Rare Tracks

A summary of all known 'off album' rare tracks recorded or sung live and whether they are available officially or unofficially

This page will document all the known non-standard Album tracks, from singles , studio outtakes, BBC Sessions, Live tracks, interesting variations, bootlegs or even ones with no known recordings. I will highlight ones which are readily, and not so readily available. There are over 100, but maybe one day they all will become available in the same place.

Obviously I would love to hear about any other rare tracks that you know of, I'm sure this list is not exhaustive!

I have now included a section that reviews all the non studio albums that have been released (and mentioned in the notes below) that will include the rare tracks that are available to hear from official sources. Click here to see a summary of Essential Collections and Live albums. This will also tell you where to buy all the collections noted below where the rare tracks are included

Extra Tracks played at BBC Sessions. '70-74

Full details of all these songs and sessions are on the 'BBC Sessions' page.

'Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy'. Sept '71. Available as an off-air recording.
'Aiken Drum'. Sept '72. A version of the Jacobite song collected by James Hogg. (Not the Nursery Rhyme version). From the play 'Kidnapped'
'Black and White Rag' Apparently played in the same July '72 session but not confirmed or heard. Also played live.
'Bring 'Em Down / A Hundred Years Ago'. Sea Shanty's from March '71. Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'Bring 'em Down' (Carthy) / 'Haul on the Bowline' (Hart).  (Sept '71), Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'College Grove/Silver Spear' (Oct, 1970). Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue +Hutchings 'The Guv'nor Vol 1.
'College Grove / Silver Spear / Ballymurphy Rake / Maid Behind the Bar' (Sept '71). PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'Dancing at Whitsun' (May 1972) . Recorded by Tim and Maddy but here played with Peter as well. Also appears at special 35th Anniversary show at London palladium in 2004.
'Farther Along'. Feb 1971. Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue
'Handsome Polly-O' (Sept '71) Effectively a Carthy solo track. Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'Hello Mary Lou' (Jan '73) . A Ricky Nelson song. Appears on Bootleg - 'Rarities and Verities'
'Hitler's Downfall' This is actually the tune Bryan O'Lynn (Tune paired up with 'Hag with the Money') and given a name change by Peter in the BBC Sessions.
'I Live not Where I Love' Sept '71. Tim and Maddy solo. Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'I was a Young Man' June 1970. Sung by Carthy. Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'Jacobite Rock' Sept '72. Part of the 'Jacobite' BBC Session and originated from the play Kidnapped. Sung by Rick. Music by Rick. Lyrics by Keith Dewhurst. 
'Lay Down Your Weary Tune' (Oct, 1970). Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue +Hutchings 'The Guv'nor Vol 1.
'Let's Dance' (Chris Montez song) March '71. Available on PtstK/TMP Castle CD re-issue.
'Long Lankin' (A Capella) / 'Lark in the Morning' (fiddle tune by Martin). Sept '71. Not available
'Lots is a Bun Dance' (Feb '73). No known recording so little is known. Probably a tune.
'Rag Doll' (July '72 Frankie Valli) recorded for a single the following year. Appears on various collections.  
'Summer is a coming / Staines Morris' (Feb '74) . Appears on Bootlegs from this session and live bootlegs, plus can now be found on -   'Live at the Bottom Line 1974 CD (2024)'
'The Wind That Shakes the Barley / Pigeon on the Gate / Jenny's Chickens' (Sept '71) (Peter Knight tunes)
'The Lyke Wake Dirge' (Feb '74) Frequently sung live at the time, 1st heard June 1973 but it was not recorded until 2002 on the 'Present' CD.
'The Musical Priest' (Sept '71) At the end of Dowd's Favourite/£10 Float but also appeared live, including the '75 RockPalast TV appearance.
'Three Drunken Maidens' (Jan '73) . The song also appears on 'Harvest of Gold' CD collection from a live appearance in Europe. 
'Truck Driving Man' (Oct '72) Sung by Bob and used in Live gigs at the time. Also listed as 'Cup of Coffee' & included in Rockers Encore sometimes. Bootleg only.
'Uncle Tom Cobley and All/Tom Pierce' (Sept '71). Also a frequent Encore track in 1971 concerts. Appears on one BBC Session. 
'Wee Poor Labouring Man' (Different version to one later sang by Bob). Sept '71. Sang by Maddy on a BBC Session using the 'Seven Hundred Elves' melody.

