Monday, 5 February 2018

She Had a Dark and a Roving Eye


Mrs S & I are out of town for the next few days, so the halls and corridors of Swede Towers have fallen silent. In fact, all being well, as you read these words we'll be in Oxford checking out the dreaming spires, plus the odd pub, gallery and coffee shop, before heading down into London's East End later in the week to visit my elderly Aunts. I'm a fairly regular visitor to Cambridge, that other great seat of learning, but have only ever been to Oxford once before and that was 45 years ago, so I don't recall an awful lot about the place. I'll report back with our impressions next week.

Here's the great Shirley Collins with 'The Oxford Girl', an ancient murder ballad that has appeared in many guises over the centuries. Shirley apparently heard this particular arrangement as 'The Wexport Girl', performed by Suffolk singer Phoebe Smith on a Topic Records LP. Shirley's reading of the song is taken from the 1970 record 'Love, Death and the Lady', made with her sister Dolly, a phenomenal album that remained on constant rotation in my car for well over a month late last year.

Shirley Collins - The Oxford Girl

7 comments:

Rol said...

Enjoy your break. I've been to Oxford once a few years ago and enjoyed pottering round the old buildings... although part of me is always disappointed to find very ordinary high streets (complete with Superdrug et al.) in such historic cities. In my imagination, they're not allowed.

Frank Jive said...

Wonderful!

Alyson said...

Enjoy your time in Oxford - An appropriate tune and of course new to me.

Stay safe as I remember that chap Morse being kept very busy amongst all those dreaming spires!

Vintage Spins said...

Love the old English ballads unadorned by instrumentation!

Brian said...

I read an interview with her a year ago that was so fascinating that I remembered it instantly when I saw your post:
https://pitchfork.com/features/5-10-15-20/10020-british-folk-icon-shirley-collins-on-the-music-of-her-life/
Have a good trip, Swede.

C said...

Have a good trip, hope we'll get to hear about it too.
I spent a week in Oxford on a training course once years ago - had to stay in one of the rougher ends of town so didn't see much of the dreaming spires, but by night ventured out with other attendees to the city centre, ie. the pubs. I remember them being full of books and terribly posh students discussing quantum physics!

John Medd said...

I can recommend the Catweazle Club.

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