Park Records

Produced by Steeleye Span
Recorded at Warehouse Studio Oxford
Engineered and mixed by Steve Watkins

A third album by this settled line up and a continuation of a mixture of traditional and original compositions. Two tracks return having been recorded on previous albums - Cold Haily Windy Night (Please to see the King) and the tunes 'The First House in Connaught / The Lady of the House (Tempted and Tried)

A double CD with the second CD containing the Rick Kemp cycle of songs about Ned Ludd.

A few tracks made it to the live set but as usual were dropped after a couple of tours, However, unlike the previous few albums, one song has become a staple of the live set, usually closing out the shows - The Bonny Black Hare.

1. The Bonny Black Hare

(4.39 Traditional. Introduced by Peter )

Peter - 'I suggested changing the time signature from 7/4 to a straight ahead 4/4 just to make it a bit funky'
Album notes - A wonderfully exuberant song with classic double-entendre from the British Tradition. Usually sung to a complex rhythm, here simplified and given edge by the octave violin solos.

Unusually for a later album, this track has become a regular in the live set, often closing out the second set. 

[2006] UK Spring Tour; Festivals; UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour. Features on Live at a Distance DVD & CD (2009)  
[2007] Spanfest
[2008] UK Spring Tour; Spanfest
[2009] UK Spring '40th Anniversary' Tour; Festivals; US Tour; UK Winter 40th Anniversary Tour.
[2011] UK Spring Tour. Features on 'Now We are Six Again' Live CD (2011); UK Winter 'Now We are Six Tour' 
[2012] Festivals
[2013] UK Spring Tour; UK Winter 'Wintersmith' Tour. Features on 'Wintersmith Tour Live DVD (2005)
[2014] Festivals
[2016] Festivals; UK Autumn 'Dodgy Bastards' Tour. Selected dates 
[2018] UK Autumn Tour . Features on the '50th Anniversary Tour Live DVD (2019) - not on the CD
[2019] Jan Irish Tour; UK Spring 50th Anniversary' Tour; UK Autumn '50th Anniversary' tour 
[2021] UK Autumn Tour
[2022] UK Spring Tour
[2023] UK Green Man Tour
[2024] UK Spring Tour  

2. The Story of the Skullion King

(4.41 written by Ken Nicol and Peter Knight)

Album notes -  Not much is known about Lambert Simnel's early life, other than he was the son of a baker. When he was about 10 years old, a priest by the name of Richard Simon took him under his wings, teaching and tutoring him in the art of 'courtly manners'. Simon's plan was to present Simnel to the rest of the world as the Ear of Warwick who had been imprisoned in the tower of London, and was in fact the true heir to the throne at this time. 
Simon spread the rumour that Warwick had escaped the tower, and that he now was in his guardianship. He successfully convinced many of this, including the Earl of Kildare who supported his story to the point where Simnel was thus crowned in Dublin on 24th May 1487.
In June 1487, with his army of mainly Irish troops, Simnel and his men landed on the shores of Lancashire, but due to the Warwick's Yorkist line, they failed to meet with much support on their arrival. The fake King's army was then defeated later than month in Newark at the Battle of Stoke Field where he was taken prisoner. 
Though King Henry ordered many captors to be hilled, he pardoned the young Lambert Simnel, possibly because he was seen to have been nothing other than an instrument in the ambitions of others. Instead, he was given the job as a scullion in the King's kitchen

Not played live

3. The Dreamer and the Widow

(4.47 Words - Maddy Prior; Music - Ken Nicol)

Album notes - written by Maddy....using all the wiles and styles of the tradition'

[2006] UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour. Features on Live at a Distance DVD (2009) but not the CD

4. Lord Elgin

(4.06 Written by Peter Knight)

Peter - "I wrote [Lord Elgin] to let the others do whatever they liked on the song"
Album notes -  This song is not what it seems on the face of it

Another one of Peter's 'riddle' songs. This one is actually about a clock/watch. 

