> The Watersons > Lal Waterson

Songs of Lal Waterson

(February 15, 1943 - September 4, 1998)

performed by herself, The Watersons and others


Lal and Mike Waterson, Bright Phoebus, LP, Trailer LES 2076

Lal and Mike Waterson, Rubber Band / Red Wine and Promises, single, Transatlantic BIG 507


Lal and Norma Waterson, A True Hearted Girl, LP, Topic 12TS331


Various Artists, No Masters (Voice), CD, No Masters NMCD4
>Mike sings McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy; Lal sings Midnight Feast, which is later to appear on Once in a Blue Moon


Lal Waterson & Oliver Knight, Once in a Blue Moon, CD, Topic TSCD478


Lal Waterson, A Bed of Roses, CD, Topic TSCD505

Lal and Norma Waterson, A True Hearted Girl, CD, Topic TSCD507


Lal and Mike Waterson, Bright Phoebus, CD, Trailer/Leader LESCD 2076


Lal Waterson, Teach Me to Be a Summer's Morning, book w/ CD, Fledg'ling FLED3095, October 21, 2013

Cover versions of Lal Waterson's songs


Various Artists, Shining Bright: Songs of Lal & Mike Waterson, CD, Topic TSCD519


Jo Freya's Lal Waterson Project, Lal, CD, No Masters NMCD27

Various Artists, Migrating Bird: The Songs of Lal Waterson, CD, Honest Jon's HJRCD31

Songs from Bright Phoebus

Fine Horseman

  1. Anne Briggs, The Time Has Come,
    CBS 64612 (LP, UK, 1971),
    Epic/Sony ESCA 7578 (CD, Japan, 1995),
    Sony/Rewind 491689 2 (CD, UK, 1998)

    An earlier version of Fine Horseman than on Bright Phoebus. In her notes, Anne Briggs writes: “Lal Knight has written a number of songs - this is the first of hers that I heard. I'd like to sing all the songs she's written, but better still I'd like to hear her sing them herself.”

  2. Dave Smith and Judy Dinning [of Lucky Bags, qv infra], Waiting for the Change,
    Rubber RUB 043, Mawson and Wareham (Music) Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne, (LP, UK, 1983)

  3. Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior & June Tabor), No More to the Dance
    Topic 12TS450 (LP, UK, September 1988)
    Topic TSCD450 (CD, UK, September 1988)
    Shanachie SH 79069 (CD/CS/LP, USA, 1988)

  4. Barbara Dickson, Dark End of the Street
    Transatlantic TRACD 117 (CD, UK, 1995)

  5. Dick Gaughan, Redwood Cathedral
    Greentrax CDTRAX 158 (CD, UK, 1998)

    reissued on Dick Gaughan: The Definitive Collection
    Highpoint HPO6014 (2006)

  6. Lucky Bags, Delight in Disorder
    Fellside FECD138 (CD, UK, 1998)

  7. Erica Smith, Erica Smith
    Listen Here LH396 (CD, Canada, 2001)

  8. June Tabor with the Creative Jazz Orchestra live at the Purcell Room, London, October 4, 1998 on her anthology Always
    Topic TSFCD4003 (4CD, UK, 2005)

  9. The Owl Service on their EP Wake the Vaulted Echo (2006)

  10. Tinkerscuss, Mythago (2007)

  11. Lisa Knapp on Music and Migration III (2013)

Red Wine and Promises

  1. Tony Capstick, Tony Capstick Does a Turn
    Rubber RUB 023 (live LP, UK, 1978)

  2. June Tabor live on The Best of Mountain Stage Volume Two
    Blue Plate BPM-002CD (CD, USA, 1991)

  3. Grace Notes, Red Wine & Promises
    Fellside FECD126 (CD, UK, 1998)

The Scarecrow

  1. Tony Capstick, Tony Capstick Does a Turn
    Rubber RUB 023 (live LP, UK, 1978)

  2. June Tabor, Abyssinians
    Topic 12TS432 (LP, UK, 1983)
    Shanachie 79038 (CD/CS/LP, USA, 1983)
    Topic TSCD432 (CD, UK, 1989)

    Reissued on her compilations:
    June Tabor, Aspects
    Conifer CDRR 501 (1990)

    June Tabor, The Definitive Collection
    Highpoint HPO6003 (2003)

    (Tabor writes: “The strength of visual image is worthy of Ingmar Bergman, as is the story: the Earth Mother is all-powerful here.”)

