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The Moral Of The Elephant

Eliza Carthy, Martin Carthy Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
Price: £9.77 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (2 Jun 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Topic
  • ASIN: B00JB08G1A
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,888 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Her Servant Man
2. Happiness
3. Blackwell Merry Night
4. Queen Caraboo
5. Grand Conversation On Napoleon
6. The Elephant
7. Waking Dreams (Awake, Awake)
8. Bonny Moorhen
9. The Queen Of Hearts
10. Monkey Hair
11. Died For Love

Product Description

Product Description

The first album as a duo by the father and daughter of folk's most celebrated family, performing a wide selection of sublime songs. Produced by Eliza, Martin and Oliver Knight, this wonderful album captures the essence of a continuing singing and performing tradition that weaves a thread through the Waterson/Carthy dynasty. Eliza and Martin constantly shape and interpret words and tunes into something fresh, yet recognizable as the product of two lives bonded not only by family ties, but by the music that lives with them and through them. The songs here range from reworkings of the traditional - 'Her Servant Man', the majestic 'Grand Conversation On Napoleon', 'Bonny Moorhen' - through interpretations of the more modern - 'Happiness' and Michael Marra's 'Monkey Hair' to a new Eliza Carthy tune set to the poetry of John Godfrey Saxe - 'The Elephant'. Perhaps most affecting is the wonderful tribute to Mike Waterson, in using his unique arrangement of 'Died For Love' to close a beautifully played and beautifully sung collection of songs.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Martin Carthy and Eliza Carthy - It takes two 2 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Spinning this album for the first time your mind wistfully harks back to all those great Waterson-Carthy albums over the past 20 years. The dawning then hits the listener that despite this massive wealth of music "The Moral of the Elephant" actually represents the first time that the doyen of British folk music and his uber talented and wonderfully wayward daughter have released a duo album together. In a recent interview Eliza Carthy spoke in jest that "this is the first time we've got around to kicking mum out". It is understood that Martin determined diplomatically not to comment but broke into a wry chuckle.

Whilst the presence of folk giant Norma Waterson has been a central plank of all the previous albums the "The Moral of the Elephant" stands in its own right as an masterful LP by two of the genre's prime exponents playing alone, live in the studio and in barebones acoustics. This simplicity brings out the best in the both of them on an excellent set of mostly traditional songs. Carthy Senior kicks the ball onto the pitch with a great version of "Her Servant Man" with a wonderfully steadfast vocal and stirring fiddle from Eliza. She in turn follows with a sumptuous version of Molly Drake's "Happiness" showing that Drake's own son Nick was not the only talent in the family. As for the emotive vocal of Eliza you would be a foolish soul not to track this one down. Both Carthy voices sing in unison for the first time on the album on the joyful "Blackwell Merry Night", whilst that old warhorse a "Grand Conversation on Napoleon" is given another outing on which the two artists show how folk music in classic stanzaic form should be done. The revisiting of Queen of Hearts" which was on Martin Carthy's debut nearly 50 years ago demonstrates how he remains a supreme master of the folk art.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 5 Jun 2014
Format:Audio CD
This is Martin and Eliza Carthy at their best. with voices guitar and fiddle to the fore. There are no unnecessary additional instruments or production; they just allow their quality to shine through. This is helped by a really well chosen collection of traditional songs.

Thank you to Fopp in Edinburgh for having this playing, I popped in for a wee look, not really intending to get anything but this album just grabbed me. I listen to a really wide range of musical genres, I am getting excited that Robert Fripp's reactivation of King Crimson might yet produce a new studio album of new material, but I am already in love with The Moral of the Elephant and my folk collection is now set for some intense listening, particularly the Waterson Carthy section and this album in particular.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
Martin Carthy and his daughter Eliza team up here as a duo for the first time, though they were both members of Waterson Carthy. I was intrigued to find no musician credits in the booklet, but this is because nobody else was involved. All the songs were well-rehearsed and recorded as if live, without what is now thought customary mixing and overdubbing.

All the songs are traditional folk songs except Happiness (which the recorded after listening to a recording by Molly Drake) and Monkey hair (written by Michael Marra).

The title track is based on a poem by John Godfrey Saxe, but the poem itself originated in the Indian subcontinent, only spreading to Europe and America in the 19th century.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine album from two giants of folk 7 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD
Yet again, Red on Black has posted a review saying much of what I was going to say about this excellent album. I will just add that it really is something rather special: two absolute giants of folk music singing and playing superbly. I love Martin Carthy's voice these days; it has a depth and richness of experience about it which is quite brilliant, and his guitar work is as skilful, controlled and well-judged as ever. Eliza is, as always, wonderful. She's in fine voice and her fiddle playing is top class.

There's a good selection of material here with both traditional and non-traditional songs, all of which work very well, it's very well recorded and sounds just great. This is a cracking album all round - but then if you already know the Carthys, you'll be expecting that. My advice is to read RoB's excellent review and to snap this up; it's a gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Father and daughter from the royal family of the English folk revival offer us a set of songs, mostly not often performed in traditional music circles: an interesting selection. Martin's voice is no longer as strong as when I first heard him - but that was 50 years ago, so it's hardly surprising. Eliza's strong voice sounds more and more like her mother's at its peak. The absence of Martin's wife/Eliza's mother Norma Waterson from this recording is presumably due to Norma's recent health problems, and it's a pity because the Waterson-Carthy series of records with all three of them sharing the singing were remarkably fine, but this new album is very good indeed. If you like serious and committed folksong that respects the tradition, this is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love Eliza! 9 Aug 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Great album about time too (Daddy and Daughter combo)! Happiness is my favourite track. If you're old fashioned buy the CD as it has some interesting although brief sleeve notes
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