HORKSTOW GRANGE

1998

PETER KNIGHT - BOB JOHNSON - TIM HARRIES - GAY WOODS
Drums: Dave Mattacks

Park Records

Produced by Steeleye Span
Recorded at Warehouse Studio Oxford
Engineer - Steve Watkins
Mixed and Mastered by John Etchells 












The first Steeleye Span album with no Maddy Prior. Liam Genockey had also left the band and so Dave Mattacks guested on drums. Initially the album was recorded with no drums. The band later decided some tracks needed them and so Dave was brought in late to add them. 

Horkstow Grange is of course the ballad from which Martin Carthy picked out the name John 'Steeleye' Span from and suggested it to Tim Hart as a potential name for the new band Tim was helping form. 

The album has 4 songs never played live and due to all the band changes, nothing has survived into the reunion line up in 2002. With no official live releases from this line up it also means we can't hear these songs sung live anywhere, which is not the case with any other album. 

1. The Old Turf Fire

(3,53  'post traditional' song written by Johnny Patterson in the late 19th Century)
 
Album Notes: I used to hear this song when I was a child. “The hearth swept clean” - domestic bliss, my mother's pride and joy. I live near the boglands in the midlands of Ireland now and burn the stuff. There is a spirit and an art in the burning and storing of turf that warms and inspired:

“Confounds all reckoning by sun
Or star as turf-smoke drifts,
Blue bitterness at dusk, and cabins
Kneel in clusters to the dark.”
(Norman Dugdale, an Englishman who lived in Ireland for nearly 50 years)



LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] Festivals; US Tour; UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour.


2. The Tricks of London

(2.42 written by Bob Johnson)

Album notes -  They're coming to take me away, ha ha! But they won't find me—oh no!—because I've got a London Travel Information ‘Journey Planner’ (including a ‘places of interest’ list and ‘London's airport connections—made simple’); together with a one-day Family Travelcard for up to two adults travelling with between one and four children (‘groups do not need to be related, but must travel together all times’), valid in Zones 1 & 2. But I'm up to their tricks—oh yes!
Bob introduced it live as a 'neurotic song'. It worked much better live in my opinion. 


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour


3. Horkstow Grange

(2.06 Traditional lyrics, melody and arrangement by Peter Knight)

Album notes - We are still asked where the name of the band comes from, so here it is: The Ballad of Horkstow Grange. Steeleye Span, a waggoner who ruined his life because of an incident with John Bowlin. Little did he know that his name would live on.


LIVE/RELEASES: 
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] US Tour; UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour.


4. Lord Randall

(4.14 Traditional. Child 12. Arranged by Bob Johnson with added chorus and melody)

Album notes - The entire song consists of a tense dialogue between Lord Randall and his mother, during which dawns the awful realisation that he has been poisoned by his lover and is going to die. But why did she poison him? Why is his mother's questioning so quick and skilful at reaching the diagnosis? Did she collude with his girlfriend? Why is Lord Randall so ready to give up and die? Is it the knowledge of the betrayal that has removed his will to live? We don't know; Lord Randall doesn't know and he doesn't care. He is sick to the heart and he just wants to lie down.


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour


5. Erin Gra Mo Chroi 

(6.13 Traditional. Introduced by Gay Woods)

Album notes - My brother Terry Corcoran taught me this song—he spent many years in the U.S.A. I then saw a TV thing on the lives of Irish women emigrants to America and how they navigated their lives when they reached there. Their loneliness for their families, sisters and mothers inspired me to sing this song from the feminist viewpoint.
When played live the instrumental at the end is played for an extended period

LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] Bergen, Norway, debut of new line up; UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour. 
[2000] US Tour. 


6. Queen Mary / Hunsden House

(3.05 Traditional)

Album notes (Bob) - This ring-game of little girls, in which the action is suited to the words sung, in a relic of Scottish ballad belonging to the close of the 18th Century. The tune a variant of The Band at a Distance.

The “music box” tune in between the verses is called Hunsden House.



LIVE/RELEASES:
Never played live


7. Bonny Birdy 

(6.15 Traditional. Child 82. Arranged by Peter Knight) 

Album notes -  The main part of this Scottish ballad is the same as 'The Little Musgrave'  (Child 81) In this story, the false knight gives his lover a bird, and instructs her to feed it, and play with it. She does neither, so the bird flies off to spill the beans. A box of chocolates would have been safer.


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] Festivals; US Tour; UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour.
[2001] Folk on the Pier, Cromer


8. Bonny Irish Boy

(3.43 Traditional. Introduced by Gay Woods)

Gay - "His beauty so entangled me" and may it always be so.....


LIVE/RELEASES:
Never played live


9. I Wish That I Never Was Wed

(2.53 Introduced by Gay Woods. Written in the early 20th Century)

Album notes - Again, thanks to my brother Terry Corcoran, who played me the wonderful late Delia Murphy singing this song one morning in his kitchen … I heard it as if from a scratchy, gravelly distance and thought how I'd like to sing the song, but imagined that I could never learn to remember all those ridiculously hilarious words …!

LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] Festivals; US Tour



10. Australia

(3.36 Traditional. Introduced and arranged by Bob)

Album notes - Initially, people were sent there as a punishment. Later, in the 1950's, families were offered financial assistance to go there and settle. Now, it is a heavily advertised holiday destination, a mere day's flight from Luton airport to the Barrier Reef. This song is dedicated to Nigel Pegrum, our ex-drummer, who “fell in with a damsel” and now lives there.

LIVE/RELEASES:
Never played live


11. One True Love 

(4.12 Traditional lyrics Based on Child 78 but arranged and introduced by Tim Harries using a new melody?)

More commonly known by its Child ballad name 'The Unquiet Grave' which was of course recorded by Steeleye later on the 'Cogs, Wheel's and Lovers' album using a more traditional arrangement. 
Album notes -  The sources are The Unquiet Grave, (spooky old English song), Lovely Joan and a small fragment of Lowlands of Holland. The inspiration came largely from Borrowed Time by Paul Monette, a book you may be familiar with.


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1998] UK 'Horkstow Grange' tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] US Tour


12. The Parting Glass

(3.08 Traditional, Introduced by Gay Woods)

Album notes -  It was the picture of the Chinese teapot in Colm Ó Lochlainn's 'Irish Street Ballads' that attracted me to this song—then, of course, it took on another meaning in later life…


LIVE/RELEASES:
Never played live

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