  3. The Fatima Mansions on their EP Evil Man (Kitchenware/Radioactive SKX 56, 1992)
  4. Deb Sandland, Phil Beer and Jem McAuley on: Various Artists, Heart of England
    Teenage Cancer Trust TCTCD101 (CD, UK, 2000)

  5. James Yorkston, Someplace Simple
    Domino RUG168CDP (EP, UK, 2003)

  6. The Witches of Elswick, Out of Bed
    Fellside FECD180 (CD, UK, 2003)

  7. Tinkerscuss, Mythago (2007)

Songs from Once in a Blue Moon


  1. Karen Tweed & Ian Carr, Fyace
    Fyasco FYASCD001 (CD, UK, 1997)

    This is a cover version of the Altisidora tune, not the words.

At First She Starts

  1. The Unthanks, Here's the Tender Coming
    EMI 687 1222 (CD, UK, 2009)

Bath Time

  1. Freya Federation, Freya Federation
    Well-g WELL-GCD001 CD, UK, 2000)


  1. Christine Collister, Songbird
    Fledg'ling FLED 3025 (CD, UK, 1999)

  2. James Yorkston & The Big Eyes Family Players, Analogue Catalogue Sessions
    Domino WIGCD236X (2 CD + DVD, UK, 2009)

Midnight Feast

  1. Christine Collister, Blue Aconite
    Fledg'ling FLED 3010 (CD, UK, 1997)

  2. Tanteeka (Andy Cutting, Jo Freya, Alice Kinloch, Oliver Knight), A New Tradition
    Osmosys OSMO CD 013 (CD, UK, 1997)

  3. Denny Bartley, Midnight Feast
    ADA ADA103CD (CD, UK, 2002)

  4. James Yorkston, When the Haar Rolls In
    Domino WIGCD221 (CD, UK, 2008)

  5. Lau vs. Karine Polwart, Evergreen
    Hegri / Lau LAUKP1 (EP, UK, 2010)

Some Old Salty

  1. Salt Fare, North Sea on Chumbawamba's album Readymades has a vocal sample of Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight from Some Old Salty.

  2. A live version sung at Cropredy 1999 by Maddy Prior, Jacqui McShee, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg and Chris Leslie is on Cropredy - The Best and the Guests, the bonus CD of Free Reed's Fairport unConventioNal

  3. Simpson · Cutting · Kerr, Murmurs (2015)

Stumbling On

  1. Eliza Carthy, Red Rice
    Topic TSDCD 2001 (CD, UK, 1998),
    Eliza Carthy, Red
    Topic TSCD493 (CD, UK, 1998)

Songs from A Bed of Roses

Migrating Bird

  1. Grace Notes, Anchored to the Time
    Fellside FECD163 (CD, UK, 2001)

Other Songs by Lal Waterson

Anna Dixie

  1. Norma Waterson, Norma Waterson
    Hannibal (Rykodisc) HNCD 1393 (CD, USA, 1996)

Hilda's Cabinet Band

  1. The Watersons on:
    Various Artists, Hard Cash
    Fledg'ling FLED 2517 (CD, UK, 1998)

Marvellous Companion

  1. Jo Freya, Female Smuggler
    No Masters NMCD29 (CD, UK, 2008)

The Piper's Path

  1. Christy Moore, This Is the Day
    Columbia / Sony 503 255 2 (CD, UK, 2001)

  2. Freya Abbott Ferguson, Get Well Soon
    No Masters NMCD37 (CD, UK, 2011)

Reply to Joe Haines

  1. Norma Waterson, The Very Thought of You
    Rykodisc HNCD 1430 (CD, USA, 1999)


Many thanks to Green Gilman who did most of the research. Garry Gillard also thanks Hilary Denham.