A song for St. George’s Day. This was originally written and recorded by Richard Thompson for his first solo album Henry the Human Fly, but the version I know best is the one by the Albion Country Band – a kind of electric folk supergroup founded by Ashley Hutchings. This version was, I think, recorded in 1972 but not released until 1976, on their album Battle of the Field. I used to have a copy, recorded for me by a friend, on a Winfield cassette (Winfield being the brand name for Woolworths’ products in those days). At election time this ought to have some resonance. But who is the New St. George? Perhaps Nick Clegg, slaying the dragon of the Old Parties with his trusty lance of Fairness.
Here is the Albion Country Band’s version –
This seems to be a popular tune in Leicestershire. Not only do I see that Jonathan Calder of Liberal England has beaten me to it by an hour or so – Liberal England – I also find that there is a troop of Morris Men in Melton who have named themselves after it – New St George Morris. (and I believe dance it as a Morris).
By way of variety, here is Richard Thompson’s version, used to make a point about the Iraq War (I imagine it could be used to make any number of political points, not all of them necessarily to my taste).