St... - Witchwood / Keep The Devil Outside / We'll meet Again Sometime 7" (1970)
The story of this unissued single (although some copies exist) is a little complicate. Actually, it was a second choice since first the record company wanted to release another song from the future album (From The Witchwood), "I'll Carry On Beside You", but the band disagreed and chosed the wonderful "Witchwood" instead. The single should have been released in April 1971, but there was apparently a sound problem (the song had been recorded at half volume) and they decided to withdraw it. It's twice bad. First because "Witchwood" is one of the most marvellous Dave Cousins song (and he's done quite a lot) although I doubt it would have been a hit. Second because there were 2 unissued songs on the backside. First a song composed and sung by the new recruited John Ford (not bad but not reaching the Strawbs standards) and then a song from the Queen Elizabeth Hall not included on the LP some months before. This song is "We'll Meet Again Sometime" (still played these days, but now as a closer of the shows) and on which the Wakeman's organ (I mean the keyboards) is a little bit prominent (but he would do worst later in solo). All in all, it's rather justice to give back it's place to this single in the Strawbs singles discography. For the cover sleeve, I did one with a splendid picture by an Italian young female artist called Yumie Naamah (her site here). Enjoy this tryptic here or there.
Witchwood. I dropped down in the witchwood To see what I could find The trees had taken time out To blow away my mind All that I could hear there Was the sound of my own voice But the music it was making Was nothing of my choice. The interwoven branches Were laden deep with snow A rainbow shone so softly To show which way to go I observed its many colours Till my eyes were rimmed with frost I tried hard to trace my footsteps For I feared I might get lost. The witchwood started singing With a strange unearthly sound My fingers grew like branches I stood rooted to the ground And the spell is still unbroken I am still her bidden slave Till a casket from the witchwood Bears my body to the grave.