Shirley Collins and Dolly Collins had recorded many times before this brilliant album from 1978. For as Many as will was to be the final album from the sisters together.
The last album, the tenth, has been Amaranth in 1976 which had seen new tracks added to their earlier re released 1969 album Anthems in Eden.
This eleventh album from Shirley Collins covers not only traditional folk music of England like previous album, but also includes a cover of a modern song by Richard Thompson.
The sad song Never again by Thompson gets a wonderful treatments here. It is the first modern song they recorded.
All tracks are arranged by Sister Dolly
After the opening track, Lancashire Lass and then Never Again we get track three Lord Allenwater. It tells the story of James Ratcliffe third Earl of Derwentwater who was beheaded on Tower Hill in 1716 for his part in the Jacobite uprising the year before,
Another track is the Beggars Opera Medley, with songs from John Gay’s seminal English Opera. The recording is very interesting and Dolly even manages to use synthesizer to great effect in the arrangement.
There is a great new version of A blacksmith courted me and then there is the track titled Gilderoy. This is a song collected by a Henry Burstow and used in publication by Lucy Broadwood.
Then there is a poaching song with Rockley firs/sweet jenny jones. We also get German Tune which is a German Christmas carol from 14th Century manuscript.
Finally there is the Harvest Home Medley,
This is a great folk album and the last one from the two sisters. It is as good as the previous albums and deserves a place in any folk collection.
on 30 December 2009
With beautful minimalist arrangements from Dolly Collins, and Shirley Collins' incredible voice, this is a first rate English folk album. Apart from a cover of Richard Thomson's 'Never Again' (a haunting piece about the passage of time), the songs are mainly traditional songs of Southern England. Especially worth noting is 'The Blacksmith Courted Me' (actually track five - there is an error in the tracklisting). The combination of sadness and resignation on this song of forsaken love is gut wrenching, and Shirley commented in an interview that it still breaks her heart. Because of this track alone I give the album five stars, but all the material is really good.