The Three Ravens (abridged)

There were three rauens sat on a tree,
They were as blacke as they might be.
The one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we our breakfast take?
Downe in yonder greene field,
There lies a Knight slain under his shield,
His hounds they lie downe at his feete,
So well they can their Master keepe,
His Hawkes they flie so eagerly,
There’s no fowle dare him come nie
Downe there comes a fallow Doe,
As great with yong as she might goe,
She lift up his bloudy head,
And kist his wounds that were so red,
She got him up upon her backe,
And carried him to earthen lake,
She buried him before the prime,
She was dead her self ere euen-song time.
God send euery gentleman,
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a Leman

Lou Bond - To The Establishment

DAYSF was rhapsodising about reissues recently, and how important they are. Here’s yet another example, and a brilliant one. Lou Bond recorded the one eponymous LP (pictured above) in ‘74 on We Produce, an imprint of Stax Records. Commercial success didn’t follow -to say nothing of the financial difficulties at Stax- and that was to be the end of Bond’s recording career as he faded into obscurity and, sadly, poor mental health.

To the Establishment is, in DAYSF’s opinion, the high point of this record, a hypnotic eleven-minute slab of lush, melismatic Soul. Lou airs his grievances in a highly idiosyncratic open letter to the established social order:

Now I might give out
But I’ll never give in
We might as well be friends (yes we had)
You keep thinking of ways
To get my every hard-earned cent
You even got me goin’ to the grocery store
Buyin’ cherry-flavoured chapstick
I want you to know
That I think it’s all a great big one-sided affair
If I had my way
I’d put you all in the electric chair

The record attracted the attention of crate diggers during last decade and was mercifully rescued from obscurity by Light in the Attic who re-issued it in 2010 (LITA049) complete with some of the best liner notes I’ve ever come across. The research, dedication and sheer love for the music being presented in these notes are alone worth the price of admission.

The Three Ravens
  • The Three Ravens
  • Sonne Hagal
  • Nidar MCD
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Sonne Hagal  -  The Three Ravens

There were three rauens sat on a tree,
They were blacke as they might be.

Then one of them said to his mate,
Where shall we our breakfast take?

Downe in yonder green field,
There lies a Knight slain under his shield,

His hounds they downe at his feete,
So well they can their Master keepe,

His Hawkes they flie so eagerly,
There's no fowle dare him come nie,

Downe there comes a fallow Doe,
As great with yong as she might goe,

She lift up his bloudy head,
And kist his wounds that were so red,

She got him up upon her backe,
And carried him to earthen lake,

She buried him before the prime,
She was dead her self ere euen-song time.

God send euery gentleman,
Such haukes, such hounds, and such a Leman.

The Three Ravens; an English folk ballad, printed and published
in 1611 in the song book Melismata by Thomas Ravenscroft.
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