TIME

1996

MADDY PRIOR - PETER KNIGHT - BOB JOHNSON - TIM HARRIES - GAY WOODS - LIAM GENOCKEY

Park Records

Produced by John Etchells & Steeleye Span
Recorded at Element Recording Studios London
Engineer - John Etchells 
























The first studio album for 7 years and the first under Park Records, a small independent record company run by John Dagnell who had previously worked for Band Manager Adrian Hopkins and had been looking after Maddy Prior's solo releases. 

The album also marked the return to the band of Gay Woods, who was in the original Hark! The Village Wait line up. Gay was invited back into the band in 1994 to help ease Maddy Prior's vocal work load after Maddy had some vocal problems. It had gone well so Gay had remained in the band for this studio album.

As is often the case with the later Steeleye albums, the songs do not tend to last in the live set much beyond the the next album. There is usually one or two exceptions to this on each album and from Time so far it has been 'The Elf Knight' which has returned to the set in 2019, and the 'Song will Remain' which was not played live at the time but did feature 2006-09. We are also missing the set list from the 1st tour after the release of the album so will be missing some live appearances. 

1. The Prickly Bush

(6.03.  Traditional lyrics (Child 95 - 'The Maid Freed from the Gallows'). Melody and Arrangement by Bob Johnson)
 
Album notes - This story is allegorical, the gold signifying the maiden's honour; which when lost can only be restored by one person—her lover. Gold seems from early times to have been the symbol of integrity, appearing in Danish ballads as the virgin's insignia. So too in the Scottish Ballad of Tam Lim—“I forbid you maidens all / that wear gold in your hair.”

The “prickly bush” is familiar in English and Scottish ballads as the symbol of unhappy love. The real question is—do we remember the lessons learned whilst in the prickly bush?



LIVE/RELEASES:
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour; UK Autumn tour supporting Status Quo
[1997] UK Spring Tour; US Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1998] Bergen, Norway radio Broadcast; UK Autumn 'Horkstow Grange' Tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] Summer festivals; US Tour- Now being sung by Tim after the departure of Bob. UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour
[2001] Folk on the Pier, Cromer. 


2. The Old Maid in the Garrett / Tam Lin (reel)

(5.55 Traditional. Reel written by Davey Arthur)

Album notes: Definitely to be taken with a large pint of salt, this is probably the first (and last) time that this sung has been sung by women!
Note that the final verse - 'They say the women are worse than the men, they go down to hell and they're thrown out again' is from an Irish traditional long called 'Killieburne Brae'/'The Women are worse than the Men'

LIVE/RELEASES:
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour; UK Autumn tour supporting Status Quo
[1997] Bruges Radio Broadcast; UK Spring Tour; US Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1998] Bergen, Norway radio Broadcast; UK Autumn 'Horkstow Grange' Tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] Summer festivals; US Tour- Now being sung by Tim after the departure of Bob. UK 'Bedlam Born' Tour

3. Harvest of  the Moon

(4.11. Written by Peter Knight)

Album notes:  Brighid was a major pagan goddess throughout the Celtic lands. Brigantia, which once comprised most of the North of England was named after her. Elsewhere in Europe she was known as Brigan or Brig. Her other names include Brigid, Brigit, Brid and Bride. By any of these names she represents the triple goddess, i.e. the Maid, the Mother and the Crone. As the Moon goddess she personified its various phases, and her attributes were enchantment, ripeness and wisdom. To the Irish she was the goddess of fertility, inspiration and healing. Around 520 A.D. supposedly lived St. Bridget of Kildare, who became a Christianised version of all the pagan Bridgets that went before her. In this song she represents the re-emerging goddess of the feminine principle in mankind; bringing harmony and healing to all our troubled relationships.

Peter later confirmed that the reference to 'the tune of Elsie Marley' was just because it sounded like a good lyric rather than any reference to use of the real traditional tune 'Elsie Marley'. It was used as an analogy for all the hardships we have to deal with. 


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1995] UK Spring Tour - appears on BBC Radio Concert in Yeovil; The Journey Concert. Appears on 'The Journey' Live CD (1999) 
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour
[1997] UK Spring Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1998] Bergen, Norway radio Broadcast
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour


4. Underneath Her Apron

(5.13 Traditional. Introduced by Maddy Prior)

Album notes:  A fifteen year old girl woke her mother at 4 o'clock in the morning with the words “I think I'm going to have a baby, now.” This happened to my personal knowledge within the last ten years. And she shared her room with her sister. She just used a baggy sweater rather than an apron to hide her predicament.

LIVE/RELEASES:
[1997] US Tour. No other mentions live but we are missing some setlists from 1996.


5. The Cutty Wren

(2.50 Traditional) Introduced by Maddy but worked on with Liam. Segments of the song are improvised. 

The wren is known as the King of the Birds, because there is a fable in which a competition takes place to decide which bird is supreme. It is decided that he that flies highest is the monarch. The wren craftily hitches a ride on the back of the eagle and wins.

Also the wren was sacred to the Druids and the custom of catching and killing wrens at Christmas time would not be incompatible with this history of reverence. It would be protected all year and then ritually slain as a sacrifice at the appropriate time. As with all possible remnants of ancient religions, their meaning becomes obscured and their enactment trivialized, and so this song until recently was attached to the Christmas tradition of wassailing and the demanding of monies.


Another Steeleye song about this subject following on from 'The King' and 'Hunting the Wren' 



LIVE/RELEASES:
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour.
[1997] UK Spring Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour


6. Go From My Window

(5.19 Traditional. Introduced by Gay Woods and arranged by Bob Johnson) 

Gay said it reminded her of the Heathcliff and Cathy story. 


