Unthanks - Here's The Tender Coming fake EP" (2009)
The last (and first since before the band was called Rachel Unthank and the Winterset) LP by the Unthanks is without a doubt a high point for those who love great music, even if not fond of folk. I could not imagine such a magnificent album was possible today. I pessimistically thought that such a delicate approach of music belonged to the past, to the golden years of English folk (the sixties and the seventies, from Sandy Denny to Mandy Morton). But heaven not, this is still possible and Rachel and her sister show us that it is. The lyrics are quite sinister and the general atmosphere quite oppressing, all that we like. The Here's The Tender Coming LP should be bought by anyone of you but in case you are not convinced, here a fake EP I imagined. In fact, the eponymous title is not my fave but the band played it on the Jools Holland show (see it here, it is magic) so if a single should be released from the album, there are chances it will be this one. However, on the B-side, I would like to see almost 2 of the 3 of my favorites songs from the album. There is the moving "Sad February" that you can listen on my D(k)oom compilation here, and the 2 following ones: "Lucky Gilchrist" (wrongly spelled on the verso cover of my DIM sleeve but it's too long to take it back), one of the rare self-penned song of the LP and which has a CSNY flavor and a final that is purely genius, and "At First She Starts", a wonderfull cover of the wonderfull Lal Waterson's original (that you can listen here) but very different. The original one was not far from Melanie and this one from Robert Wyatt or Nico. Both break our heart. For the sleeve, I chose a Thomas Withcombe painting since the tender has nothing to do with the tenderness as I thought first but with the boat who came to take the young men to dispatch them next in various ships going to fight the French during the perpetual wars our 2 countries did at these times. Enjoy it here and don't forget to get the album. Just a thing more: the 2 tracks in streaming below are the ones I chose for the B-side, not Here's The Tender Coming". Unfortunately, I did not find the words for "Lucky Gilchrist".
Here's the tender coming. Here's the tender coming, pressing all the men; Oh dear hinny, what shall we do then? Here's the tender coming, off at Shield's Bar, Here's the tender coming, full of men of war. Hide thee, canny Geordie, hide thyself away; Hide thee till the tender makes for Druid's Bay. If they take thee, Geordie, who's to win our bread? Me and little Jackie better off be dead. Here's the tender coming, stealing off my dear; Oh dear hinny, they'l ship you out of here. They will ship you foreign, that is what it means; Here's the tender coming, full of red marines. Hey, bonny lassie. let's go to the Lawe, See the tender lying, off at Shield's Bar, With her colours flying, anchor at her bow. They took my bonny laddie, best of all the crew
At First She Starts. First she starts and then she's startled. I see that light in her eyes Didn't you realise you were a bird, At dawn when you woke with air in your throat. So far doe-ray-me Sing to me loudly, Serenade me,Mess with the melody. Light and shadeAll my eyes can see.Oh but you are the phrase at the end of the bar, a long and high refrain. Hanging around for the choir to strike sound, So's you can holler your joy and your pain.