> June Tabor > Songs > A Cold Wind / A Folk Song

A Cold Wind / A Folk Song

June Tabor: A Cold Wind (BBC RESL140)

A Cold Wind / A Cold Wind (instrumental)
June Tabor

BBC RESL140 (single, UK, 1983)

A Folk Song / A Folk Song (instrumental)
June Tabor

Golden Vale (promotional single, UK, 1983)

June Tabor: A Folk Song (Golden Vale promotional single)

[ Roud - ; Mudcat 57563 ; Richard Harvey / Riderwood]

June Tabor sang this song from the BBC 2 serial Spy Ship. She was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. This recording was also released as a single in 1983 with an instrumental version on the B-side, and included in the LP A Tribute to Television. This track also seems to have been intended for Tabor’s anthology Always: the PDF document with the album’s liner notes on Topic Records’ website lists this as track 12 on CD D and comments:

Spy Ship was a serial on BBC 2. A trawler went missing out of Hull called The Gaul and eventually she was found and it would seem that it had been sunk by a Russian submarine. The nets got caught. But then it seemed that there was something else going on and was it actually a Russian submarine that had sunk the trawler or was it a big cover-up? It was a fiction drama. This was a very compelling piece of drama writing. The plot was that a journalist had stumbled on that it might have been a British submarine. I don’t know why I got asked to do it. I went to London on one of my brief excursions. The initial bit that was used on the screen was only a minute, a minute-and-a-half at most. It was when the BBC started releasing music for series, but it wasn’t long enough for a single, so an extra chorus had to be written. The version here was what was released as a BBC single. On the B-side it was just the backing track. The Richard Harvey partnership also produced a piece to promote a new margarine, Golden Vale, so he wrote what was titled “Folk Song” and I was asked to sing it. He didn’t write the words. It was all about how, “Down in the rushes / The bullfrogs and thrushes... [Mumbles] / Morning has come to bright Golden Vale.” It was issued as a promotional single to herald the launch of this product on the market.

But on the actual CD, the planned track 13, Les Barker’s Queen Cruelty, was moved forward one track and the remaining slot was filled with Joe Peel from June Tabor’s CD A Cut Above.


June Tabor sings A Cold Wind

A cold wind blew over the sea,
The cold hand reached out over the icy sea;
And it took good men, good fishing men
From their wives and families.

Now there’s sorrow and grief,
There’s anger in the town
From this hollow mystery.

Remember when the wind blows cold
The good men of the Castor?
The fishermen who went to sea,
Who found a secret war.

(repeat first two verses)