Monday, 12 October 2015

Steeleye Span - The Weaver and the Factory Maid

From Steeleye Span - electric folk music of the early 1970s at its wonderful best.

The first part is a composite Luddite social history/ protest ballad about the impact of factories on the lives of handloom weavers, and of love among the weavers - and remarkable for its fiddle 'obbligato' and top-notch singing (and word-pointing), also an astonishing and irregular time signature and syncopation using electric guitars, bass and dulcimer.

(There was a vogue for unconventional time signatures in early 70s rock - the most famous is perhaps the 5/4 rhythm used in Jethro Tull's Living in the Past.)

The second part (starting at 4:25) is a lament for the old days, done by Maddy Prior as a multi-track unaccompanied harmonization - And if you can concentrate and listen to this in stereo, without your eyes welling and neck hairs prickling... well, you must have a heart of stone or a tin ear, or both!