Shirley Collins’s status as one of the great figures of the English folk revival has long been assured, and the influence of her great 1960s and 1970s albums has spread down the years. Now, in the year she turns 80, a selection of her songs is being covered by some of those who have taken inspiration for her work.
Shirley Inspired is to be released by Earth Recordings for Record Store Day 2015, in a worldwide limited edition of 1,000 triple-vinyl albums. It features, among others, Graham Coxon, Lee Ranaldo, Bonnie Prince Billy (as Bitchin Bonnie Billy Bajas), Stewart Lee, Eric Chenaux, Josephine Foster, Johnny Flynn, Stuart Estell and Trembling Bells.
We’re delighted to bring you Graham Coxon’s contribution to the album, the murder ballad Cruel Mother, one of the Child Ballads collected by Francis James Child in the 19th century and recorded by Collins on her 1959 album False True Lovers. “Her music did kick off for me a whole sort of renewed passion or interest or love of my own country’s music,” Coxon says. “Thank you, Shirley!”