2001 : The Carthy Chronicles

Martin Carthy / Various Artists

4-CD / 1-CD-ROM box set

First release in the UK 2001 by Free Reed Records FRQCD 60

4x CD 83 track box set also includes detailed 100 page book with Colin Irwin biography, recollections of friends and colleagues, detailed track notes for every track including Martin’s own comments, complete discography, previously unseen photographs many of which come from the Carthy archive, CD-ROM offer (with first 5000 copies only) which includes alternative & source recordings, rare video footage, an ultimate Martin Carthy track finder, interview material & extensive photo-gallery, specially commissioned Pete Frame family tree of Martin’s career, specially reprinted edition of Peter Bellamy’s classic Martin Carthy poster.

4x CD box set, also includes:

Detailed 100 page book with Colin Irwin biography, recollections of friends and colleagues, detailed track notes for every track including Martin’s own comments, complete discography, previously unseen photographs many of which come from the Carthy archive.

CD-ROM offer (with first 5000 copies only), which includes alternative & source recordings, rare video footage, an ultimate Martin Carthy track finder , interview material & extensive photo-gallery.

Specially commissioned Pete Frame family tree of Martin’s career, available only with this set.

Specially reprinted edition of Peter Bellamy’s classic Martin Carthy poster.

Read Reflections, Comments and Reviews

CD ONE: ‘Classic Carthy’ (FRCD 61)

Seventeen Rare, Live and Classic tracks including ten previously un-released songs plus seven hard-to-find Martin Carthy performances, with Dave Swarbrick, Steeleye Span, Wilson Wood Carthy, Brass Monkey, The Watersons, Albion Band, John Kirkpatrick, Howard Evans and Richard Thompson – a choice and rare selection of those crucial Carthy songs most closely associated with him down the years. His earliest vinyl rarities, ‘big’ ballads he gave to Dylan and Paul Simon, newly-found concert tracks, ‘lost’ John Peel Show archives, and live recordings from Britain, France & the USA; each song has been weaving in and out Martin’s repertoire throughout the past 40 years, and now deserves its place in this hour or so of – ‘Classic Carthy’!

01 : Scarborough Fair
Wood Wilson Carthy (from “Wood Wilson Carthy” 1998)
02 : Byker Hill
with Dave Swarbrick (from “Byker Hill” 1967)
03 : Cold Haily Windy Night
Steeleye Span (from “The Journey” (1999)
04 : Skewbald
Live recording (from “Kertalg Festival 1974” 1974)
05 : Creeping Jane
Live recording (Memphis Folk Club, Leeds 1973)
06 : Old Horse
“Feed the Folk” 1985
07 : A Question of Sport
with Dave Swarbrick (from “Life and Limb” 1990)
08 : Lovely Joan
with John Kirkpatrick and Howard Evans. (Live at Folk City, New York 1983)
09 : The Maid and the Palmer
Brass Monkey (from “Brass Monkey” 1983)
10 : Begging Song
“Folk on 2: Dave Swarbrick’s 50th Birthday Concert” (1996)
11 : I Was a Young Man
“Shearwater” (1972)
12 : Prince Heathen
BBC John Peel session (1973)
13 : The Prickle-Holly Bush
The Watersons (Live at Triplex Theater, New York 1987)
14 : Lord Franklin
“Martin Carthy’s Second Album” (1966)
15 : Lemady / Arise and Pick a Posy
The Albion Band (from “Lark Rise to Candleford” 1979)
16 : Famous Flower of Serving Men
“Shearwater” (1972)
17 : Glorishears
“Plain Capers” (John Kirkpatrick 1976)

CD TWO: ‘Carthy in Company’ (FRCD 62)

Martin has always been generous with his talent: here are just some of the outstanding collaboration of which he has been a part- erforming with Albion Band, Band of Hope, Dave Swarbrick, Rory McEwen and Lisa Turner, Three City Four, Steeleye Span, Blue Murder, Thames-siders, The Watersons, Ashley Hutchings, John Kirkpatrick, Waterson:Carthy, Oskorri, Richard Thompson, June Tabor, Les Barker.

