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Sweet Wivelsfield

Martin Carthy: Sweet Wivelsfield (Topic 12TS418)

Sweet Wivelsfield
Martin Carthy

Deram (Decca) SML 1111 (LP, UK, 1974)
Rounder 3020 (LP, USA, 1978)
Topic Records 12TS418 (LP, UK, 1981)
Topic Records TSCD418 (CD, UK, 1996)

Martin Carthy: Sweet Wivelsfield (Topic TSCD418)

Produced by Ashley Hutchings;
Recorded by Jerry Boys at Sound Techniques Studio, London;
Illustration by Keith Davis;
Photography by Keith Morris


Martin Carthy: vocals, guitar, mandolin


Side 1

  1. Shepherd O Shepherd (Roud 1055; G/D 7:1513) (3.20)
  2. Billy Boy (Roud 326) (2.47)
  3. Three Jolly Sneaksmen (Roud 1652) (4.09)
  4. Trimdon Grange (Roud 3189) (6.23)
  5. All of a Row (Roud 1474) (2.35)

Side 2

  1. Skewbald (Roud 456; Laws Q22) (3.40)
  2. Mary Neal (Roud 142; Laws M17; Henry H55) (3.55)
  3. King Henry (Roud 3967; Child 32) (6.18)
  4. John Barleycorn (Roud 164; G/D 3:559) (2.16)
  5. The Cottage in the Wood (Roud 608; G/D 5:983; TYG 36) (6.12)

All tracks trad. arr. Martin Carthy


Garry Gillard thanks Kevin Sheils for details of the original release.

There is a dianthus called “Sweet Wivelsfield” which the internationally famous carnation growers Allwood Bros named after the village in which their nurseries were, Wivelsfield Green in West Sussex. (They are now a few km away on the other side of Burgess Hill, near Hassocks.) Thanks very much to Claire Stevens for finding this out.

Later: Claire Stevens reports that Steve Sheldon told her Martin said: “The title was Norma‚Äôs idea. She read somewhere that Sweet Wivelsfield is a hybrid derivative of the Sweet William flower, and suggested it as a title because of the wonderfully hybrid nature of the folksong animal itself. I latched on to that, and to the fact that the town of Hull is actually Kingston upon Hull, being named after King William of Orange, who gave his name to the town when, in the late 17th Century, they demonstrated their loyalty to him by locking their gates against his enemies. I had very recently moved to Hull and it seemed to me a serendipitous set of connections.”