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  • Released in 2015, Grapefruit’s 3-CD multi-artist British underground folk compilation Dust On The Nettles was widely praised, with a five-star review in The Times hailing it as “a delight from beginning to end”.

 

  • A long-overdue follow up to that set, Sumer Is Icumen In tightens the mesh by focusing on the point when traditional folksong and the burgeoning late Sixties counterculture collided, largely courtesy of seminal acts like the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Pentangle.

 

  • As Steeleye Span’s Martin Carthy commented at the time, the scene had a strong pagan feel, dark and elemental, and progressive folk bands like Dr. Strangely Strange, Comus and Third Ear Band (who performed with the druids in dawn solstice ceremonies at Glastonbury Tor) were active at the same time as folklorists like Mr. Fox pair Bob & Carole Pegg and fellow husband-and-wife team Dave & Toni Arthur, whose commitment to the cause saw them dancing naked at a coven led by ‘King of the Witches’, the notorious Alex Sanders.

 

  • Showcasing all of the above names as well as a supporting cast that ranges from Mike Oldfield and Marc Bolan to unsigned bands who recorded demos in a barn, Sumer Is Icumen In features four hours of Albion hymns ancient and modern, including three previously unreleased cuts. “Housed in a stylish clamshell box, it includes a 40-page booklet with track-by-track annotation, numerous band quotes and some very rare photos.

 

  • The result is a secret glade in a darkly pagan woodland that’s peppered with invocations of corn gods, wicker men, bright Phoebus and other non-Christian deities; magickal tales of daemons, sorcerers, false knights and faerie queens; the medieval England myths, legends and traditions of the May Queen, John Barleycorn and the Green Man; paeans to the natural world and the rhythm of the passing seasons; fables of sanctuary stones, scarecrows and buried villages alongside dread stories of purgatory, sacrifice, rape, bestiality and murder.

 

Track List:

 DISC ONE:

  1. LARK RISE – Third Ear Band
  2. CORN RIGS – Magnet
  3. JOHN BARLEYCORN – Traffic
  4. SANCTUARY STONE – Midwinter
  5. THE KEYS OF CANTERBURY – Vulcan’s Hammer
  6. THE WOOD-GATHERING MAN – The Celebrated Ratliffe Stout Band
  7. TWA CORBIES – Steeleye Span
  8. LOVELY JOAN – Folkal Point
  9. CANON DALE – The Strawbs (alternative version)
  10. WHITE HORSE – Kevin Coyne
  11. YORRIC – Meic Stevens
  12. LYKE-WAKE DIRGE –The Young Tradition
  13. SWAN IN THE EVENING – Amber
  14. MINERVA – Synanthesia
  15. THE PARTING GLASS – The Minor Birds
  16. VIRGIN CHILDE – Parameter
  17. THE SAPPHIRE – Carolanne Pegg
  18. CABIN ON THE CLIFFTOP – Dry Heart*
  19. WINTER PASSES – Mighty Baby
  20. ON HORSEBACK – Mike Oldfield

DISC TWO:

  1. TAM LIN – Fairport Convention
  2. LET NO MAN STEAL YOUR THYME – Gallery
  3. FALSE KNIGHT ON THE ROAD – Tim Hart & Maddy Prior
  4. THE SCARECROW – Lal Waterson (demo version)
  5. SILVER MAN – Chimera
  6. THE WHITE HARE – Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band
  7. MAD TOM OF BEDLAM – Horden Raikes
  8. THE SONG OF THE HEALER – The Sallyangie
  9. LIZARD-LONG-TONGUE-BOY – Bridget St. John (alternative version)
  10. STRINGS IN THE EARTH AND AIR – Dr. Strangely Strange
  11. SORCERERS – Jan Dukes De Grey
  12. GREEN GRASS – Dave & Toni Arthur
  13. WHERE’S YOUR MASTER GONE? – Simon Finn
  14. NOTTAMUN TOWN – Oberon
  15. THE HOUSE CARPENTER – Fresh Maggots*
  16. HAND IN HAND – J. P. Sunshine
  17. THE BITE – Comus
  18. DEATH – The Sun Also Rises
  19. WINTER – Tea & Symphony
  20. AUTUMN LADY DANCING SONG – Principal Edwards’ Magic Theatre
  21. SUMMER’S IN – Anne Briggs

