees they do grow high' and 'the wind that shakes the barley' to know this is a classic.

j0hn you MUST get Martin Carthy.... by some bloke... forgot his name now.

amazing


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Lou
Date: 11 Nov 04 - 05:09 PM

And thinking about it, albeit subconsiously I named my daughter Eleanor (and she is fair!) as opposed to sweet William if it'd been a boy, so Famous Flower of serving men it is then...


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Chris B (Born Again Scouser)
Date: 17 Mar 05 - 11:31 AM

Dear Eliza,

I don't disagree with anything you say. However, I think a song's content and context can have a different meaning at different times. I don't want to bash 'Prince Heathen' (at least, not the song) but, well...

For instance, an old mate of mine, Noel Murphy, used to do very well for himself in the 60s largely singing old Irish rebel songs to English folk audiences, including audiences of British squaddies who loved all of that stuff at the time. After 1969, many of those old songs didn't come over as as quaint or jolly as they did before. Not that they were any the lesser as songs, but the context had changed and they had a different meaning for many audiences by the end of the 70s.

Similarly, I remember Karl Dallas describing Mr. Fox's music as 'X Certificate Folk', likening them to old Hammer movies (mind you , I always thought he was a twat). A lot of the blood-and-guts ballads that were recorded in the late 60s - early 70s (many of which were effectively re-composed and made more graphic and explicit by the singers) played, I'm sure, on the same appeal. I first heard Martin singing 'Prince Heathen' at Cambridge in 1974 and for each person who took away a message about the obscenity of male violence to women there were probably at least a few who got a kick out of the song's description of the same thing. Nowadays the ratios would probably (hopefully) be reversed.

However, to return to the original question, I heard Martin sing a lovely song last year by Sidney Carter about a young squaddie who falls for a Greek girl after World War 2. It put me in mind of an old mate of mine (and a lifelong socialist) who was in Greece after the war and who loved the country and the people but never was able to come to terms with the fact that they were there to crush the Greek partisans and restore the King of Greece to the throne - and they knew that the people knew it. This mate of mine subsequently became a teacher of Jazz singing and as far as I know he's still at it.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 23 Feb 07 - 10:01 PM

No one mentioned ... To the begging I will go? My absolute favorite and my introduction to Mr. Carthy lo these many years back. I used to be active in the Church (C of E - high Anglican)---used to party all night and turn up to teach Sunday school on Sunday ams. The priest introduced me to Martin Carthy and I can still remember how I felt the first time I heard this song......


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: melodeonboy
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 05:31 AM

The Bedmaking. I also love his version of Tom of Oxford, but as it's a tune it don't count!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Folkiedave
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 05:41 AM

Hard Cheese of Old England, Heartbreak Hotel.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 05:48 AM

Back in '04 s6k wrote:

"if you ask me, MARTIN CARTHY (debut album) is without doubt his best album."

I agree with that and feel that Mr Carthy's earlier work is his best. I'm not sure he'd be too pleased to hear that but those first two albums packed one hell of a punch!


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Steve_Cooperator
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 08:32 AM

Its a bit like asking someone who has just come back from the New Forest !"What was your favourite tree?"


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 03:29 PM

The Death of Young Andrew and Stewbald. Although I own most all of his early works, I think Martin's music became more interesting after he began using open tunings. God bless him- I hope he can keep playing and singing forever.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: david from cleckhuddisfax
Date: 24 Feb 07 - 05:31 PM

Sorry cant get my head round any of his material even though there seems to be an overarching almost obseqious hero worship going on here i,m afraid that defining a favourite from his material is for me impossible .Perhaps Mr carthy is a love him or hate him figure good guitar yes but singing well frankly no .No passion no feeling ne verve just drone and bore with more of the same yawn ....

Standing by for flack .....build thr barricades Anon


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Alec
Date: 25 Feb 07 - 01:50 AM

If absolutely pushed I would opt for "Byker Hill" but I was very taken with Steve Cooperator's observation about trees and the New Forest.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,Terry McDonald
Date: 25 Feb 07 - 03:49 AM

Like many other people, for me it's The Famous Flower of Serving Men.


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: GUEST,English Jon
Date: 25 Feb 07 - 08:50 AM

blimey...how old is this thread?

I can't agree that Martin's singing is unfeeling/passionless - I feel he subtly emotes the stories he sings - it's not showy singing, but it is deeply controlled. Personally, I think he'll be remembered as a singer long after people have forgotten about his remarkable guitar playing.

No one has mentioned the new album with Swarb "Straws in the wind" - Reworkings of stuff from the Penguin book, and to my mind, one of the best yet. "The Ship in Distress" is remarkable - a great song anyway, but such a brooding, ominous arrangement.

I spent a very long time looking for a guitar that sounds like Martin's 000-18 on the recording of "Byker Hill" (the live one with Swarb in that guitar shop in the states) - Finally found an old 0-18 that's seen a bit of life and it's pretty close (although I have had to spend a long time re-learning how to play with a thumb pick), so I guess that particular track probably cost me more money that any of his other recordings. (Don't ask about my collection of Patrick Bouffard CDs)

Was his earlier work better? hard to say - I've been following him for years now, since seeing him at the impressionable age of 16 in 1992 - half a lifetime ago, in fact. He's always struck me as being a considerable nose ahead of anyone else in the field of guitar accompanied English folk song (with the possible exception of Nic Jones), and to my ear is a far more musical performer than say, Martin Simpson (arguably a superior guitarist). I have found him to be a constant inspiration - every time I try to figure something out, he's already done it first...

for example - I wanted to find a way to play diatonic melodeon tunes on guitar...so, I tuned the top and middle pairs of strings a major second apart (1 string each for push notes and pull notes) with the bottom pair tuned to bass notes..result DADEAB... oh look - Carthy has been playing in CGCDGA for years - the same intervals but a tone lower.

There is SO much in that man's playing. How on earth do you pick a favourite?

Jon


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Subject: RE: What's your favourite Martin Carthy song?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 25 Feb 07 - 01:27 PM

No one's mentioned Bill Norrie. The line "once I was full of this boy as the plum is of the stone..." gets me every time.

Famous Famous Flower and Sovay...well, goes without saying.


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