Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again

December 1971 (although actually not available to buy until 7th January 1972 - apparently due to issues with the sleeve)
Pegasus Records (PEG 9)


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.    


Maddy Prior, vocals, spoons, tabor;
Tim Hart, vocals, dulcimer, guitars, organ, 5-string banjo, mandolin;
Peter Knight, vocals, fiddle, tenor banjo, mandolin, timpani;
Martin Carthy, vocals, guitar, organ;
Ashley Hutchings, bass

1. Gower Wassail

(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.... ;) 


[1971] Various live appearances.
[1995] . The Journey concert (features on The Journey CD (1999). Hart-lead vocals & dulcimer. 
A close approximation to the original with Hart singing with some harmonies but with Peter now on violin so no drum (there was a tabor & timpani on the original).
[2021] UK Autumn Tour. Sung by Julian Littman and Spud Sinclair in a powerful rendition. 

2. Jigs: Paddy Clancy's Jig / Willie Clancy's Fancy

(3.11 , trad.)

LIVE: Identification of Jigs in set-lists accurately is almost impossible as they usually just appear as 'jigs'/tunes' etc. This set does not seem to have been officially recorded live.

3. Four Nights Drunk

(3.06, Trad. Using "The Primrose Lass" as the tune. Introduced by Carthy. There are lots of versions of this song with more verses)
Played fairly regularly before and after being recorded during 1971 but another casualty of this line up ceasing. Returns in 1987 and a run out for the song in 1992 and both 2004 tours before a final appearance at the 2009 40th Anniversary concert where it was played with Carthy and John Kirkpatrick on stage.

 [1971]. Oct UK Tour; Sept 1971 John Peel Sunday Concert. Appears on 'Ten Man Mop' 2006 Castle CD although in much worse quality than is available on Bootlegs. 
[1987] During World Tour including UK Autumn Tour. Peter and Maddy (vocal) start off giving good 'drunk playing' impressions. Drums and guitar slowly join in before a long full instrumental ending. Here it also includes Maddy on Spoons.
[2004]. 35th Anniversary UK Spring and Winter Tours. Played with a 'drunk' 'Show me the way to go home' intro by Peter. Sang by Maddy as she did in the 80's. Full band backing played throughout the song unlike the original which just has fiddle before the jig at the end. Also, and this is important, Maddy changes the lyric from 'man' to 'head'...much better. Appears on 'Folk Rock Pioneers in Concert CD' 2004. 
[2009] Spring Tour and Autumn UK Tours. 40th Anniversary Barbican Concert. With Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick.

4. When I was on Horseback

(6.13. Trad. Roud 2) Prior-lead vocal; Hart-Dulcimer; Carthy-electric guitar; Knight-violin (played straight and pizzicato). Also known as the Dying Soldier.
Album notes: ' Another young man cut down in his prime … tasted and wasted … sickness and diseases pull you down … Oh and it's Mary Doran crooning her way into our hearts … O'Riordan's song in the snow flurries … the first tentative step—in which Peter is given his head.'
Maddy ('Present' liner notes): 'This is from the singing of an Irish traveler, Mary Doran. It has links to other songs (e.g. The Streets of Laraido, An Amercian version) and, I was told, it concerns the death of a soldier, not so much from the wounds of war, but from the side effects of Love. Syphalis was un-treatable, and was reputed to make the body smell unpleasantly.

Introduced by Maddy in 2018 as "a song about syphilis...who knew". 
Was played live throughout 1971 a good while before being recorded. Re appeared in 1984 on the US tour and continued off-and-on through to 1989. At this point it was a slow tempo, mainly a Peter/Maddy duo piece which they do so well, with a little percussion and some guitar later.

Studio Re-Recording on 'Present' CD Album (2002). Prior-lead vocal; Knight-Octave violin. Worth highlighting as it was a new arrangement with Peter on the octave violin and a rhythmical Bass/Drum backing which has become the arrangement now played many times since. Noted by Liam Genockey as his favorite song to play live.  

[1971). Sept John Peel Sunday Night Concert. Various live appearances. Autumn UK Tour. Appears on 'Ten Man Mop' 2006 Castle CD although in much worse quality than is available on Bootlegs.
[1984] US Tour. Probable UK Tours (no set lists). A 'classic' Peter and Maddy slow atmospheric version but with a subtle percussion backing as well. 
[1985] US Tour; Gloucester Festival so probably featured on a UK tour.  
[1989] 20th Anniversary Tour, but not included on the live video/DVD/CD releases
[2002] UK Reunion Tour. Featured on the Live at a Distance CD (2009). A faithful reproduction of the version recorded on 'Present' now with Ken Nicol instead of Bob of course.
[2013] UK Spring Tour 
[2015] Winter UK Tour; US/CAN Summer tour/Festivals.  Jessie May Smart usually played a half improvised solo prelude as an intro before switching to an Octave violin (Shepley Festival) .
[2017] Hark! The Village Wait tour. Jessie's prelude had gone by now.  Hark! The Village Wait Live CD (2021)
[2018] Festivals; UK Autumn Tour. Features on the '50th Anniv. Tour DVD/CD set only on DVD, also can be seen at the Shrewsbury Youtube video.
[2019] Jan Irish Tour; December 50th Anniv. UK Tour
[2022] UK Spring Tour

5. Marrowbones

(4.28. Trad. (Roud 183) Introduced by Carthy) Carthy & Prior- lead harmonies.

