Transcribed by Maartin Allcock
Published by Squiggle Records

In recent years we have heard several CD issues of collections of Sandy ’s songs and remastered issues of her studio albums. We have also been able to read Clinton Heylin’s biography. However, until now, there have been no publications comprehensively illustrating her wonderful legacy of songs.

This new songbook features all fifty-two of her self-penned or co-written recorded songs – from 1967 to 1978. It contains notes on guitar tunings and some TAB – and has been clearly a labour of love by Maartin Allcock who, in his introduction, describes himself as “the fan who joined the band”.

Also included are many interesting rare photographs and, after some of the songs, Sandy ’s own words which somehow personalise the significance of the song in question.

At a time when we are all so rightfully excited about the rise of young folk musicians, it is surely vital to remember and keep singing and playing the songs of the woman who was, and is, such an inspiration to many who have followed in her footsteps.

Reading through the book, I guess everyone will have their own personal recollection of these songs and where they were when they first heard them. In case you were wondering(!) I found reading the music and words of ‘Come All Ye’ took me right back to first hearing Liege and Lief – yes, it really was that opening D chord that signalled the official arrival of arguably the most influential album in English folk-rock.

Sandy ’s songs ranged across a wide spectrum – from traditional style folk narratives to contemporary and introspective pieces which reflected the changes which were going on in her own life.

This is a beautifully produced book, which will hopefully soon be more widely available than the initial limited edition of one thousand copies. Maartin has done a terrific job with the book, which is a worthy addition to the others in the series on which he has worked (including those of Fairport, Kieran Halpin, Allan Taylor and Dave Swarbrick). He is currently transcribing one hundred and fifty Richard Thompson songs for a three-volume songbook set.

This current songbook is thoroughly recommended for all folk singers and musicians - a fitting tribute to a wonderful singer, musician and songwriter.

George Dow

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This album was reviewed in Issue 65 of The Living Tradition magazine.