A Maid of Constant Sorrow

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A Maid of Constant Sorrow
Studio album by Judy Collins
Released November 1961
Recorded 1961
Genre Folk
Length 35:26
Label Elektra
Producer Jac Holzman
Judy Collins chronology
A Maid of Constant Sorrow
(1961)
The Golden Apples of the Sun
(1962)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars link

A Maid of Constant Sorrow is a 1961 album, the debut of Judy Collins, released by Elektra Records and featuring traditional folk songs.

Content and style[edit]

On the album Collins' voice and guitar are sparsely accompanied by Fred Hellerman and Walter Raim on second guitar, Erik Darling on banjo, and Bill Lee on bass. The title song is a variant of "Man of Constant Sorrow"; the original song appeared on Bob Dylan's debut album that came out the following year. The selections range from the Scottish anthem Wild Mountain Thyme to the Irish standards Bold Fenian Men and The Prickilie Bush. The album also includes more obscure numbers such as Tim Evans, Wars of Germany and John Riley.

These songs are in the style of social protest, similar to early recordings by Bob Dylan. They reveal a style from Collins different than her later, better known releases. In Tim Evans, written by Ewan MacColl (Grammy award winning writer in 1972 of "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"), she sings of a wife-and-child killer: "Go down to hell, you murderer, go down," who is eventually exonerated after he is hanged. The album shows an ability to select material which would serve her well on later albums where the focus shifts away from traditional folk music. Her alto vocals on lively songs like O Daddy Be Gay contrast with the social message material. In 2001 the album was re-released on CD with Collins' second album, The Golden Apples of the Sun (1962).

Track listing[edit]

Side 1[edit]

  1. "Maid of Constant Sorrow" 2:35
  2. "The Prickilie Bush" 3:25
  3. "Wild Mountain Thyme" 2:30
  4. "Tim Evans" 2:51 (Ewan MacColl)
  5. "Sailor's Life" 2:41
  6. "Bold Fenian Men" 2:44

Side 2[edit]

  1. "Wars of Germany" 3:10
  2. "O Daddy Be Gay" 2:34
  3. "I Know Where I'm Going" 1:50
  4. "John Riley" 3:30
  5. "Pretty Saro" 3:03
  6. "The Rising of the Moon" 4:07

Personnel[edit]

  • Judy Collins – guitar, vocals
  • Fred Hellerman – guitar
  • Erik Darling – banjo