> Folk Music > Records > Sydney Carter: Lord of the Dance

Sydney Carter: Lord of the Dance

Sydney Carter: Lord of the Dance (Elektra EPK-801)

Lord of the Dance
Carols & Ballads
Sydney Carter

Elektra EPK-801 (EP, UK, 1966)

  ▼ show all details  ▲ hide all details


Sydney Carter: vocals;
Martin Carthy: guitar;
Johnny Scott Trio [1, 2, 4, 6];
Mike Sammes Singers: chorus


Side 1

  1. Lord of the Dance
  2. Bitter Was the Night
  3. Friday Morning

Side 2

  1. The Devil Wore a Crucifix
  2. Son of Man
  3. George Fox

All tracks Sydney Carter except
Track 1 words Sydney Carter, tune trad.

> Folk Music > Records > Sydney Carter & Jeremy Taylor at Eton

Sydney Carter & Jeremy Taylor at Eton

Sydney Carter & Jeremy Taylor at Eton (Fontana TL5418)

Sydney Carter & Jeremy Taylor at Eton
Sydney Carter, Jeremy Taylor

Fontana TL5418 (LP, UK, 1967)

  ▼ show all details  ▲ hide all details

Live at Eton Art School


Sydney Carter: vocals [1-2, 5, 7-10, 12, 14-15, 17-18];
Jeremy Taylor: vocals [3-4, 6, 11, 13, 16, 18], guitar;
Martin Carthy: guitar


Side 1

  1. Mixed Up Old Man
  2. Say Who You Are, Love
  3. Lift Girl’s Lament
  4. Huberta (A true story. Details culled from the Library of the Johannesburg Sunday Times)
  5. My Mum Was a Woman
  6. Dear Auntie Vera
  7. Silver in the Stubble
  8. Putting Out the Dustbin
  9. Glass of Water

Side 2

  1. White Buck of Epping
  2. Nasty Spider
  3. Down Below
  4. Northern Side of Town
  5. Standing in the Rain
  6. British Museum Waltz
  7. Belle of Barnstaple
  8. Man With a Microphone
  9. The Eton Boating Song

Tracks 1-2, 5, 7-10, 12, 14-15, 17 Sydney Carter;
Tracks 3-4, 6, 11, 13, 16 Jeremy Taylor;
Track 18 Cory, Drummond, Wodehouse

> Folk Music > Records > Bob and Carole Pegg with Sydney Carter: And Now It Is So Early

And Now It Is So Early

Bob and Carole Pegg with Sydney Carter: And Now It Is So Early (Galliard GAL 4017)

And Now It Is So Early
Songs of Sydney Carter
Bob and Carole Pegg with Sydney Carter

Galliard GAL 4017 (LP, UK, 1972)
JASKCD 177 (CD, UK, 2006)

  ▼ show all details  ▲ hide all details

Recorded by Nic Kinsey at Livingston Studios

The white horse on the album cover is from Uffington in Berkshire. It was dug into the turf and chalk, and is almost certainly pre-English and pre-Christian.


Bob Pegg: vocals, guitars, recorders, whistles, melodeon, percussion;
Carole Pegg: vocals, fiddle, percussion;
Sydney Carter: vocals


Side 1

  1. Come, Love, Carolling (2.17)
  2. Run the Film Backwards (2.12)
  3. Glass of Water (2.09)
  4. Last Exit to Brooklyn (0.39)
  5. Up at the House of Cecil Sharp (3.59)
  6. Port Mahon (3.06)

Side 2

  1. Shake and Shiver (1.40)
  2. The Holy Horses (2.37)
  3. Judas and Mary (2.26)
  4. Friday Morning (3.26)
  5. Doctor Spock (1.51)
  6. The Candlelight (1.02)
  7. George Fox (2.37)

All tracks written by Sydney Carter

> Folk Music > Records > Lovely in the Dances: Songs of Sydney Carter

Lovely in the Dances: Songs of Sydney Carter

Lovely in the Dances: The Songs of Sydney Carter (Osmosis OSMO CD008)

Lovely in the Dances: Songs of Sydney Carter
Various Artists

Plant Life Records PLR 032 (LP, UK, August 1981)
Osmosys Records OSMO CD008 (CD, UK, 1997)

  ▼ show all details  ▲ hide all details

All compositions published by Stainer & Bell;
Recorded at Pace Studios, Milton Keynes, July/August 1981;
Producer: Nigel Pegrum;
Mastered at EMI Studios, Abbey Road, London;
Mastering Engineer: Nick Webb;
Re-mastered for CD at Reflex, Huntingdon


Maddy Prior: vocals [3, 7, 10, 13];
Melanie Harrold: vocals [4, 12];
Shusha: vocals [2, 5, 8, 12];
Sydney Carter: vocals [14], backing vocals [1, 9], percussion [12];
John Kirkpatrick: vocals [1, 3, 9, 11], melodeon [1, 7, 9, 13], concertina [13];
Bob Johnson: vocals [6, 11], electric guitar [6];
Vince Cross: piano [2, 4, 8, 10], electric piano [3, 11-12], wurlitzer [3], Roland synthesiser [6, 11, 14], Micromoog [6], Arp synthesiser [7, 11, 14], backing vocals [3, 7];
John O’Connor: electric guitar [1, 4, 9], acoustic guitar [2, 7, 12], percussion [12];
Peter Knight: violin [3, 12, 14];
John Shayler: violin [5, 7-8, 10];
Ian Smith: violin [5, 7-8, 10];
Chris Yates: viola [5, 7-8, 10];
Janet Wright: cello [5, 7-8, 10];
Jack Hunt: flute [10], saxophone [7];
Gerald Claridge: acoustic bass guitar [9, 13];
Rick Kemp: bass guitar [1-4, 6, 12], backing vocals [3];
Phil Milner: bass guitar [7];
Nigel Pegrum: drums [1-4, 6-7], percussion [7], flute [10];
Gary Mitchell: percussion [12]