Not seen it on a set list but an article at the time described it as 'firm favourite' when played live. Given it was recorded for the album then it's probably it was not played much as Martin announced he was leaving as soon it was released. Not then played live until 2017 When Benji Kirkpatrick joined and introduced it to the regular live set for the first time. He introduced at as  'A lesson in how not to kill your husband'.

[1971] Various gigs. Described as a 'firm favourite' live by a reporter.
[1987] UK Autumn tour. 
[2017] UK Hark! the Village Wait tour. Sung by Benji.   Hark! The Village Wait Live CD (2021)
[2018] UK Autumn Tour; Festivals, including Shrewsbury Folk festival which is on Youtube. Benji sings and plays the Bozouki while Juilian the Mandolin in an up tempo reworking. 
[2019] Jan Irish tour; December 50th Anniv. concert at the Barbican. Played with special guests Martin Carthy who sang it plus Peter Knight and John Kirkpatrick.

6. Captain Coulston

(5.06. Trad. Not sure who introduced it to the set but was not a commonly sung song but assuming it is based on 'The Tennis Right' then it was sung by Joe Heaney)
Gets a mention of being played in 1971 (so will have been played a few times given the lack of set lists from that time) and was one of the songs that was in the set before being recorded for the album. But after that it seems to have been consigned to history and has never resurfaced.

[1971]. Various live appearances; Sept John Peel Sunday Night Concert. Appears on the 'Ten Man Mop 2006 Castle reissue CD. Same line up , same version.

7. Reels: Dowd's Favourite / £10 float / The Morning Dew

 Identification of Reels/Jigs in set-lists accurately is almost impossible as they usually just appear as 'jigs'/tunes' etc . This set however does seem to have been played live given that it appears on BBC sessions at the time - usually with slight variations - which could just be due to naming differences/errors.

[1971]. Various live appearances; Feb BBC Session; (appears on the Please to see the King CD Reissue); Sept John Peel Sunday Night Concert (Appears on the 'Ten Man Mop 2006 Castle reissue CD.) which replaces The Morning Dew with 'The Musical Priest'.

8. Wee Weaver

(2.41, introduced by Maddy.) Prior-Lead vocal; Knight-violin. (Multi tracking of violin). Another rarely sung song and Maddy heard Brigid Tunney singing it, but it's believed that had a different tune.  It is likely that this was an original Steeleye tune, rare for these first three albums. 

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.  

[1970). Sept. BBC Session. Recorded over a year before inclusion on the album, a longer version, still with just Peter and Maddy but with a long Peter instrumental before Maddy returns for a repeat of the first verse. Available on 'Please to See the King 2006 Castle CD'. 
[1971] Occasional Live plays.
[2001] Cromer 'Folk on the Pier' Tamsyn Alexander gave a very brooding, atmospheric jazz influenced vocal performance and the whole song had an improvised feel to it.

9. Skewball

(3.31, Trad. Introduced by Martin Carthy). 
Hart- Lead vocal and 5 string Banjo. Prior-vocals; Carthy-electric guitar Hutchings; Knight-violin & tenor banjo. A well known song played with an Americana feel which is not surprising as Leadbelly sang an early recording of it and the 60's A.L. Lloyd version has a very Western tempo. By all accounts it is a 'true' story, or at least based in some fact! 

LIVE:  Looks like it appeared occasionally in the live set in 1971 but tragically, at least in my view, and like a few others on this album, has never been since. Sadly it also didn't get a run out in BBC session either.

[1971] Occasional live play

General Taylor

(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. 

Rave On

(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"

LP/CD Covers

1971 Gatefold LP 

Original 1971 Pegasus (PEG 9) LP. This cover was used by Mooncrest for their 1974 LP reissue, by Chrysalis for the 1976 International reissue, by Shanachie in the US for the first CD release (1989) and the 2006 Castle Music CD release with bonus tracks (see above)

1976 Mooncrest LP

This was a Mooncrest UK LP reissue from 1976. 

1991 UK CD Release

Used by Mooncrest for the first UK CD reissue in 1991. 

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