1970's live tracks

Doesn't include tracks included in Sessions above. Found on Bootlegs unless stated.

Songs that now Feature on the 2022 'Good Times of Old England' Box Set:   
'Beautiful Doll' (1974 Autumn Tour including Rainbow Theatre on Box Set).  Played on 'Electric Folk' episode from Gloucester 1975. Peter wrote a Baber's shop arrangement  of the song which Bob, Peter, Rick & Tim sang while Maddy, in a blonde wig, was silently serenaded by Nigel who dressed and mimed a Chaplinesque character.
'Devil's Dream' A Jig that features frequently over the years as an opener or in the encore. Was recorded for 'Hat' album with SumWaves. Can also be heard on 'Gone to Australia' 2001 CD and with SumWaves on the 1975 German TV session.
'I'm forever Blowing Bubbles. (November 1975 'Hat' Tour; US and UK tour 1976 plus the 'Frankenstein Play' - see 1974). On the Box Set from the 1976 US Berklee Centre concert.
'The Mason's Apron' (1974 UK Autumn Tour, including Rainbow Theatre on the box set) Closing set tune. 
'Song for Germany' / Einz, Zwei, Drei. (1976 US Rocket Cottage Tour.) A 'silly' a-capella song written, according to Nigel, by Peter and Tim from a German Restaurant menu and presented as a long lost German Folk song! Now on the Box Set from Berklee Centre, Boston 1974.
'The Black Joke' A tune played in 1975 and 1976 and coupled with 'Sligo Maid'. Tune also used in 'Shaking of the Sheet'.  
'The Connaught Heifers-Paddy Clancy's'. Jigs played throughout 1974 live usually following 'Beg Your leave' - until this Autumn tour where it is an encore (e.g. Rainbow Theatre concert). The first part is just called 'Irish Jigs' on the box set and on the new 2024 Bottom Line Concert.

Songs from the 1971 play 'Corunna!':
The traditional songs featured appeared on Steeleye Albums except for '100 years ago' / 'Arthur McBride' / 'Bembibre Wassail (Lyrics Tim Hart) / Mountains of Spain (Sung by Martin). The rest were Keith Dewhurst written songs, sometimes with traditional music. For full track listing see image on the TimeLine for 1971.

Other live only songs from 1971-75:
'Bright Morning Star' (Feb '71). Mark II line up supporting Jethro Tull. Bootleg exists.
'Pace Egging Song'. Or 'Beg Your Leave'. Frequently played live track first appeared in Oct '71 by Mark II line up and featured heavily on US bootlegs in '74. Also played on 'Electric Folk' in 1975. Features on: 'Live at the Bottom Line 1974' (2024 CD). 
'Hornpipes & Jigs' (Nov '71 Peter and Maddy). Could be tunes that have been heard before.
'The Wren' (Nov '71) . No details known.
'Bank Of Ireland'/'Lucy Campbell'/Duffy the Dancer'. Played live during 1972/73 and morphed into 'Robbery With Violins' for Parcel of Rogues but dropping Duffy the Dancer. Often just called Robbery With Violins on set lists.  Features on the Streamed only Live album 'Traitor's Wages'
'Bank Of Ireland'/ ‘Kitty Come Down From Limerick’/' 'O'Rourke's Reel' (often erroneously called 'The Wild Irishman') . Played live during 1974. Again this set of tunes is often just called Robbery With Violins on set lists. This set is on the new 2024 release of the 1974 Bottom Line US concert.
'Oak Tree/Pidgeon on the Gate'. Early 1973 tune prior to Nigel joining.
'A Tune collected by Sally Grodpile' (May '73) . This is how Peter introduces it on the audio bootleg of the US TV PBS-TV performance. Almost certainly 'Lark in the Morning' as Peter often made up silly names for the tunes!
'Truck Driving Man' (Also known as Another Cup of Coffee). played as an encore and sung by Bob with an American accent. Features on the Streamed only Live album 'Traitor's Wages' 
'Four Poster Bed' ('73). An Irish Reel performed by Dubliners and by Fairport on 'Rosie' with 'The Hen's March'
'Peasecod Time'. On US and UK 1974 tours, and on the 'Electric Folk' episode from Penshurst Place in 1974. It would sometimes appear at the end of 'Summer Is a Coming In/Staines Morris' as a 'Pastoral' Medley of Pieces. Appears on  'Live at the Bottom Line 1974 CD (2024)'
'Remember you're a Womble'. Followed 'Peasecod Time' live in 1974. Tune only!
'Nautical Medley'/'Sea Shanties'. Encore on US '74 tour. 'Hearts of Oak'/'A Life on the Ocean Wave'; 'Rule Britannia'. Hearts of Oak also heard in Manchester around the same time.  This set is on 'Live at the Bottom Line 1974 CD (2024)'
''Reggae' Spotted Cow'. A distinctly Reggae version of Spotted Cow heard on tour from 1974. & on Electric Folk (Raby Castle). I have put an audio clip on the main timeline (in 1974).
'You Won't See me' (November 1975 'Hat' Tour encore) . Beetles song. Don't think a recording exists?
'When Will I be Loved' (November 1975 'Hat' Tour encore) . Everley Brothers. Don't think a recording exists?


