Anthems in Eden

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Anthems in Eden
Anthems in Eden.jpg
Studio album by
Shirley and Dolly Collins
ProducerAustin John Marshall
Shirley Collins chronology
Power of the True Love Knot
Anthems in Eden
Love, Death and the Lady

Anthems in Eden is a 1969 album by Shirley and Dolly Collins, with the Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow. The album originally consisted of a 28-minute set of folk songs plus seven other individual pieces performed by the same group. The musical arrangements for these eight pieces included early music instruments, such as viols, recorders, sackbuts and crumhorns. In 1976, six new songs were recorded with a different assortment of accompanists, to replace the original seven individual songs. This 1976 album consisting of the 28-minute set plus the six new songs was released by Harvest Records under the title Amaranth. Subsequent releases have combined all fourteen pieces under the original title, Anthems in Eden.

Recording history[edit]

The original recording of eight tracks was made in 1969 and was released as the original vinyl album. Track one is a suite, "A song-story", lasting 28 minutes, 7 seconds and is the centrepiece of the album.

In 1976, a further six tracks were recorded with musicians mainly from the Albion Band and a new version of the album was released, with the original "A song-story" suite on one side and the new recordings on the other. This album was issued under the name Amaranth.

In 1993, a CD with all the tracks was issued. This whole album lasts 69:56.

Musical content[edit]

Side 1 of the original album consists of "A song-story", a suite of folk songs which depict the changes in rural England brought about by the First World War, and the disconnection that this created with folk traditions. Recorded with an ensemble of early music instruments, it was a completely unique approach to recording English folk music and was to be influential on bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span in the way that they addressed the traditional folk repertoire. The importing of early instruments into popular recordings is believed to have influenced other bands such as Amazing Blondel and Gryphon.


Original 1969 album[edit]

Tracks 1 to 8: Settings by Dolly Collins, directed by David Munrow.

1993 CD[edit]

Tracks 1 to 8 as above.

Tracks 9 to 14:

Track listing[edit]

Original 1969 tracks[edit]

  • 1- "A song-story" (A Beginning/ A Meeting/A Courtship/ A Denying/ A Forsaking/ A Dream/ A Leaving-taking/ An Awakening/ A New Beginning)

The songs are: "Searching for Lambs", "The Wedding Song", "The Blacksmith", "Our Captain Cried", "Lowlands", "Pleasant and Delightful", "Whitsun Dance", "The Staines Morris" All traditional apart from "Whitsun Dance" (words by A J Marshall)

Additional tracks recorded in 1976.[edit]

These tracks were originally issued as side A of Aftermath, Harvest – SHSM 2008, EMI – OC 054 o 06135, with Side A of Anthems in Eden as side B.

  • 9- "Fare The Well My Dearest Dear" (Traditional)
  • 10- "C'Est La Fin/ Pou Mon Cuer" (Anon French 12th/13th century)
  • 11- "Bonny Kate" (Traditional)
  • 12- "Adieu To All Judges and Juries" (Traditional)
  • 13- "Edi Beo Thu Hevene Quene" (Anon Eng 13th century)
  • 14- "Black Joker/Black, White, Yellow & Green" (Traditional)