Song of the Day, January 15: The Snow It Melts the Soonest by Eliza Carthy

LizaSnowToday’s song is The Snow It Melts the Soonest by Eliza Carthy. It’s another traditional track included on her brilliant 1998 double album Red Rice. The tune dates back to the early 19th Century, with references appearing as early as 1821. It was popularized in the 20th Century folk revival by Anne Briggs and later by Dick Gaughan (on his stunning album Handful of Earth) . Carthy’s reading is clear and pure, an homage to the Briggs treatment of the song. It’s a sad and bitter song comparing the fickleness of love with the changing of the seasons. A series of natural images from weather, landscape, and agriculture are brought to bear as comparisons with the anticipated failure of a lover’s fidelity.

The snows, they melt the soonest when the winds begin to sing The corn, it ripens fastest as the frosts are settling in And when a young man tells me that my face he’ll soon forget Before we part, I’ll wage a bet he’ll be fain to follow it yet

Carthy and her band present a wonderful version of this classic. Enjoy this bitter lament today.


About Robert Hulshof-Schmidt
Freelance writer, researcher, online comic vendor, and project manager. Fan of a wide range of music -- especially folk and 80s pop -- vintage comics, British TV, and LGBT fiction.

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