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1997] US Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1997] Bruges Radio Broadcast - part of a medley with The Water is Wide and a long improv piece in the middle.   


7. The Elf-Knight

(8.39 Traditional. (Child 4 - 'Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight'). Arranged and Melody written by Bob Johnson) 

Album notes:  A simple but vivid story, this ballad evokes many powerful images—a hazy afternoon in late June when the roses are full blown—Lady Isabel sitting alone in a castle room, with a shaft of sunlight playing on the tapestry that she is weaving—somewhere out there, beyond this world and the 'Fields We know' the elf-knight sits, arrogant, dark and brooding. He blows his horn and enchants her—she breathes a wish for him—in an instant he has broken through the barrier—two worlds collide, reality and fantasy, good and evil …


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1994] UK Autumn '25th Anniversary' Tour. Appears on 'Live 25 -2th Anniversary Tour Video (1995)
[1995] UK Spring Tour - appears on BBC Radio Concert in Yeovil; The Journey Concert. Appears on 'The Journey' Live CD (1999)
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour
[1997] US Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1998] Bergen, Norway radio Broadcast. 
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2019] Spring 50th Anniversary tour; festivals; Autumn 50th Anniversary Tour. Sung by Spud Sinclair. Features on the '50th Anniversary Tour DVD/CD set. (2019)


8. The Water is Wide

(7.13  Traditional. Child 204. Introduced by Peter Knight to explore improvisation in Steeleye. Gay loved the song so much she wanted to sing a couple of verses of the lyrics.)

Album Notes - They were once known as “love affairs” but now we call them “relationships”. They are still fraught, however, with what seems to be insurmountable problems and sometimes we know not if we “sink or swim”. When all is said and done, perhaps a “boat that will carry two” is the best way to navigate the sea of love and life.

This song was used, along with the Cutty Wren, to provide a platform for improvisation, which Peter in particular was exploring in his solo/other work at the time. This track always had an extended improv introduction.


LIVE/RELEASES:
[1995] UK Spring Tour - appears on BBC Radio Concert in Yeovil; The Journey Concert. Appears on 'The Journey' Live CD (1999)
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour; UK Autumn tour supporting Status Quo
[1997] US Tour; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1998] Bergen, Norway radio Broadcast; UK Autumn 'Horkstow Grange' Tour
[1999] UK 30th Anniversary Tour
[2000] Summer festivals; US Tour



9. You Will Burn

(4.53 written by Peter Knight )

Album notes - There was a genuine belief during the Inquisition that the Devil was using women to work his evil deeds. To some, these women were known as witches, to others as wise women or midwives. Throughout the ages it has been quite a common practice to blame women for the evil in the world. To be burned at the stake was considered the kindest thing to do to the unfortunate souls who had fallen prey to Satanic possession as it purified and freed them from certain eternal damnation. With ‘God's Blessing’ they tortured and murdered thousands of innocent women (and men).

LIVE/RELEASES:
Never played live to my knowledge



10. Corbies

(3.42 Traditional. Child 26) Introduced by Maddy 

An alternative recording of the song Twa Corbies which Steeleye recorded on 'Hark! The Village Wait'
Album notes: Scraggy feathered, mean beaked carrion crows tearing at the tender flesh of the dead, deserted Knight. As an image of impermanence there is no equal.
Maddy:  Reflection on death in its physical reality is known to the Buddhists and Hindus, but in the West only in Medieval times was it dealt with directly and evoked by skeletons carved on graves and gruesome images of Death the Reaper. In these more antiseptic times there is little in this line and flowers, wreaths and gentle doves cloud the unacceptable thought of our mortal destination. This song dates from earlier times and is for me a brilliant examination of decay.

LIVE/RELEASES:
[1995] UK Spring Tour - appears on BBC Radio Concert in Yeovil; The Journey Concert. Appears on 'The Journey' Live CD (1999)
[1996] UK Spring Tour?; Australian Tour; UK Autumn tour supporting Status Quo
[1997] Bruges Radio Broadcast; UK Autumn 'Time' Tour
[1998] Bergen, Norway radio Broadcast



11. The Song Will Remain

(4.16 Written by Peter Knight)
Peter - A reminder that the music is the real treasure and not the performer. 
Album notes:  As we live, the essence of who we are is distilled in our own hearts. When we die we leave the essence of who we are in the hearts of those who have known us.
(This was written by Felicity Buirski , a poet who Peter was working with at the time and whom he asked to distil the theme of the lyrics into one sentence.)
Peter - 'A love song'


LIVE/RELEASES:
[2006] UK Bloody Men Tour. Features as an encore.  Features on 'Live at a Distance' Live CD and DVD.  (2009). The DVD is from this tour but the CD version may be from 2008. 
[2008] Spring UK tour, Final encore. 
[2009] UK Spring 40th Anniversary' Tour. As an encore but not always sung; UK Autumn 40th Anniversary tour. 

Session Out-take - 'The Golden Vanity'

(5.44 Traditional. Child 286. Introduced and arranged by Bob)

2015 liner notes: 'An extremely widespread and well known ballad with many versions, some of which cite the hero as being Sir Walter Raleigh. Fundamentally, it is a story of betrayal. The black bear-skin was the cabin boy's covering at night and he wished to wear it as a disguise in the water.'

Appears on the Steeleye 2015 collection 'Catch Up' as well as a couple of Park Records collections ('Best of British Folk' and 'A Stroll through the Park'). Not played live but there are set lists missing from this period.

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