KILGARRY MOUNTAIN — "Three or four years ago we were hitching from Paris to Bruxelles, a lorry pulled up, we climbed in the back, there was an American cat on board, he had a guitar and naturally I had mine and we started swapping songs, he taught me this one. It's an Irish song but I'd not heard it before."
I DE DYBE DALE — "In a little village on the south coast of France we have some friends who make jewellery, Harouth and Marlene. He’s Armenian and she's Danish, and they're very interested in folk music of all types. Marlene taught us this lovely Danish song about the nightingale."
THE WHITE COCKADE — There are many songs about recruiting sergeants, this is one from the point of view of a girl whose lover has been tricked into "listing".
A LA CLAIRE FONTAINE — "Originally French-Canadian, it's known all over the French-speaking world, and is one of our favourite songs."
THE ASH GROVE — "We learned this one at different schools together." Colin and John play the intro in the Welsh Penillion style.
DELLA LA RIVIERE — "We met a young couple in Belgium who invited us to spend the evening with them. They had a large collection of instruments and songs, and this was one of the songs they taught us. It is fragmentary and obviously part of a longer ballad, also it is in very old French which is different to modern French."
OLD BILL — This is Colin and John goofing off at the end of the days recording session. "I learned it from Susan Kastner, a Canadian singer, it was her favourite song, but she didn’t do it quite like this."
EREV SHEL SHOSHANIM — "In Bruxelles and Antwerp there are many antique shops, and one of them is owned by some friends of ours, Robert and Marina. Marina is also a very accomplished musician, and being Jewish is especially interested in Israeli music, she taught us this lovely song." The English title of which is "An Evening of Roses".
THE ROAD TAE DUNDEE — "A beautiful song, and one of my favourites."
CHANSONS d’ENFANTS — "It doesn’t matter what country you're in, kids just dig guitars and always want you to sing for 'em. We sing for them and then get them to sing for us, in this way we’ve learnt many songs. This is a ‘melange’ of bits of some of the French children’s songs we know.
THE GOLDEN WILLOW TREE — Known by several different names "The Golden Vanity", "The Merry Golden Tree", "Sweet Kumadie", "The Golden Victory", this song is over 250 years old. Samuel Pepys diarist and collector of broadsides, had a version in which Sir Walter Raleigh is named as the captain, however the story is almost certainly fictitious.
WILL YE LASSIE GO — "Our goodnight song. We’ve sung this at the end of every appearance ever since we teamed up, not only in English folk clubs, but in France, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Germany, in fact, wherever we perform."
POOR LITTLE GIRLS OF ONTARIO — "Back in '61 we became very friendly with two Canadian singers — Winston and Mary Jane Young — who were touring England. This was one of the Canadian songs we learned from them."
COLIN WILKIE AND SHIRLEY HART
Every year when winter fades, and the first flowers show that the summertime is coming, Colin and Shirley take to the road. For almost five years this has been the pattern of their existence: winter in England, summer on the continent of Europe. The winter spent singing in the secure respectability of concerts, folk clubs, etc., the summer spent wandering like the troubadours of old across Europe, singing wherever possible, travelling from town to town, village to village, country to country. You might see them on T. V. one day, and the next singing to a cinema queue on the Champs Elysees, entertaining a chic cabaret audience or a bunch of kids, but always singing, and always on the move.
At first they hitch-hiked across Europe — France, Belgium, Holland, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany, now they drive in an old Citroen Deux Chevaux, slaying sometimes for a day, sometimes for a month, changing easily front the roar of Berlin to the quiet of Peille, or the heat of Juan Les Pins, real twentieth-century Troubadours, always making new friends, seeing new places, and learning new songs … Here we present their travelogue of song.
Is a highly talented young musician who plays some fifteen different stringed instruments, but on this record he uses only three: guitar, bouzouki and Appalachian Dulcimer. John's musical good taste is apparent, his accompaniments never intrude but always fit perfectly with the mood of the songs, and point the story line.
Although a friend of Colin and Shirley's for some time, John had never played with them before this recording, and it underlines his ability that he was able to blend with their highly individual approach to each song. A solo performer in his own right, John teaches guitar also and has recorded a very successful guitar tutor on Saga records.