“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. 🙂