Song of the Day, June 15: The White Hare by Shirley Collins and the Albion Band
June 15, 2016 Leave a comment
Today’s song is a wonderful rendition of a traditional British musical theme. The White Hare of Howden — also cited as “from Oldham” and without a location — is an old song (Roud 1110), collected by the redoubtable Percy Grainger in 1908. Many folk singers have recorded it in the century since. The Watersons created their own version for their 1966 debut. Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick merged that approach with the original chorus on 1968’s But Two Came By. When Shirley Collins and Ashley Hutchings assembled the first Albion Band for No Roses in 1971, they used the Carthy/Swarbrick version.
It’s a classic hunting song, relating the chase in boisterous detail. As with many of these songs, the quarry is mystical (often the case with white animals), proving hard to catch. Collins is joined by Lal and Mike Waterson and Young Tradition’s Royston Wood in a rousing vocal performance that captures the fun energy of the song.
Enjoy this delightful performance today.