Based on Christina Rossetti's famous 19th Century poem " Goblin Market ", about which you can read more about below, the author John Matthews set out to adapt the themes in the poem with a vision to create a variation on the traditional tarot, alongside a detailed guide book. The cards were illustrated by renowned artist Charles Newington. More details below.
Charles then spoke to his friend Julian Littman about the project, recalling an old unpublished book he illustrated to accompany the CD " A Musical Interlude with Mr Edward Lear ", with Spike Milligan narrating, all composed and produced by Julian. Intrigued with this new project and the idea of the Goblin poem Julian wrote and produced a concept album with all members of Steeleye Span and Jane Milligan, Spike Milligan's daughter.
The album is now available on all popular digital streaming platforms including Amazon - where it can purchased and downloaded, Spotify and Apple Music. It is also on Youtube which is linked below.
The best way to enjoy the album however is to buy the CD, it is excellently produced featuring all the lyrics and great artwork. To buy the physical CD:
Buy on-line from PARK RECORDS
Call: 0207 836 2182; or email:
0207 405 2120
Contact Julian directly:
Below is a short film featuring the making of track 5 'Sacrifice' with the addition of drums by Liam Genockey.
The tarot cards and guide book (and CD) are available from Amazon or..
Goblin Market published in 1862 is a narrative poem by Christina Rossetti. The poem tells the story of Laura and Lizzie who are tempted with fruit by goblin merchants. It tells the adventures of two close sisters, Laura and Lizzie, with the river Goblins. As the poem begins, the sisters hear the calls of the goblin merchants selling their fantastic fruits in the twilight. On this evening, Laura, intrigued by their strangeness, lingers at the stream after her sister goes home. (Rossetti hints that the "goblin men" resemble animals with faces like wombats or cats, and with tails.) Longing for the goblin fruits but having no money, the impulsive Laura offers to pay a lock of her hair and "a tear more rare than pearl."
Laura gorges on the delicious fruit and once finished, she returns home in an ecstatic trance, carrying one of the seeds. At home, Laura tells her sister of the delights she indulged in, but Lizzie reminds Laura of Jeanie, another girl who partook of the goblin fruits, and then died at the beginning of winter after a long and pathetic decline. Strangely, no grass grows over Jeanie's grave. Laura dismisses her sister's worries, and plans to return the next night to get more fruits for herself and Lizzie. The sisters go to sleep in their shared bed.
The next day, as Laura and Lizzie go about their housework, Laura dreamily longs for the coming meeting with the goblins. That evening, however, as she listens at the stream, Laura discovers to her horror that, although her sister still hears the goblins' chants and cries, she cannot.
Unable to buy more of the forbidden fruit, Laura sickens and pines for it. As winter approaches, she withers and ages unnaturally, too weak to do her chores. One day she remembers the saved seed and plants it, but nothing grows. Months pass, and Lizzie realises that Laura is wasting to death. Lizzie resolves to buy some of the goblin fruit for Laura and goes down to the brook and is greeted warmly by the goblins, who invite her to dine. But when the merchants realise that she has no intent to eat the fruit, and only intends to pay in silver, they attack, trying to feed her their fruits by force. Lizzie is drenched with the juice and pulp, but consumes none of it.
Lizzie escapes and runs home, but when the dying Laura eats the pulp and juice from her body, the taste repulses rather than satisfies her, and she undergoes a terrifying paoxysm but by morning Laura is fully restored to health. The last stanza attests that both Laura and Lizzie live to tell their children of the evils of the goblins' fruits, and of the power of sisterly love.