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Adieu To Old England

Long Play Vinyl
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Slip Sleeve (CD or Vinyl)
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Adieu To Old England
Adieu To Old England


Originally released in 1974 by Topic Records, this album continues Shirley Collins' exploration not only of traditional English folk songs, but also English tradition itself, whether on "Coronation Jig," written for the return of King Charles II in 1660, or "Portsmouth," taken from Playford's ancient book, The Dancing Master. While her focus, given her own history there, is on the music and songs of southern England, she does venture further north for a stirring "Horkstow Grange," a song reported to have been written by the name who gave Steeleye Span their name. Some of the arrangements, by sister Dolly Collins, evoke the medieval origins of these songs, while others bring to life the rural past of tales like "Chiner's Song." But Collins is far more than a dry scholar. She loves this music. It's in her blood, and she understands it innately, which is why her performances are so memorable. Her voice might be untrained, and often artless, but she stirs on a rendition of "The Ram of Derbish Town" in a way no "real" singer could. From Morris Men and Mummer's plays, this is a celebration of the real old England, the laborers who preserved the songs of the past, handed down in their families, and who commemorated festivals like Harvest Home, long since lost to urban societies. So, in part, this is a history lesson, but it's also pure pleasure of the past, brought fully alive in the modern days. And to round it all off, a 1972 track with electric guitar brings old folk into modern folk-rock quite perfectly.


  1. Name
  2. Mistress's Health: Lumps of Plum Pudding
  3. Down By the Seaside
  4. Chiner's Song
  5. Adieu to Old England
  6. Ashen Faggot Wassail
  7. I Sing of Maiden That Is Makeless
  8. The Banks of the Mossom
  9. The Ram of Derbish Town
  10. Portsmouth
  11. Horkstow Grange
  12. Come All You Little Streamers
  13. Spaniards Cry: Sherborne Jig
  14. One Night As I Lay on My Bed
  15. The Death of Nelson
  16. Coronation Jig
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