Single (b side - Lord Elgin - live) - Released as download only single to promote 'Spanfest' in 2007

[2006] UK Spring Tour; UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour. Features on Live at a Distance DVD & CD (2009)  
[2007] Spanfest

5. The Three Sisters

(Based on traditional lyrics - Child 10 (The Two Sisters) also known as 'Bows Of London' or 'The Cruel Sister). Additional words and music by Ken Nicol)
A very frequently sung song with various names and versions. Ken decided to add a sister and wrote his own tune for the song. Steeleye came back to this ballad on 'Dodgy Bastards' ('Two Sisters')

[2006] UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour. Features on Live at a Distance DVD & CD (2009)  
[2008] UK Spring Tour 
[2009] UK Spring Tour; UK Winter '40th Anniversary' Tour  

6. The First House in Connaught / The Lady of the House

(3.39 Traditional)

[2006] UK Spring Tour; UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour. Features on Live at a Distance DVD & CD (2009)  
[2008] Spanfest
[2009] UK Spring Tour
[2013] UK Spring Tour

7. Cold Haily Windy Night

(4.40 Traditional)  

A new recording, this time sung by Rick Kemp with a different arrangement to Martin Carthy's version. 

[1971 - 1995] Martin Carthy's adaptation is covered by listing in 'Please to see the King'
[2004] UK Winter '35th Anniversary' tour.  Appears on 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert' Live CD (2005)
[2006] UK Spring Tour; Festivals.
[2007] Spanfest
[2008] UK Spring Tour
[2009] UK Winter '40th Anniversary' Tour
[2011] UK Spring Tour; UK Winter 'Now We are Six again' Tour. Features on 'Now We are Six Again' live CD (2011)
[2012] Festivals
[2013] UK Winter 'Wintersmith' Tour. Features on the 'Wintersmith Tour' DVD (2014)
[2014] May Irish Tour 
[2015] UK Autumn 'Catch Up' Tour

8. Whummil Bore

(64.12 traditional - Child 27 )

Album notes -   I have been fascinated by this ballad for many years, and have thought of it as a fragment, but on further reflection it is the most unique snap-shot of a moment. It tells a massive story in so few words. It also leaves the mystery of many questions. A whummil is a gimlet or piece of drilling equipment and the bore is the hole made by it. Which adds a rather bewitching dimension. Who bored the hole?

Not played live

9. Demon of the Well

( 5.57 Written by Ken Nicol )

Based on a local (to Ken) Lancastrian story about 'Peg O'Nelly who was a servant at Waddow Hall. After being mistreated and murdered and disposed of in the well, she returns as a ghost to seek revenge every seven years. William was an heir to the Waddow Hall estate and who's disappearance was attributed to Peggy's vengeance, as was Isabel seven years later. Finally a Matron, Williams Auntie, a self confessed unbeliever of the local superstition was another to die at the hands of Peggy seven years later. However, it turned out that William and Isobel had run off together to avoid the Matron and returned after she died.

[2006] UK Spring Tour; Festivals; UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour.
[2024] UK Spring Tour. A slight reworking (Mainly the intro). Still sung by Maddy. Introduced by Spud back into the set.

10. Lord Gregory

(5.07. Traditional. Child 76 (The Lass of Rock Royal). Arranged by Maddy. Suggested by Peter for Maddy to sing)

Album notes -  I first heard this from the singing of Paddy Tunney, but it is many years since I heard his delicate rendition, and I expect there have been some changes. I don't have the most accurate musical ear, nor the best memory, so the folk process will be at its most evident in my versions of traditional songs. This is a beautifully portrayed picture of a devastating romantic encounter that leaves the girl in despair, given the social mores of the day.
Maddy also sang it as the Silly Sisters (Lass of Loch Royal)

[2006] UK Spring Tour.

CD2: Ned Ludd

 Part 1 - Inclosure (2.48) 
Part 2 - Rural Retreat (4.09)
Part 3 -Ned Ludd (3.18)
Part 4 - Prelude to Peterloo (2.56)
Part 5 - Peterloo the Day (2.52)

(All words and music written by Rick Kemp, except lyrics on part 1 (John Clare); lyrics on part 3 (Anon.) )

Album notes -  The late 18th and early 19th centuries were to see perhaps the most dramatic periods of social and political upheaval in English history. Inspired by the events of the French revolution, it was a time of unrest both in the country and in the towns, as the policy of 'Inclosure' forced farm workers from the poverty of the and into the exploitation of the factories. The Luddites (led by mythical King Ludd) were some of the first to voice their discontent in a physical fashion, smashing the machinery that they believed was the root cause of their problems. The spirit of rebellion spread across the land, from the streets of London to the open fields of Manchester. As has ever been the case, however, those with power and privilege were loathed to relinquish it and the protestors faced a bloody and violent response. 

[2006] UK Spring Tour; UK Winter 'Bloody Men' Tour. Features on Live at a Distance DVD & CD (2009)  

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