Thursday, August 10, 2017

Lal & Mike Waterson: The Scarecrow

A beautiful, melancholy song with a sinister twist of child sacrifice in the third verse, "The Scarecrow" first appeared on an LP called Bright Phoebus in 1972. The artists, siblings Lal and Mike Waterson, were one half of the popular English folk quartet the Watersons, who were known for their a cappella renditions of carols and other traditional songs, but the LP, which featured original compositions and instrumental accompaniment, was poorly received at the time and has been largely unavailable since. It has now been remastered and released in the UK by Domino Records. Update (2021): The Domino release is no longer available due to legal action by the copyright holder. There appears to be no current release.

At least one of the other songs on Bright Phoebus ("Child among the Weeds") is said to have been prompted by the stillbirth of one of Lal Waterson's twins. The third verse of "The Scarecrow," however, was reportedly Mike Waterson's contribution.

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