How Green Is the Valley

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How Green Is the Valley
Studio album by The Men They Couldn't Hang
Released 1986
Recorded Elephant Studios, Wapping.
Genre Roots rock, Folk-rock, Folk-punk
Label MCA
Producer Mick Glossop
The Men They Couldn't Hang chronology
Night of a Thousand Candles
How Green Is the Valley
Waiting for Bonaparte
Singles from How Green Is the Valley
  1. "Ghosts of Cable Street"
    Released: 1986
  2. "Gold Strike"
    Released: 1986
  3. "Shirt of Blue"
    Released: 1986

How Green Is the Valley is the second studio album of The Men They Couldn't Hang. It was released in 1986 after the band were signed to MCA records following the success of their previous album Night of a Thousand Candles. It is the last album to feature co-founder Shanne Bradley on bass guitar.


Three singles were released from the album: "Gold Rush", which included "Gold Strike" on the 12" version, "Ghosts of Cable Street" and "Shirt of Blue". "Ghosts of Cable Street", a song detailing the battle of Cable Street in 1936, used actual recordings of mounted police which could be heard outside the Wapping studios as it was during the time of the Wapping Printers Strike.[1] "Shirt of Blue" was another song, typical of The Men They Couldn't Hang writing material on British history, was the subject of the UK miners' strike (1984–1985). The video features press footage of the conflict between striking miners and the police.[2] The cassette version is the only one to feature additional tracks which were recorded during a live performance at the Electric Ballroom in London's Camden Town.


Credits adapted from AllMusic.[3]

The Men They Couldn't Hang
Additional musicians
Additional personnel
  • Mick Glossop – production and engineering
  • Richard Haughton – album artwork
  • Paul Cox – photography

Track listing[edit]

Original Side 1
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. "Gold Strike"   P. Simmonds Instrumental 1:20
2. "Gold Rush"   P. Simmonds Swill, Cush 2:03
3. "Ghosts of Cable Street"   P. Simmonds Swill, Cush 3:59
4. "Dancing on the Pier"   P. Simmonds Cush 2:20
5. "The Bells"   P. Simmonds Cush 3:15
6. "Wishing Well"   N. Lowe Cush 2:54
Original Side 2
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
7. "Going Back to Coventry"   P. Simmonds Cush 3:15
8. "Shirt of Blue"   P. Simmonds Cush 4:27
9. "Rabid Underdog"   S. Cush Cush 2:12
10. "Tiny Soldiers"   P. Odgers Swill 3:41
11. "The Parade"   P. Simmonds Instrumental 2:12
12. "Parted From You"   P. Odgers Swill 4:12
Additional Tracks on cassette version
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
13. "Whiskey with me Giro (live)"   Unknown Cush  
14. "Scarlet Ribbons (live)"   P. Simmonds Cush  


  1. ^ A Bag of Songs, Paul Simmonds, ISBN 9781447537274
  2. ^
  3. ^