'Loves a Plum Pudding' John Kirkpatrick Morris tune from 1977. Don't think a recording exists?
'Sword Dance' Another Morris tune from 1977. Don't think a recording exists?
'Sweet Swansea'. Trad song about Prison played during 1977/78 as a first part to a 'Prison' medley with The Treadmill Song. Sang Acapella. On a bootleg.
'As I Roved Out' (Bob Hart) noted as being played on the 1978 'Farewell' Tour in a review article at Chester. ('Folk News')
'Down in the Valley' (Tambourine backing only). Encore track from 1977/78 line up. On Bootleg.

Rockers Encore (1973-74)

Various 50'/60's Rock n Roll classics performed by the band, usually, but not always part of an encore around the years 1972-74. They would often make a quick change after the main show and come back on dressed up in 'Rockers' outfits. Most of these these tracks only exist, if at all, as part of various bootlegs, usually from the tours of America.

'All Dressed up and Nowhere to go' ('73). Piano+Maddy + Band Backing Vocals. Available from when Steeleye supported Procul Harum.
'Hello Mary Lou' ('73). Session recording available.
'Rag Doll' ('73). Released as a Single.
'Long Tall Sally' ('73).
'Da Doo Ron Ron' ('73)
'Sing Something Simple' ('73)
'Too Know Him is to Love Him' (appeared on Now We are Six but included here to show all known Rockers Encore tracks)

As listed above, they also played  'You Won't See me' and 'When Will I be Loved' but I am not sure if they were part of a 'Rockers encore' where they got changed as in the image above.

Studio outtakes

'General Taylor' (1971) Studio Outtake from Please to see the King. Appeared on 'Individually and Collectively LP in 1972. Also on the 'lark in the Morning' CD collection. More recently on the 2006 Castle Re Issue of Ten Map Mop, along with a BBC Session version. A Mark III line up version from a '72 session appears on a Bootleg.

'Singing the Travels' (June 1972). Studio outtake from Below the Salt Sessions. Now available on the 'Good Times of Old England' Box Set

'Bonny Moorhen' (1973). From Parcel Of Rogues studio sessions. 1st appeared on 'Original Masters' LP. Also on the 'Parcel of Steeleye' collection. Was excluded from album because there were "too many" Scottish songs.

'The Games People Play' (year?). Not available. Per Peter: " I remember once in the studio, Tim Hart, Rick and myself decided one late night to record 'The Games People Play'. It's out of this world, out of time, out of tune and very funny."

'Z Cars Theme'. Not really an outtake but the band were commissioned to record the theme music to the series. The tune was from a song called Johnny Todd.

