steeleye-span

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“Wintersmith” the new album from Steeleye Span, in collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett.

Terry is a long-standing fan of the band, even booking them to play at his sixtieth birthday party. Now the two have collaborated on a brand new project, a record based on Terry’s Wintersmith novel. The subject matter is completely appropriate for Steeleye Span, a tale of ancient rituals and secret folk dances that perfectly complements their previous work whilst taking it in new directions.

Amazon link
http://amzn.to/Hr9bDZ
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You made me older than my years
I am young and barely grown
And when I cry, I cry your tears
for I have no life of my own.

Why don’t you write me some candlelight
and wear your heart of gold?
and I will wear these Aching, heartbreaking years
“Til one day I shall wear midnight.

And if you should scream from your darkest dream
and in a whisper you’ll hear me call?
And for a while I’ll be sweet sixteen
and I’ll have no power at all.

Why don’t you write me a moonlight night
and wear your finest hour
and I will wear these Aching, heartbreaking years
Til one day I shall wear midnight

I am young, you are old,
but not heartless and cold

I am warm from the love that you have shown
but you conjured me up
from your hat full of dreams
and you keep me in a world of your own

Why don’t you write me a guiding light
and wear your heart’s desire?
and I will wear these Aching, heartbreaking years

Why don’t you write me a guiding light and wear your heart’s desire
And I will wear these Aching, heartbreaking years, ‘til one day
I shall wear midnight

And when you lay down on your final word,
it will be no comfort to me.
I have lived by the pen and I’ll die by the sword,
when it’s time to set me free.

Why don’t you write me a gallant knight and wear your honour and sword
And I will wear these Aching, heartbreaking years, ‘til one day
I shall wear midnight

One day I shall wear midnight
‘Til one day we shall wear midnight

— 

From Steeleye Span’s song We Shall Wear Midnight from their album Wintersmith, which is dedicated entirely to Tiffany Aching and by extension Terry Pratchett. Described as “Tiffany Aching’s plea to Terry Pratchett.”

Just had to show you guys that this is some next level meta right here.

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If any of you believe folk and folk rock music can’t possibly be entertaining and even hardcore badass, I invite you to check out one of my favorite bands, Steeleye Span.  They’ve been making music since 1969, and let me tell you friends, they are awesome.  Maddy Prior’s and Tim Hart’s vocals have been either sweet or rough as the song demands, and if you can listen to Peter Knight’s violin/fiddle playing without being impressed I don’t know what to do with you.  Over the years they’ve worked with several famous folks, including David Bowie (on sax in the link), Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull (who produced their album Now We Are Six and performed with Prior on her solo album), and actor/singer/comedian Peter Sellers (on ukulele in New York Girls, below).  Not to mention, their most recent album, “Wintersmith,” is a collaboration with Sir Terry Pratchett of Discworld fame.

But goodness, you might be asking, how could folk rock be anything but boring and lame?  Why would anyone use the word ‘hardcore’ to describe that kind of old timey music?  Well let me introduce you to a few of Steeleye Span’s tunes:

  1. A Lady Kills a Kid for Kicking a Ball Into Her Yard (Little Sir Hugh)
  2. A Cheating Wife Tries to Drown Her Husband But He Just Casually Kills Her Instead (Marrowbones)
  3. A Wife Runs Off With a Cooler Man and When Her Husband Comes After Her She Tells Him to Fuck Off (Blackjack Davy)
  4. A Description of the Whiskey-Making Process Using a Metaphor Where a Guy is Brutally Murdered and His Corpse Mutilated (John Barleycorn)
  5. A Horrible Monster Woman Makes the King Kill All His Pets (King Henry)
  6. A Girl’s Parents Steal Her Sailor Boyfriend’s Money, Behead Him, and Throw Him in the Ocean (Edwin)
  7. A Noble Girl’s Father Cuts Out Her Commoner Boyfriend’s Heart and Gives It to Her as a Present (Lady Diamond)
  8. Some Kid Sasses Satan (False Knight on the Road)
  9. Your Whole Family Doesn’t Give a Shit if You Get Hanged (The Prickly Bush)
  10. A Dude Gets Robbed by a Woman Con-Artist (New York Girls)
  11. Serial Murderer Elf Gets What’s Coming to Him (The Elf Knight)
  12. We’re Gonna Kill You Because Jesus (You Will Burn)
  13. A Guy Kills His Brother For Lying, Then Lies About It (Edward)
  14. Non-Union Mine Workers Should Probably Join Up Quick Before They Get Fucking Murdered (Blackleg Miner)
  15. White People are Jerkass Land Stealers and Should Go Back Where They Came From (White Man)

Yeah.  And the thing is, most all of these are super old folk songs Steeleye Span has updated and arranged, in several different musical styles.  So y'know, if you still think folk music isn’t one of the most brutally badass genres in existence, I just don’t know what to do with you.  Steeleye Span is amazing, end of story.

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Steeleye Span live on BBC 4 1974

  • Rogues of a Nation
  • Spanning the Years
Play

Rogues in a Nation  ||   Steeleye Span 

Farewell to all our Scottish fame,
Farewell our ancient glory.
Farewell even to our Scottish name,
Sae fam’d in martial story.

Now Sark runs over the Solway sands,
And tweed runs to the ocean,
To mark where England’s province stands.
Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.

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I love this song and thought Id share it with you all :)

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The Blacksmith
  • The Blacksmith
  • Steeleye Span
  • Hark! The Village Wait
Play

Lyrics

A blacksmith courted me
Nine months and better
He fairly won my heart
Wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand
He looked so clever
And if I was with my love
I would live forever.

But where is my love gone
With his cheeks like roses
And his good black Billycock on
Decked around with primroses.
I fear the shining sun
May burn and scorch his beauty
And if I was with my love
I would do my duty.

Strange news is come to town
Strange news is carried
Strange news flies up and down
That my love is married.
I wish them both much joy
Though they can’t hear me
And may God reward him well
For the slighting of me.

Don’t you remember when
You lay beside me
And you said you’d marry me
And not deny me.
If I said I’d marry you
It was only for to try you
So bring your witness love
And I’ll not deny you.

No, witness have I none
Save God Almighty
And may he reward you well
For the slighting of me.
Her lips grew pale and wan
It made a poor heart tremble
To think she loved a one
And he proved deceitful.

A blacksmith courted me
Nine months and better
He fairly won my heart
Wrote me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand
He looked so clever
And if I was with my love I would live forever.