DISC THREE:

  1. THE BELLS OF DUNWICH – Stone Angel
  2. CRUEL SISTER – Pentangle
  3. WITCHES HAT – Incredible String Band
  4. REYNARDINE – Archie Fisher
  5. THE POET AND THE WITCH – Mellow Candle
  6. ELFIN BOY – Curved Air
  7. PRETTY POLLY – Sweeney’s Men
  8. THREE RAVENS – Parke
  9. SALISBURY PLAIN – Green Man
  10. FLODDEN FIELD – Spriguns Of Tolgus
  11. GEORDIE – The MacDonald Folk Group
  12. THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT – Michael Raven & Joan Mills
  13. HOLSWORTHY PETER’S FAIR – George Deacon & Marion Ross
  14. CAPTAIN WEDDERBURN’S COURTSHIP – Staverton Bridge
  15. BUTTERFLY ON THE SHORE – Shirley Kent*
  16. EASTERN SPELL – Marc Bolan
  17. THE LARK IN THE MORNING – Heather, Adrian & John
  18. SCARBOROUGH FAIR – The Coterie
  19. MENDLE – Mr. Fox
Artists

Barcode

5013929188303

Format

Genre

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 DISC ONE:

LARK RISE – Third Ear Band
CORN RIGS - Magnet
JOHN BARLEYCORN - Traffic
SANCTUARY STONE - Midwinter
THE KEYS OF CANTERBURY – Vulcan’s Hammer
THE WOOD-GATHERING MAN – The Celebrated Ratliffe Stout Band
TWA CORBIES – Steeleye Span
LOVELY JOAN – Folkal Point
CANON DALE – The Strawbs (alternative version)
WHITE HORSE – Kevin Coyne
YORRIC – Meic Stevens
LYKE-WAKE DIRGE –The Young Tradition
SWAN IN THE EVENING - Amber
MINERVA - Synanthesia
THE PARTING GLASS – The Minor Birds
VIRGIN CHILDE - Parameter
THE SAPPHIRE – Carolanne Pegg
CABIN ON THE CLIFFTOP – Dry Heart*
WINTER PASSES – Mighty Baby
ON HORSEBACK – Mike Oldfield

DISC TWO:

TAM LIN – Fairport Convention
LET NO MAN STEAL YOUR THYME - Gallery
FALSE KNIGHT ON THE ROAD – Tim Hart & Maddy Prior
THE SCARECROW – Lal Waterson (demo version)
SILVER MAN - Chimera
THE WHITE HARE – Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band
MAD TOM OF BEDLAM – Horden Raikes
THE SONG OF THE HEALER – The Sallyangie
LIZARD-LONG-TONGUE-BOY – Bridget St. John (alternative version)
STRINGS IN THE EARTH AND AIR - Dr. Strangely Strange
SORCERERS – Jan Dukes De Grey
GREEN GRASS - Dave & Toni Arthur
WHERE’S YOUR MASTER GONE? – Simon Finn
NOTTAMUN TOWN - Oberon
THE HOUSE CARPENTER – Fresh Maggots*
HAND IN HAND - J. P. Sunshine
THE BITE - Comus
DEATH – The Sun Also Rises
WINTER – Tea & Symphony
AUTUMN LADY DANCING SONG – Principal Edwards’ Magic Theatre
SUMMER’S IN – Anne Briggs

DISC THREE:

THE BELLS OF DUNWICH – Stone Angel
CRUEL SISTER - Pentangle
WITCHES HAT – Incredible String Band
REYNARDINE – Archie Fisher
THE POET AND THE WITCH – Mellow Candle
ELFIN BOY – Curved Air
PRETTY POLLY – Sweeney’s Men
THREE RAVENS - Parke
SALISBURY PLAIN – Green Man
FLODDEN FIELD – Spriguns Of Tolgus
GEORDIE – The MacDonald Folk Group
THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT – Michael Raven & Joan Mills
HOLSWORTHY PETER’S FAIR – George Deacon & Marion Ross
CAPTAIN WEDDERBURN’S COURTSHIP – Staverton Bridge
BUTTERFLY ON THE SHORE – Shirley Kent*
EASTERN SPELL – Marc Bolan
THE LARK IN THE MORNING – Heather, Adrian & John
SCARBOROUGH FAIR – The Coterie
MENDLE – Mr. Fox