Devils Dream (1975) Tune recorded during the 'Hat' album sessions, partnered with Sum Waves reflecting the live set at the time. Now available on the 'Good Times of Old England' Box Set

'SuperWomble'. (23rd July 1975). Full story on 1975 page. Steeleye actually recorded a version of this song in the studio (while recording 'Hat') in order for Mike Batt to get it on Top of the Pops the next day - all TotP tracks had to be recorded the day before (Union rules). The band then mimed to this track the next day on TotP. 

'Golden Vanity' (1995, Trad Arr) A Bob Johnson sung song that is a studio outtake from the 'Time' Album recording sessions. 1st appeared on two 'Park Records' sampler CD's in the 90's and more recently on the 2015 'Catch Up - The Essential Steeleye Span' CD

'Staring Robin'. (2000). A Tim Harries original song about an "Elizabethan Psycho". Full details on the time line for 2000. Recorded for the 'Bedlam Born' album but has never been released or surfaced so not yet available. Played on the 2000 tour and I recorded a poor quality bootleg and put it on Youtube.

Single only releases

More details available on the Timeline pages where relevant. 

'Rave On' (1971). Single. Appears on a number of collections in slightly different variations. See 'Singles' page.

'The Holly and The Ivy' (1972). Appears on various collections including a version with spoken Xmas greetings from the band which is on 'A Rare Collection'.

'Rag Doll' (1972). Appears on the US LP 'Live at Last' and various collections since including 'A Rare Collection 1972-1996' and an 'alternate take' on the 'Good Times of Old England' Box Set  

'Boars Head Carol' (1977). Single only. Appears on the usual collections including 'A Rare Collection 1972-1996'  

'Montrose (edited)' 1978 'B' side to 'Hunting the Wren'. edited down to just under 4m from 15m! Found on 'A Rare Collection..'

'Somewhere In London' (1985) A single only release at the time but appears now on CD Reissue of Back in Line Album. The 'B' side had a slightly different version of 'Lanercost' which included an instrumental ending. Available on 'A Rare Collection'

'Hard Times of Old England' (2008) Studio recorded unreleased single, shortened 'Rock N Roll' version that appeared live at the time. See 2008 timeline for details.

'Somewhere along the Road'. (2015). A Rick Kemp composition sung by Maddy for years. This is a studio recording and they played it live. Appeared on 'Catch Up' Album.

1980 - 2001 live tracks

'I have a Wish' (1982). Available on 'Gone to Australia' and a 'A Rare Collection 1972-1996'

'I live not where I love' (Trad Arr, 1982). Frequently sung by Maddy and also available from a live 2006 concert, also played in 1993 tour. Found on 'A Rare Collection..'

'Autumn to Spring Medley' (1984). Available on 'Rare Collection'. Brings to together Harvest Home/ Marigold from Sails of Silver but adds 'The Spring Will Bring us Together' which is not available anywhere else. Found on 'A Rare Collection..'

'The Masons Apron' (1984) (available on 'Gone to Australia') . Frequently played jig that often followed 'Hat' or other encores. Also appears on the 1994 25th Anniversary Video.

'In the Bleak Midwinter' (1985) . Sang on Pebble Mill at One, probably mimed. Appears on 'Winter' album but included here as a very different line up.

'Pheonix' A song played at City Hall, St Albans in October 1985. No other details known. Rick Kemp did write a song of this name released on one of his solo albums a few years later.

'She Moves Through the Fair'. Played on the UK Autumn tour as a classic Maddy and Peter Vocals/Violin duet. 

'All I have to do is Dream' (1987) . Mark Williamson sang this as an encore during the 1987 US Tour.
'Blues Jam' (1987) As part of the same tour the band did a 'Jam' of Blues themed tunes as part of the encore. Bootlegs exist of the Cambridge gig which is how these are known.

'Eb English' (1993) & 'Picnic' (1993) These two Peter Knight original tunes (from his solo album 'An Ancient Cause' a year earlier) Played on the 1993 and 1994 Steeleye tours available as a bootleg from '93 and on the '25th Anniversary' Video in 1994.

