“Willie of Winsbury” is one of my very favorite songs.  I’m indulging myself here by playing a few of my favorite versions of it, starting with Pentangle’s, which was the first I ever heard:

Jacqui McShee’s voice is one I have loved for years and tried to emulate.

Anne Briggs is another amazing vocalist, with a completely different kind of voice:

One remarkable thing about this song is the stability of its lyrics.  I keep listening to different people doing the song, and there is rarely any variation.  This is pretty unusual in my experience of folk songs.

Sweeney’s Men do it with just a few changes:

Another thing that is pretty unusual to me about “Willie of Winsbury” is how constant the melody and chords are, through these several different versions.

Finally, let’s lighten up a bit.  Did you imagine that her “milk white steed” had a horn?  I did. 🙂

unicorn