Our Song of the Day is from The Furrow Collective who consist of Rachel Newton, Lucy Farrell, Emily Portman and Alasdair Roberts. This is a live recording of them performing King Henry at The Glad Cafe, Glasgow last month.
Emily Portman on King Henry (Roud 3967)
King Henry is “a tale of bewitchment and metamorphosis with a moral to men that appearances can be deceptive and they shall reap great rewards if they give women that they want! I came across ‘King Henry’ in Bronson’s The Traditional Tunes of the Child Ballads and, feeling like the first personto unearth such a gem in hundreds of years, I set about collating my own text, adapting melody from Mrs Brown of Aberdeenshire. I later discovered everyone had a go at ‘King Henry’ in the ’70s, but if we were put off because folk songs had been sung before, they would still be lying in dusty archives.
Their debut album ‘At Our Next Meeting’ was released on 17 Feb 2014 via Furrow Records and has been well received not least by Folk Radio UK:
Some kind of argument will always exist about the relevance of generations-old ballads like those on this record, but surely the fact that they still exist and are still performed is testament to their lasting significance. It is the skill of the performance that brings out the best in old songs and allows the universality of their themes to come to the fore, and there are few more skilled artists working in folk music now than the four that have combined to make At Our Next Meeting one of the finest collaborative albums of the past few years.
The Furrow Collective make their London debut, with Marry Waterson as their special guest, at Kings Place on 28th March as part of a festival which Emily and Alasdair are curating. Marry also made a beautiful video for I’d Rather be Tending my Sheep which you can watch here.