Composed in August

Written by Piers Cawley on

A compare and contrast day today. I’m not sure when Jon Boden recorded Now Westlin’ Winds for his Folk Song a Day project. I recorded this as the clock ticked over from July to August in our kitchen (it was only after I’d gone to bed that I realised that if I’d been able to record a song down there, I couldn’t’ve remembered to set the dishwasher off). I’ve been singing this for nearly 20 years now. The words are by Robert Burns, the tune appears to be traditional, and I got it from Lady of Autumn, by Beggar’s Velvet.

I’ve just looked through the track listing of that album on iTunes and realised that, of 13 tracks, I still sing six of them. Most of them aren’t traditional, so I’ll need to get Dave’s permission before I can record any of them for this project, but if you’re at all interested in the English harmony singing tradition, you should definitely lay your hands on the album. Beggar’s Velvet were Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman and Charley and Cathy Yarwood, and very good they were too.

Cathy’s now Cathy Barclay and singing with Ailsa Mackenzie and Alison Younger in the reformed (after 17 years) Bryony. They still sounded fabulous (albeit a couple of semitones lower) when they sang at my aunt’s 60th birthday last week. Another band you should seek out.

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