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Wednesday 26 May 2021

The Queen of May

On Sunday I went to my first gig since February last year, and it wasn't just any gig either. It was the magnificent Shirley Collins, still sounding fantastic at 86.

Shirley and her band mainly played songs from last year's "Heart's Ease" and 2016's "Lodestar", which was the album that marked her return to recording after about a quarter of a century. For most of that time she suffered from dysphonia and so was unable to sing at all. It is a blessing for all of us that she finally recovered from that.

"Heart's Ease" is, in my humble opinion, as good as anything Shirley has ever done. It is available from her Bandcamp page and all good online stores. To accompany your purchase, here is a track from "Lodestar" and another from "No Roses", her 1971 album with the Albion Country Band.(aka Fairport Convention plus Shirley's sister Dolly).

One of the old songs Shirley has recorded on "Heart's Ease" is "Canadee-i-o". Her version is great but for me you can't beat Nic Jones, so I have added that as a little bonus for you.

"Pretty Polly" - Shirley Collins

"Poor Murdered Woman" - Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band

"Canadee-i-o" - Nic Jones

And now the biggest treat of all...


  1. "for me you can't beat Nic Jones,"
    You're not wrong there! Penguin Eggs is in the Top Ten Of All Time.

    1. Pleasantly surprised to hear that as I had been under the impression your Top Ten was all prog 'n pimba