Before helping to form Folk Rock group Steeleye Span, Maddy Prior and Tim Hart recorded this album in a small recording studio set up in the owner’s front room. This album, Folk songs of olde England volume one was released on Tee Pee Records in 1968. It took three hours to record and although there are mistakes in some of the lyrical pronunciation it is a beautiful album.
The album features a very simplistic arrangement of the songs with Maddy on vocals and 5 string banjo. And Tim Hart on vocals, guitar, fiddle, and banjo.
This extraordinary album is raw in its performance and there is fine harmonisation and a great selection of songs.
The songs include The “Rambling Sailor”, “Adieu sweet Nancy”, “The stately southerner”, “Babes in the wood” and “Adam and Eve”. These songs are performed without instruments.
Other songs such as the beautiful “Maid that is deep in love”, and the jaunty “Bruton Town”, the lamenting “Farewell Nancy”, and the marvellous “who’s the fool now” are all fantastic illustrations of England’s colourful heritage.
This release does not have the original art work or front cover but the sound is good despite the fact that the recording was made in mono.
The performance is full of spirit and passion and it is a very special album indeed. (Marcia)
The first album by the trad folk duo of Tim Hart and Maddy Prior, Folk Songs of Olde England, Vol. 1, is as interesting for what came of it as for what it is. This album, recorded in 1968, led directly to the formation of Steeleye Span, whose early albums were an electrified variation on this album’s traditional acoustic British folk-rock. It could also be argued that Hart and Prior’s example was influential in Fairport Convention’s decision to move from a California-style folk-rock sound into something more uniquely British. In light of what came after, Folk Songs of Olde England, Vol. 1 sounds a bit tentative and at times slightly twee (Prior’s voice has not quite matured into the rich, expressive instrument it would soon become), but on their own merits, these sensitive renditions of traditional British folk favorites like “Maid That’s Deep in Love” or “A Wager a Wager” are respectful of tradition but not bound to it, performed with an infectious enthusiasm quite similar to what the Young Tradition were doing around the same period. (by Stewart Mason)
I guess this was one of the most important albums of the early British folk boom in the Sixties.
Maddy Prior (vocals)
Tim Hart (guitar,banjo, vocals)
01. Lish Young Buy-a-Broom 3.07
02. Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy 2.40
03. Maid That’s Deep In Love 4.15
04. The Rambling Sailor 2.28
05. Bruton Town 4.16
06. Farewell Nancy 2.07
07. The Dalesman’s Litany 4.54
08. The Brisk Young Butcher 2.53
09. The Stately Southerner 2.26
10. Who’s The Fool Now 2.35
11. A Wager A Wager 2.42
12. Babes In The Woods 2.21
13. Adam And Eve 0.54
All songs: Traditional