01 : The New St. George
The Albion Country Band (from “The BBC Sessions” 1998)
02 : Carthy’s March / The Lemon Tree
“Rhythm ‘n’ Reds” (The Band of Hope 1994)
03 : I Haven’t Told Her, She Hasn’t Told Me
with Dave Swarbrick (Danish TV 1967)
04 : My Girl
with Rory McEwen and Lisa Turner (from the TV series “Hullabaloo” 1964)
05 : Boys of Bedlam
“Please to See the King” (Steeleye Span 1971)
06 : Oh Had I a Golden Thread
Three City Four” (Three City Four 1965)
07 : ANC Song (Azicatal)
Live at Bracknell Festival (Blue Murder 11 July 1987)
08 : Wimoweh (excerpt)
“Thamesiders and Davy Graham” EP (Thamesiders 1963)
09 : Young Banker
“Sound of Yorkshire” (The Watersons 1985)
10 : The Postman’s Knock
“Son of Morris On” (Ashley Hutchings et al. 1976)
11 : Constant Billy
“Plain Capers” (John Kirkpatrick 1976)
12 : Lakes of Cold Flynn
Live at Folk City, New York (with John Kirkpatrick 1983)
13 : Irish Washerwoman / The Ash Plant
“No Songs” (1969)
14 : Arthur McBride and the Sergeant
“Prince Heathen” (1969)
15 : The Royal Forester / Bald Headed End of the Broom
“Broken Ground” (Waterson:Carthy 1999)
16 : Nafarroa
“25 Kantu Urte” (Oskorri 1996)
17 : The Wren
“Prince Heathen” (1969)
18 : The King
“Please to See the King” (Steeleye Span 1971)
19 : Joy, Health, Love and Peace
“Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy” (The Watersons 1977)
20 : Hunting the Wren
“Live at Last” (Steeleye Span 1978)
21 : Hunting the Cutty Wren
“The Mrs Ackroyd Band: Oranges and Lemmings” (with June Tabor 1990)
22 : Byker Hill
“Life and Limb” (1990)

CD THREE: ‘Carthy Contemporaries’ (FRCD 63)

‘I thought he just did folk songs?? – Perhaps; but here are twenty-three Carthy performances of contemporary songs that Martin has selected from a mighty and eclectic range of 20th century song-makers, from Bob Dylan to Buddy Holly – (via Brecht, Maccoll and Les Barker…) – to delight and amaze us. There’s more ‘Carthy-cover-versions’ here than ever assembled! Most are from hitherto un-released or unavailable sources, with songs of strong social – and social-ist – comment from the pens of Leon Rosselson (with Martin in Three City Four), Sidney Carter (the ‘Lord of the Dance’ man), from those soul-mates Berthold Brecht and Ewan Maccoll, and songs from lesser known, but no less powerful writers like Cyril Tawney, Tommy Armstrong (‘the Pitmans’s Poet’), brother-in-law Mike Waterson, even a song by Carthy himself. Martin performs the songs mainly solo, though some are with Swarb, Steeleye, Sidney Carter and the Watersons, in rare concert and club recordings and on tracks from ‘long-lost’ LPs; And, just so’s you know – the set is topped & tailed by Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Nothing Rhymed’ and by West/Petty/Tilghman’s ‘Rave On’ in OTT Buddy Holly-style – perhaps Steeleye Span’s strangest single ever!

01 : Nothing Rhymed
“Because It’s There” (1979)
02 : Lord of the Dance
“But Two Came By…” (1968)
03 : Rivers of Babylon
“Songs from ABC Television’s Hallelujah” (1966)
04 : History Lesson
“Three City Four” (Three City Four 1965)
05 : The January Man
“Landfall” (1971)
06 : Ballad of Alfie Hinds
Live from the TV series “Hullabaloo” (1964)
07 : The Humane Turnkey
“The Transports” (1977)
08 : Farewell, Farewell
Original solo version of track from “Beat the Retreat” (1991)
09 : Dust to Dust
“Landfall” (1971)
10 : A Stitch in Time
Live in New York (1987)
11 : Trimdon Grange
BBC John Peel session (1974)
12 : Palaces of Gold
“Crown of Horn” (1976)
13 : Springhill Mine Disaster
“Martin Carthy” (1965)
14 : Coal Not Dole
The Watersons. Live in New York (1987)
15 : Perfumes of Arabia
Live in Pittsburgh (1991)
16 : Such a War Has Never Been
“Skin and Bone” (1992)
17 : The Wife of the Soldier
“Byker Hill” (1967)
18 : The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
“Signs of Life” (1998)
19 : The Ant and the Grasshopper
“Right of passage” (1988)
20 : Company Policy
“The Kershaw Sessions” (1994)
21 : On a Monday Morning
Live in Leeds (1974)
22 : Rave On
Original single version (Steeleye Span 1971)
23 : Oor Hamlet
Live in Pittsburgh (1991)
24 : The Harry Lime Theme (Third Man Theme)
“Waiting for Angels” (2004)

CD FOUR: ‘Child: Carthy’ (FRCD 64)

Twenty of the ‘big’ ballads and songs from the ‘Child Ballads’ and from many other archive and traditional sources. Here are fourteen unreleased and previously unavailable tracks, featuring performances with Dave Swarbrick, Norma & Eliza Carthy, Rory McEwen & Lisa Turner, Steeleye Span and Bert Jansch.