'Sorry the day I was Married' (Trad Arr, 1993). A Maddy/Tim track that made an appearance with Steeleye in 1993 for the first time when Tim Hart toured with the Band as the Support act. Also featured on 2018 tour.

'Lowlands of Holland' (1994). From the 1994 25th Anniversary Video. Sang by Gay, played at a much slower pace with just Keyboard and Violin hence why included.

'Room For Company' (1997, Trad Arr) Maddy singing just to Liam's drum accompaniment and followed by the tune Hunsden House.
'Brigg Fair' (1997, Trad Arr). 'My Singing Bird' (1997 sung by Gay and a slower Irish song of unkown origin. These three all played on the 1996/7 tours but do not appear on any official released live albums. Brigg Fair not heard on any bootlegs yet either but the other two are. 

'Stuttering Lovers' (1999) A Gay Woods song, "A bit of nonsense" as she described it, first appeared in the 30th Anniversary tour but never made it to the next album. Bootleg recordings do exist. Peter was asked about why this song did not appear on Bedlam Born and he said that Gay just didn't bring it forward to rehearsals.  

'Through Moorfields' (2001, Trad Arr). Folk on The Pier, Cromer. Sung and arranged by Tim Harries. Never recorded as he left straight after. Great song!
'Streets of Derry' (2001, Trad Arr). Folk on the Pier, Cromer. Sung by Taz Alexander with just keyboard accompaniment.


Studio Tracks from 'Present' CD (2002):
When the 'classic' line up re-united they recorded the 'Present' album which had a couple of interesting tracks/variations worthy of note.

'Let Her Go Down' ('Present' and 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert') When the Peter Knight track was recorded in 1980 on 'Sails of Silver' the middle verse was altered to enable Maddy Prior to sing a verse as it was thought at the time it was single material. This version goes back to the as intended version and makes much more lyrical sense of the song.
'Lyke Wake Dirge' Recorded for the first time by the band. Appeared in concert in the mid 70's.
'Hard Times of Old England'. Much slowed down version.

Live tracks available on Official Live Releases:
'Liam's Drum Solo' (2004. Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert)
'Who's the Fool Now' (Trad Arr). 2006. Appears on 'Live at a Distance'
'The Neck Belly Reel' 2008. Appears on 'Live at a Distance'. Peter Knight fiddle tune.
'I live not where I love' (Trad Arr). 2006. Appears on 'Live at a distance'. Another live only recording of this frequently sung Maddy favourite.

2011-2023 live tracks

During the period 2014-2016 in particular the band played various songs that have not appeared on a studio or live album.

'Robbers' Medley': Cadgwith Anthem/Hark the Robbers/Jack Hall. Sung live 2014-2015. Hark the Robbers was a new song to the band and whilst Jack Hall was on 'Tempted and Tried'. There two different versions of Jack Hall that featured in concerts, one sung by Rick and one later by Julian (2015) that was quite different.

'Hares Medley': On Yonder Hill; Hunting the Hare; The Poachers run. Played in 2015 Live and all songs new to Steeleye, although of course Maddy has written songs about Hares on Solo albums when she was asked to do the score for a BBC TV programme about Hares. The latter two are instrumentals. 

'The Sovereign Prince' 2015 Autumn Tour. Original song by Maddy, first appeared on her solo album 'Changing Winds'. 

'Deep in the Darkest Night' . 2016. A Rick Kemp composition, sung A Capella in the Encore. Recorded by Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp on solo records.

Angels of Lincoln'. 2022. Maddy sings this song written by John Conolly (who wrote Fiddlers Green)

'Cold and Haily Night' 2022. Sang By Maddy, a different interpretation of 'Cold, Haily, Windy Night' with similar lyrics but a different melody/arrangement.

Low Flying / Genocide. 2023. Two Rick Kemp compositions, the first from the Maddy/Rick 'Happy Families' 

'When All the World was Young, Lad'.  2023. A poem by Charles Kingsley, from one of his novels that has been set to various melodies and songs.

'The Sound of the Drum'. 2023. Trad. Arr. Destined for the new 2024 album apparently.