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Encore Records Ltd

3CD - Sumer Is Icumen In: The Pagan Sound of British & Irish Folk 1966-1975

3CD - Sumer Is Icumen In: The Pagan Sound of British & Irish Folk 1966-1975

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3 CD - UK. Import 

Sumer Is Icumen In focuses on the point when traditional folksong and the burgeoning late Sixties counterculture collided, largely courtesy of seminal acts like the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention and Pentangle.

As Steeleye Span’s Martin Carthy commented at the time, the scene had a strong pagan feel, dark and elemental, and progressive folk bands like Dr. Strangely Strange, Comus and Third Ear Band (who performed with the druids in dawn solstice ceremonies at Glastonbury Tor) were active at the same time as folklorists like Mr. Fox pair Bob & Carole Pegg and fellow husband-and-wife team Dave & Toni Arthur, whose commitment to the cause saw them dancing naked at a coven led by ‘King of the Witches’, the notorious Alex Sanders.

Showcasing all of the above names as well as a supporting cast that ranges from Mike Oldfield and Marc Bolan to unsigned bands who recorded demos in a barn, Sumer Is Icumen In features four hours of Albion hymns ancient and modern, including three previously unreleased cuts. “Housed in a stylish clamshell box, it includes a 40-page booklet with track-by-track annotation, numerous band quotes and some very rare photos.

 The result is a secret glade in a darkly pagan woodland that’s peppered with invocations of corn gods, wicker men, bright Phoebus and other non-Christian deities; magickal tales of daemons, sorcerers, false knights and faerie queens; the medieval England myths, legends and traditions of the May Queen, John Barleycorn and the Green Man; paeans to the natural world and the rhythm of the passing seasons; fables of sanctuary stones, scarecrows and buried villages alongside dread stories of purgatory, sacrifice, rape, bestiality and murder.


Track List:


  1. LARK RISE – Third Ear Band
  2. CORN RIGS – Magnet
  3. JOHN BARLEYCORN – Traffic
  4. SANCTUARY STONE – Midwinter
  5. THE KEYS OF CANTERBURY – Vulcan’s Hammer
  6. THE WOOD-GATHERING MAN – The Celebrated Ratliffe Stout Band
  7. TWA CORBIES – Steeleye Span
  8. LOVELY JOAN – Folkal Point
  9. CANON DALE – The Strawbs (alternative version)
  10. WHITE HORSE – Kevin Coyne
  11. YORRIC – Meic Stevens
  12. LYKE-WAKE DIRGE –The Young Tradition
  14. MINERVA – Synanthesia
  15. THE PARTING GLASS – The Minor Birds
  16. VIRGIN CHILDE – Parameter
  17. THE SAPPHIRE – Carolanne Pegg
  18. CABIN ON THE CLIFFTOP – Dry Heart*
  19. WINTER PASSES – Mighty Baby
  20. ON HORSEBACK – Mike Oldfield


  1. TAM LIN – Fairport Convention
  3. FALSE KNIGHT ON THE ROAD – Tim Hart & Maddy Prior
  4. THE SCARECROW – Lal Waterson (demo version)
  5. SILVER MAN – Chimera
  6. THE WHITE HARE – Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band
  7. MAD TOM OF BEDLAM – Horden Raikes
  8. THE SONG OF THE HEALER – The Sallyangie
  9. LIZARD-LONG-TONGUE-BOY – Bridget St. John (alternative version)
  10. STRINGS IN THE EARTH AND AIR – Dr. Strangely Strange
  11. SORCERERS – Jan Dukes De Grey
  12. GREEN GRASS – Dave & Toni Arthur
  13. WHERE’S YOUR MASTER GONE? – Simon Finn
  14. NOTTAMUN TOWN – Oberon
  15. THE HOUSE CARPENTER – Fresh Maggots*
  16. HAND IN HAND – J. P. Sunshine
  17. THE BITE – Comus
  18. DEATH – The Sun Also Rises
  19. WINTER – Tea & Symphony
  20. AUTUMN LADY DANCING SONG – Principal Edwards’ Magic Theatre
  21. SUMMER’S IN – Anne Briggs


  1. THE BELLS OF DUNWICH – Stone Angel
  2. CRUEL SISTER – Pentangle
  3. WITCHES HAT – Incredible String Band
  4. REYNARDINE – Archie Fisher
  5. THE POET AND THE WITCH – Mellow Candle
  6. ELFIN BOY – Curved Air
  7. PRETTY POLLY – Sweeney’s Men
  8. THREE RAVENS – Parke
  9. SALISBURY PLAIN – Green Man
  10. FLODDEN FIELD – Spriguns Of Tolgus
  11. GEORDIE – The MacDonald Folk Group
  12. THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT – Michael Raven & Joan Mills
  13. HOLSWORTHY PETER’S FAIR – George Deacon & Marion Ross
  15. BUTTERFLY ON THE SHORE – Shirley Kent*
  16. EASTERN SPELL – Marc Bolan
  17. THE LARK IN THE MORNING – Heather, Adrian & John
  18. SCARBOROUGH FAIR – The Coterie
  19. MENDLE – Mr. Fox

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