Side 1

  1. George Fox (2.10)
  2. Julian of Norwich (2.19)
  3. Carol of the Creatures (3.47)
  4. Holy Horses (3.21)
  5. Like the Snow (3.21)
  6. Friday Morning (2.14)

Side 2

  1. Lord of the Dance (3.41)
  2. The Cocks Are Crowing (3.14)
  3. John Ball (2.25)
  4. The First of My Lovers (2.56)
  5. Bitter Was the Night (1.43)
  6. Come, Love, Carolling (2.51)
  7. I Used to Dance (1.36)
  8. I Come Like a Beggar (1.46)

All tracks Sydney Carter except
Track 1 words Sydney Carter, tune trad. arr. Sydney Carter;
Track 7 trad. arr. Sydney Carter

Sleeve Notes

During the making of Lovely in the Dances seven of the songs were recorded for the first time, while others had never been recorded in quite the same way. “I start with words, rhythm and a melody,” says Sydney Carter. “Harmonies I tend to leave to other people. The result is often a disaster. But this time I was delighted.”

Julian of Norwich is new. Julian, a hermit, a mystic and a she (not a he), lived about the time of Chaucer in the cell off St. Julian in Norwich. The Church of England can’t make saints, but they have put her in their calendar, which is the nearest they can get. The Carol of the Creatures is based on The Praises of the Creatures by St. Francis, which I have tried to recreate in carol form. I hope he will forgive the liberties I had to take. The same applies to Francois Villon whose Ballad des Dames du temps jadis was the starting point for Like the Snow. I would not dare to call my version a translation.

George Fox celebrates the founder of Quakerism, who did in fact wear leather breeches and long hair. “This rude Baptist began to find fault with my hair,” he writes in his journal. The tune (Monk’s March) is that of a morris dance [Note: You’ll find it on e.g. Son of Morris On and on John Kirkpatrick’s Plain Capers -rz]. The tune of Lord of the Dance is also traditional, borrowed this time from the Shakers, a sect who started off in Manchester and emigrated to America in 1774. They are responsible also for the words of I Used to Dance, but this time I wrote the music. If the words have a Shaker tune, I do not know it. This song seems to refer to King David, who danced before the Lord, to the annoyance of his wife, called Michael; in which case it should be ‘her pride’, not ‘his pride’. But ‘his’ is what it said in the version I received, and it’s easier to sing.

The Cocks Are Crowing was written for a play about St. Francis, and is based on a few words of a song which the saint is supposed to have listened to. Come, Love, Carolling is a song for Advent. Friday Morning is a one-sided dialogue; this is what the thief says. The answer, the carol must come from the listener. This song is homoeopathic, a device to make something happen. Unlike Lord of the Dance you cannot use it as a hymn, but the two are really part of one another. John Ball was written for this year’s commemoration of the Peasant’s Revolt (1381). Holy Horses will, I trust, explain itself.

Sydney Carter, August 1981


You can find Sydney Carter’s songs with piano or guitar accompaniment at his publisher Stainer & Bell’s online shop.

George Fox

Julian of Norwich

Carol of the Creatures

Holy Horses

Like the Snow

Friday Morning

Lord of the Dance

(see also the Lord of the Dance Web page)

The Cocks Are Crowing

John Ball

The First of My Lovers

Bitter Was the Night

Come, Love, Carolling

I Used to Dance

I Come Like a Beggar


I don’t know where else to put this. Sydney Carter’s songs are religious (Lord of the Dance is the best known; that’s here) and Prior gets four lead or duet vocals on this set. John Kirkpatrick also gets four, and other musicians include Robert Johnson, Peter Knight, Rick Kemp and Nigel Pegrum. A wide variety of musical styles here; this one I think is well worth checking out.

Doug Landauer

In the post today was this re-release by Osmosys of a Plant Life project that involved Maddy as vocalist. (Maddy also popped up on three CDs that Fellside sent me last week. Busy girl!) First released in 1982, the ’concept’ behind Lovely in the Dances was to put the songs of Sydney Carter into a folk rock sound. And it works damn fine! As I said Maddy is here as is John Kirkpatrick, Rick Kemp, Sydney Carter, Peter Knight, and many other stellar Brit artists. Highlights for me as regarded Maddy included the reggae infused Lord of the Dance, The First of My Lovers, and I Used to Dance.

Cat Eldridge on 31 January 1998 on the prior-engagement mailing list

> Folk Music > Records > Sydney Carter

Other records with Sydney Carter

Hullabaloo (Network/ABC 7956132) Various Artists, Hullabaloo—The Complete Series, 2 DVD, Network/ABC Collection, 2020