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Sleeve Notes for Wreck off Scilly by Andy Clarke and Steve Tyler

Wreck off ScillyAndy Clarke is a fine singer and accompanist and is joined by Steve Tyler an acclaimed gurdy player.


Steve began playing the hurdy gurdy in 1993, adding this instrument to the sound of the recently formed medieval music ensemble Misericordia, which he founded with Anne Marie Summers. With Andy, Steve plays hurdy gurdy and cittern but he also plays gothic harp and citole. Steve is also fast gaining a reputation for his work with the Jackie Oates band.

Andy has a repertoire of mainly traditional song from the British Isles including the South West of England. His reputation as astrong performer continues to grow with increasing appearances at folk festivals and folk clubs across England.

"An excellent singer and instrumentalist who performs with the skill and taste of a master  craftsman." - Pete Coe

Track Notes

1 Coal Owner and the Poor Pitman’s Wife

Written in 1844 during the Durham strike by collier, William Hornsby of Shotton Moor. (A)

2 Wreck off Scilly

Baring-Gould collected this song from James Parsons of Lewdown who lived a mile from his home in Lewtrenchard in Devon. Known locally as the “Singing machine” the reverend collected many fine songs from this very frail old farm labourer. (A)

3 Lilène/Beanfield
Dave Faulkner/Jon Swayne

Two tunes written to accompany the 2 time bourrèe, a traditional French dance. The first written by bagpiper Dave Faulkner and originally composed on a harmonium as a sort of lullaby(!), the second by bagpiper Jon Swayne. (S)

4 Poor Labourers
words: PD/tune: Gordon Tyrrall

The words come from a broadsheet dated 1845 and the tune was composed by Gordon Tyrrall

5 Half Hannikin

We have followed it with the Playford tune Half Hannikin. (A)

6 Rosemary Fair

From the “Tasks” family of songs. This tune originally came from an Irish version of the song which I heard around 30 years ago but I have slowed it down, took out the “dots” and fitted a set of words. (A)

7 The Wendigo
Steve Tyler

I wrote this tune whilst inspired by tales of the supernatural. The original story The Wendigo was written by Algernon Blackwood in 1910 taking inspiration from indigenous Canadian mythology. (S)

8 Childe the Hunter

Baring-Gould collected this gem from the Dartmoor poet Jonas Coaker of Postbridge on Dartmoor. I composed the tune. (A)

9 Mariam Matrem

An instrumental version of a three part pilgrim song from the Llibre Vermell in the monastery of Montserrat, Catalonia, Spain, from the late fourteenth century. (S)

10 Cold Blows the Winter Wind

The words were collected in 1893 by Baring-Gould from Jane Jeffrey in Dunterton on the river Tamar near Tavistock, Devon. There was no tune so I set the song to one from Sharp’s collection from Somerset. (A)

11 Midnatspolska/Morgenpolska
Lasse Væver Jacobsen

by Danish nyckelharpa player Lasse Væver Jacobsen; I learnt these whilst playing in Denmark. (S)

12 Over the Hills
Rob Stevens

Written by Rob Stevens who lives in Torquay. This beautiful song is his take on the story of Genesis. (A)

13 Bell Ringing

The Reverend Baring-Gould noted this well known song from George Kerswell at the Two Bridges Inn on Dartmoor in 1890. Here I returned to the manuscript to restore the original tune which had been slightly altered over the years. (A)