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Because It’s There

Martin Carthy: Because It’s There (Topic 12TS389)

Because It’s There
Martin Carthy

Topic Records 12TS389 (LP, UK, 1979)
Rounder Records 30311 (LP, USA, 1979)
Topic Records TSCD389 (CD, UK, 1995)

Martin Carthy: Because It’s There (Topic TSCD389)

Recorded at Riverside Studios, London;
Produced by Ashley Hutchings, Engineer Jerry Boys;
Photography Keith Morris, sleeve design by Cooke Key


Martin Carthy: vocals, guitar;
John Kirkpatrick: accordion [1, 7, 8], concertina [2, 6];
Howard Evans: trumpet [6, 7];
Bruce Rowland: drums [9]


Side 1

  1. Nothing Rhymed (2.49)
  2. May Song (Roud 305) (2.10)
  3. Swaggering Boney (tune) (2.42)
  4. Lord Randall (Roud 10; Child 12; G/D 2:209; Henry H814) (4.12)
  5. Long John, Old John and Jackie North (Roud 3100; Child 251; G/D 2:246) (6.02)
  6. Jolly Tinker (Roud 863) (2.58)

Side 2

  1. Lovely Joan (Roud 592) (3.11)
  2. Three Cripples (Roud 2422) (3.05)
  3. Siege of Delhi (tune) (4.18)
  4. Nothing Rhymed (reprise) (1.18)
  5. Death of Young Andrew (Roud 6740; Child 48) (8.39)

All tracks trad. arr. Martin Carthy except
Tracks 1, 10 Gilbert O’Sullivan

CD Notes by Martin Carthy

In a rare waking moment, the former President of the USA, Mr Calvin Coolidge was heard to cry out to the effect that half the world’s problems would be solved if only people would sit down and keep still. Nothing Rhymed is a song that was written by Gilbert O’Sullivan which is, among other things, about just that and attendant problems.

Most of the songs on this record were learnt by chance, by osmosis, or, in the case of Lord Randall, virtually by accident. May Song came from a Cynthia Gooding record which I lost 16 years ago, words stuck in my head. Swaggering Boney Nothing Rhymed and Jolly Tinker by osmosis. The Three Cripples and the Siege of Delhi from Hamish Henderson in Padstow and at Mervyn Vincent’s house in St Issy on May Day a couple of years ago. The exceptions are Long John, Old John and Jackie North which is a reworking of Long Johnny Mor, full of swash and buckle, and the Death of Young Andrew, a reworking of a severely holed set of words, and both songs are to be found in F.J. Child’s English and Scottish Popular Ballads.

Martin Carthy