December 1971 (although actually not available to buy until 7th January 1972 - apparently due to issues with the sleeve)
Pegasus Records (PEG 9)
MADDY PRIOR - TIM HART - PETER KNIGHT - ASHLEY HUTCHINGS - MARTIN CARTHY
Recorded at Sound Techniques, Chelsea, London
Producer - Sandy Roberton
Engineer - Jerry Boys
The Mark 2 swansong album and a poorly received album compared to the last, which may have contributed to Ashley's disillusionment with the Steeleye 'experiment'. The most underplayed live album of them all, especially as at the time Carthy/Hutchings left soon after. Only those that were already in the live set before the album was recorded were played live. When the band returned in '72 it was with a new set of songs.
The title is in two parts because they could not decide on which one to use. The first relates to a 'mop' hiring fair where people would go looking for work in the morning. A 10 man mop would not be many and alluding to the hard life of a musician. Mr Reservoir Butler was a folk singer who performed one of the tracks on the album and the band wanted to 'save his name from obscurity'.
The two old men on the picture are two villagers at the 'Bidford Mop Fair around the year 1900, the photo was taken by John Benjamin Stone.
It has entered folklore that the album made no money because of the expensive gatefold sleeve and inner booklet after a comment by Tim Hart. However, this has since been said to be an exaggeration, although the margins were certainly not as good as the band would have liked.
(5.28, Trad. Introduced by Hart) Hart- lead vocals & dulcimer; Carthy; Hutchings; Knight-timpani & maybe mandolin; Prior-tabor. Also known as a 'Wassailling' song it describes the practice of Wassailers going to rich houses around Christmas time (which was then spread across 40 days) to collect beer/cider (or food) in return for their singing good luck songs, usually wishing them a good apple crop so they can come back next year and get some more! Gower probably just refers to the place in South Wales were the lyrics to this version were probably collected initially.
A Tim Hart vocal tour-de-force features heavily in the set while this line up was active although sadly not in any BBC Session. Having been not seen since the 1995 reunion concert it has finally been bought back in 2021. Having called for its return here I think they must have listened.... ;)
Not to be confused with 'The Weaver and the Factory Maid' or 'The Weaver' which are alternative names used for the song recorded on Parcel of Rogues. Played during 1971, but seemingly not in 1972. In late 1972 they recorded 'The Weaver and the Factory Maid' (Parcel of Rogues) which seemed to put an end to the singing of 'Wee Weaver'. The only exception is the one-off 2001 Cromer concert. where Tamsyn Alexander gave a very brooding, atmospheric jazz influenced vocal performance and the whole song had an improvised feel to it.
(traditional. Sung acapella) Studio out-take and appears on re-issues of the album or collections.
At the time Tim said they intended to have an unaccompanied song on the album but they recorded it, listened to it, and didn't like it.
(Buddy Holly). Single Only but now appear on re issues of the album and collections.
Released as a single for the band Autumn 1971 tour after the band had sung it to Ashley as a joke in the back of a car thinking he would hate it.. turned out both he and the record company thought it was great and so was released as a single. It got plenty of airplay but was not a commercial success. It was excluded from the album because it 'it would have been out of context.
Castle Music 2006 CD ALBUM RE-ISSUE
The 2006 Castle Music CD re-issue had the following additional tracks. (Note that the second CD which contains the John Peel concert is actually available in much much better quality as a bootleg)
CD1: 10. "General Taylor" (studio outtake) 11. "Rave On" ('scratched' effect, original single version) 12. "Rave On" (cleaned-up 'two verse' version) 13. "Rave On" (cleaned-up 'three verse' version)
BBC "Peel's Sunday Concert" 15 September 1971
CD2: 01. "False Knight on the Road" 02. "The Lark in the Morning" 03. "Rave On" 04. "Reels: £10 Float / The Musical Priest" 05. "Captain Coulston" 06. "Martin Carthy: Handsome Polly-O" 07. "Martin Carthy: Bring 'Em Down / Tim Hart: Haul on the Bowline" 08. "Four Nights Drunk" 09. "When I Was on Horseback" 10. "Tim Hart & Maddy Prior: I Live Not Where I Love" 11. "Peter Knight: The Wind That Shakes the Barley / Pigeon on the Gate / Jenny's Chickens" 12. "Female Drummer" 13. "General Taylor" 14. "College Grove / Silver Spear / Ballymurphy Rake / Maid Behind the Bar"