Cold, Haily, Windy Night

I first heard this song sung to a completely different tune, under the title ‘Cold Blow and a Rainy Night’, by the Irish band ‘Planxty’. However, there is an English version of it and it is performed here by Chris Wood, who, though mainly a singer-songwriter, is also deeply appreciative of traditional music and includes it regularly in his set lists.

Chris introduces this as a song about young love but of course it is actually one of the many traditional folk songs in which the man has his way with the woman and then leaves her to deal with the consequences. As usual, Mainly Norfolk has a good summary of the recording history of the various versions of this song. As Malcolm Douglas at Mudcat Café points out, the song as we now know it is more of a compilation of verses from various traditional sources, rather than a traditional song in its own right.

Chris Wood’s website is here.

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Published by

Tim Chesterton

Family man; pastor of St. Margaret's Anglican Church on Ellerslie Road, Edmonton; storyteller; traditional folk musician and occasional songwriter. Email me at timchesterton at outlook dot com.

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