The debut album which saw the band broke up even before finishing its recording. See the timeline for full details plus the 'missing' song that was intended to be recorded for the album..
The title refers to a 'wait' which is a small group of musicians employed by a town/village to play at festivals/events.
Maddy Prior - Vocals,
5 string banjo;
Gay Woods - Vocals, concertina, autoharp, bodhran
Tim Hart - dulcimer, electric guitar. fiddle, 5 string banjo, harmonium
Terry Woods - Electric guitar, concertina, mandola, 5 string banjo, mandolin
Ashley Hutchings - bass;
1. A Calling-On Song
(1.13, written by Hutchings)
'This is a calling on song for the group taken from a sword dance, Hutchings rewrote the lyrics which are sung in four part harmony. Surprisingly does not seem to have been used much live, if at all In the 70's
Overall the Blacksmith, in either this, or the Mk2 version , does not appear to have been played live very frequently across the decades. I suspect (no evidence though) it was heard around 1970/71 as it was played in sessions/ATV but after that it disappears until 1986/87 as a "Mk3" version, based on the Mk2 version, When it reappears in 2008 & 2014/15 it is back to the original tempo and style, as it is during the the Hark! tour in 2017 but gets a reworking in 2019.
 June BBC Session and July ATV 'Music Room'. Both on 'Please to see the King Castle CD Reissue' (2006). Although performed by Steeleye MK2 this variant is actually close to this original version with more instrumental breaks. Recorded for the only time without drums it still however retains the Mandolin/Banjo driven tempo of the original. Better quality versions of the BBC Session are widely available.
[1986/1987] BBC Session and 'Back In Line' World Tour including US in '87. Available on 'In Concert' CD 1994. A reworking of the song and more in line with the Please to See the King Version although Maddy introduces it as the Mk.3 version as that line up had not yet attempted it.
 The Journey concert (available on The Journey CD ,1999). Hart-Acoustic Guitar; Carthy-Banjo; Hutchings; Prior; M Gregory-Drums. A close approximation to the original in timing and tempo with Martin Carthy stepping into Terry Wood's place but using a banjo rather than the similar sounding Mandola.
 Spring Tour. Available on 'Live at Distance' CD (2009)'. A Mandolin driven version in keeping with this original version but has more instrumental breaks.
 Spring 40th Anniversary Tour
 Spring 2013 Tour. Peter on Mandolin but retains tempo of original Hark! version.
 Autumn 45th Anniv. Tour. Original Hark! tempo
 Hark the Village Wait Tour. Original Hark! tempo
 Dec 50th Anniversary Tour. A reworking of the song and is available to listen to here.
 UK '25th Anniv. Tour'. Appears on '25th Anniversary Video' (1995). Gay Woods-Lead vocal; Prior-vocal; Knight-violin; Johnson; Harries; Genockey. Melody carried by Knight's violin but otherwise a faithful reproduction with Gay bringing it into the set for the first time.
 The Journey Concert. Available on 'The Journey' CD (1999). G Woods-lead vocals; Prior-vocals; Hart-acoustic guitar; Hutchings; J Kirkpatrick-concertina; M Gregory-Drums. Slightly quicker tempo with John's concertina dominating the melody more than the original which Gay's more subtle concertina mixed with Tim's dulcimer and more pronounced Bass.
 'Horkstow Grange' UK Tour
 '30th Anniversary' UK Tour
 US Spring Tour
 Hark! The Village Wait UK Tour. Sung by Maddy for the first time in a faithful reproduction
played live up until 1995 when it appeared as a more 'intense' version with Tim
Harries keyboard and Peter's violin playing and a longer instrumental break at
the end. This was the version that would be re-recorded for the 'Time' Album.
Was probably brought back because Maddy had been singing it in her solo
work in '93 and recorded it for her 'Year' Album.
Studio Re-recording (3.38) Time Album 1996.
Trad. Introduced by Hutchings after hearing Ewan MacColl sing it)
Prior-Lead vocal; G Woods-vocal; Hart-Dulcimer; T Woods-5 String Banjo; Hutchings; Mattacks-drums. Described as "featuring all the musicians playing around the melody. Drums, dulcimer, banjo and bass are all engaged in playing around the tune" No mention anywhere of being played live at all until 2017.
Original sleeve notes: Collected by H.E.D. Hammond from a Mr. House of Beaminster, Dorset, in 1906, this ballad can perhaps claim to have the most discreet ending of any folk song. Similar songs are quoted frequently in 16th and early 17th century literature, musical and otherwise; even Robert Burns re-wrote a version calling it As I Lay on My Bed on a Night.
 Hark the Village Wait tour. Benji Kirkpatrick - Lead vocals & Bouzouki; Littman-acoustic guitar. A relatively faithful playing, slightly more uptempo and sung by Benji and driven by his Bouzouki rather than Banjo.
 Festivals and UK Autumn Tour, including the 2018 Shrewsbury Folk festival which is available on Youtube. Appears on the '50th Anniversary DVD' (2019) but not on the CD's
 January Irish Tour