Perhaps Carthy’s greatest source for these ‘big’ ballads that inlay his repertoire like fine jewels was the famed collection of the Victorian folklorist Francis Child – ‘The Child Ballads’ – which is his source for at least nine of these great songs. Martin began to unearth, to perform, and encourage others to perform these great ballads and songs, which soon found their way into the repertoire of folk-rock – via Steeleye, Pentangle, Ralph McTell and Albion – and thence to the wider world of rock, via Traffic, Jethro Tull, Tom Rush, Jerry Garcia, Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.

01 : Jack Orion
“But Two Came By” (1968)
02 : The Seven Virgins (Leaves of Life)
“Folk Scene” (1966)
03 : Duncan and Brady
with Rory McEwen and Lisa Turner (from the TV series “Hullabaloo” 1964)
04 : Geordie
BBC John Peel session (1973)
05 : Sir Patrick Spens
“Signs of Life” (1998)
06 : King Henry
“Sweet Wivelsfield” (1985)
07 : Sovay (The Female Highwayman)
Live at Cropredy (with Dave Swarbrick 2000)
08 : Man of Newlyn Town
“Both Ears and the Tail” (1999)
09 : The Bows of London
Live in St Louis (1991)
10 : Lucy Wan
“Skin and Bone” (1992)
11 : Lord Randall
“Shearwater” (1972)
12 : The Whale Catchers
“A Selection from The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs” (1986)
13 : Rufford Park Poachers
“The Kershaw Sessions” (1994)
14 : John Barleycorn
Live. at Memphis Folk Club, Leeds (1973)
15 : Hard Times of Old England
Live at Triplex Theater, New York (1987)
16 : Hard Cheese of Old England
“The Mrs Ackroyd Band: Oranges and Lemmings” (1990)
17 : Over the Hills and Far Away
From “70 Golden Nursery Rhymes” (1978)
18 : The Farmer’s Servant
Live at St. Andrews, Scotland (1965)
19 : False Knight on the Road
“Live at Last!” (Steeleye Span 1978)
20 : The Elfin Knight (Scarborough Fair)
“Acoustic Routes” (with Bert Jansch 1993)



This is a spreadsheet containing details of all known songs recorded by Carthy up to 2001, including a number of unreleased live tracks that were sourced during the compilation of the Carthy Chronicles set.

60th Birthday Concert clips

01 : A message from Paul Simon
02 : Captain Swing (Roy Bailey)
03 : The King
04 : Garbiel Yacoob sings Happy Birthday in French
05 : Postman’s Knock
06 : Rave On
07 : Million Dollar Bash (Ashley Hutchings)
08 : Your Baby ‘as Gorn Dahn the Plug Ole
09 : Doffin’ Mistress
10 : Jackie Tar
11 : Old Grenadier
12 : Maid and the Palmer introduced by Martin
13 : Tom Robinson leads Happy Birthday

Video Clips

01 : I Haven’t Told her, She Hasn’t Told Me
July 15 1967. Folk Sanger (Danish TV) with Dave Swarbrick
02 : Byker Hill
1968. Once More With Felix with Dave Swarbrick
03 : Interview with Martin Carthy
from Northern Arts, BBC 1988
04 : Brass Monkey: Jolly Tinker
1982. Cambridge Folk Festival, BBC. “Martin Carthy Band”
05 : The Lark In The Morning
1970. Music Room, ATV. Steeleye Span

Sound Clips

01 : Banks of Green Willow – Flash Company
02 : Banks of Green Willow – Shearwater
03 : Begging Song – First Album
04 : Begging Song – Life & Limb
05 : Bows of London – Life & Limb
06 : Creeping Jane – But Two Came by
07 : Creeping Jane – Joseph Taylor’s original recording
08 : Geordie – Crown of the Horn
09 : Geordie – June Tabor (from Silly Sisters)
10 : Geordie – Signs of Life
11 : Glorishears – Wood Wilson Carthy
12 : Prince Heathen – Prince Heathen
13 : Prince Heathen – Signs of Life
14 : Scarborough Fair – First Album
15 : Wife of the Soldier – Steeleye Span (Storm Force Ten)


This is a brief chronological summary of Carthy’s career up to 2001.


4 Responses to 2001 : The Carthy Chronicles

  1. […] programme’s design is clearly intended to tie in with the then-current Carthy Chronicles release and includes a short introduction by Chronicles producer/compiler Nigel Schofield. It also […]

  2. […] set (a recording featuring the 1987 version of The Watersons is also available on Martin’s Carthy Chronicles box […]

  3. […] song with Wood Wilson Carthy and also dueted on a version with Bert Jansch (under the title ‘The Elfin Knight‘). More recently he’s recorded two versions for BBC radio and within the last month a […]

  4. […] lineup never formally recorded, had just two live tracks released (on Martin Carthy and Watersons box sets) and only played a handful of gigs in the late-1980s so these are rare […]

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