> The Watersons > Lal Waterson

Songs of Lal Waterson

(15 February 1943 - 4 September 1998)

performed by herself, The Watersons and others


Lal and Mike Waterson, Bright Phoebus, LP, Trailer LES 2076

Lal and Mike Waterson, Rubber Band / Red Wine and Promises, single, Transatlantic BIG 507


Lal and Norma Waterson, A True Hearted Girl, LP, Topic 12TS331


No Masters Voice (No Masters NMVCD4) Various Artists, No Masters (Voice), CD, No Masters NMCD4
Mike sings McIlroy the Emerald Cowboy; Lal sings Midnight Feast, which is later to appear on Once in a Blue Moon


Lal Waterson & Oliver Knight, Once in a Blue Moon, CD, Topic TSCD478


Lal Waterson, A Bed of Roses, CD, Topic TSCD505

Lal and Norma Waterson, A True Hearted Girl, CD, Topic TSCD507


Lal and Mike Waterson, Bright Phoebus, CD, Trailer/Leader LESCD 2076


Lal Waterson, Teach Me to Be a Summer's Morning, book w/ CD, Fledg'ling FLED3095, 21 October 2013

Cover versions of Lal Waterson's songs


Shining Bright (Topic TSCD519) Various Artists, Shining Bright: The Songs of Lal & Mike Waterson, CD, Topic TSCD519, 2002


Jo Freya's Lal Waterson Project, Lal, CD, No Masters NMCD27

Various Artists, Migrating Bird: The Songs of Lal Waterson, CD, Honest Jon's HJRCD31

Songs from Bright Phoebus

Fine Horseman

  1. Anne Briggs, The Time Has Come (1971)
    An earlier version of Fine Horseman than on Bright Phoebus. In her notes, Anne Briggs writes: “Lal Knight has written a number of songs - this is the first of hers that I heard. I'd like to sing all the songs she's written, but better still I'd like to hear her sing them herself.”
  2. Dave Smith and Judy Dinning [of Lucky Bags], Waiting for the Change (1983)
  3. Silly Sisters, No More to the Dance (1988)
  4. Barbara Dickson, Dark End of the Street (1995)
  5. Dick Gaughan, Redwood Cathedral (1998)
    reissued on Dick Gaughan: The Definitive Collection (2006)
  6. Lucky Bags, Delight in Disorder (1998)
  7. Erica Smith, Erica Smith (2001)
  8. June Tabor with the Creative Jazz Orchestra live at the Purcell Room, London, 4 October 1998 on her anthology Always (2005)
  9. The Owl Service on their EP Wake the Vaulted Echo, (2006), on The Pattern Beneath the Plough, Parts 1 and 2 (2011), on Garland Sessions (2012),, and on the anthology The Inner Octave (2011)
  10. Tinkerscuss, Mythago (2007)
  11. Lisa Knapp on Music and Migration III (2013)
  12. Promise & the Monster, Feed the Fire (2016)

Red Wine and Promises

  1. Tony Capstick, Tony Capstick Does a Turn (1978)
  2. June Tabor live on The Best of Mountain Stage Volume Two (1991)
  3. Grace Notes, Red Wine & Promises (1998)

The Scarecrow

  1. Tony Capstick, Tony Capstick Does a Turn (1978)
  2. June Tabor, Abyssinians (1983)
    Reissued on her compilations Aspects (1990), The Definitive Collection (2003)
    (Tabor writes: “The strength of visual image is worthy of Ingmar Bergman, as is the story: the Earth Mother is all-powerful here.”)
  3. The Fatima Mansions on their EP Evil Man (1992)
  4. Deb Sandland, Phil Beer and Jem McAuley on Heart of England (2000)
  5. James Yorkston, Someplace Simple (2003)
  6. The Witches of Elswick, Out of Bed (2003)
  7. Tinkerscuss, Mythago (2007)

To Make You Stay

  1. Tinkerscuss, Mythago (2007)
  2. Offa Rex, The Queen of Hearts (2017)

Songs from Once in a Blue Moon


  1. Karen Tweed & Ian Carr, Fyace (1997)
    This is a cover version of the Altisidora tune, not the words.

At First She Starts

  1. The Unthanks, Here's the Tender Coming (2009)

Bath Time

  1. Freya Federation, Freya Federation (2000)


  1. Christine Collister, Songbird (1999)
  2. James Yorkston & The Big Eyes Family Players, Analogue Catalogue Sessions (2009)

Flight of the Pelican

  1. The Woodbine & Ivy Band, Sleep On Sleeping On (2015)

Midnight Feast

  1. Christine Collister, Blue Aconite (1997)
  2. Tanteeka (Andy Cutting, Jo Freya, Alice Kinloch, Oliver Knight), A New Tradition (1997)
  3. Denny Bartley, Midnight Feast (2002)
  4. James Yorkston, When the Haar Rolls In (2008)
  5. Lau vs. Karine Polwart, Evergreen (2010)

Some Old Salty

  1. Salt Fare, North Sea on Chumbawamba's album Readymades has a vocal sample of Lal Waterson and Oliver Knight from Some Old Salty.
  2. A live version sung at Cropredy 1999 by Maddy Prior, Jacqui McShee, Simon Nicol, Dave Pegg and Chris Leslie is on Cropredy - The Best and the Guests, the bonus CD of Free Reed's Fairport unConventioNal (2002)
  3. Simpson · Cutting · Kerr, Murmurs (2015)

Stumbling On

  1. Eliza Carthy, Red Rice / Red (1998)

Songs from A Bed of Roses

Migrating Bird

  1. Grace Notes, Anchored to the Time (2001)

Other Songs by Lal Waterson

Anna Dixie

  1. Norma Waterson, Norma Waterson (1996)
  2. Debra Cowan, Greening the Dark (2019)

The Bird

  1. Jackie Oates, The Joy of Living (2018)

Black Horse

  1. Lisa Knapp, Hidden Seam (2013)

Hilda's Cabinet Band

  1. The Watersons on Hard Cash (1998)

Marvellous Companion

  1. Jo Freya, Female Smuggler (2008)

The Piper's Path

  1. Christy Moore, This Is the Day (2001)
  2. Freya Abbott Ferguson, Get Well Soon (2011)

Reply to Joe Haines

  1. Norma Waterson, The Very Thought of You (1999)


Many thanks to Green Gilman who did most of the research. Garry Gillard also thanks Hilary Denham.