Shirley Collins (born 1935)

English singer, singing mainly traditional songs.

(Shirley Elizabeth Collins has also recorded with the Albion Band, The Young Tradition, Davy Graham, The Etchingham Steam Band and as a duo with Dolly Collins)
(Shirley Collins has written a book "America Over The Water"(2004) about her experience collecting folk songs with Alan Lomax)


Sweet England 1959ArgoRG 150
[Reissue] (LP)1985 See For MilesSEE212
[Reissue] (CD)1999TopicTSCD 815
[Reissue] (CD)2010Fledg'ling 
False True Lovers1960Folkways (USA)FG 3564
[Reissue] (CD)2001Fledg'lingFLED 3029
[Reissue] (Vinyl)2009 Vinyl Lovers?
Heroes In Love (EP) 1963TopicTOP 95
Shirley Sings Irish (EP)1964CollectorJEI 1508
The Foggy Dew (EP)1964Collector/ SelectionJEB 3
English Songs, vol 1 (EP)1964Collector/ SelectionJEB 5
English Songs, vol 2 (EP)1964Collector/ SelectionJEB 9
The Sweet Primeroses (*)1967Topic12T170
[Re-issue] (CD) 1995TopicTSCD476
[Re-issue] (Vinyl)2006 Bo' WeavilWEAVIL 09
The Power of the True Love Knot1968Polydor583 025
Amaranth1969EMI/Harvest SHVL 754 
[Reissue]1969 Harvest/ CapitolSKAO 370
Adieu To Old England1974 Topic?
[Reissue] (CD)2000Fledg'lingFLED3023
[Reissue] (vinyl)20096 Spices ?
Amaranth (**)1976EMI/Harvest SHSM 2008 
Anthems in Eden (***)1993EMI/Harvest CDEMS 1477 
Harking Back (****)1998 DurtroCD 046
(*) The CD of "The Sweet Primeroses" contains extra tracks - the
whole of "Heroes In Love".
(**) The 1976 "Amaranth" contains some of the tracks from the 1969 "Amaranth"
plus new recordings made in 1976 with the Albion Band.
(***) Anthems in Eden contains all the tracks of the 1969 "Amaranth"
plus the additional tracks from 1976 version.
(****) Recorded live in Dublin 1978-79

Collaboration: Alax Lomax and the Ramblers (including Shirley Collins).

Alan Lomax and the Ramblers (EP)(*)1957DECCADFE 6367
(* with Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Shirley Collins, Sandy Brown, John Cole,
Bryan Daley, Jim Bray and Alan Sutton)

Collaboration: Davy Graham and Shirley Collins.

Folk Roots, New Routes (*)1964 Decca4652 
[Re-issue]1980 Righteous RecordsGDC001
[Re-issue]1999TopicTSCD 820
[Re-issue]2007 Fledg'lingFLED 3052
(* recorded 1964, released 1965)

Collaboration - Young Tradition and Shirley and Dolly Collins.

The Holly Bears the Crown1969FledglingFLED3006


A Favourite Garland1974 DeramSML 1117 
Fountains of Snow1992 World Service/ Durtro010 
Within Sound (box set 4 CDs)2002Fledg'lingNEST 3029
The Shirley Collins Collection/ Classic2004Topic/ HighpointHPO6008
Snapshots (*)2006Fledg'ling FLED 3057
The Harvest Years2008 EMI 

(* Shirley and Dolly Collins. Recorded 1966 and 1979)

Best albums(*)

Power of the True Love Knot1968
False True Lovers1960
Anthems in Eden 1993
The Sweet Primeroses 1967
Love, Death and the Lady1970

(*)Based on my opinion.

Anthology - Harry Cox, Bob Roberts, Shirley Collins, Frank McPeake, Fred Lawson, Davy Stewart, Bob and Ron Copper etc.

Title. year. Label. number.
Folk Song Today (*)1955 HMV DLP 1143

(*) 10 inch album.


Folksongs Today1955HMVDLP 1143
The Jug of Punch1960HMVCLP 1327
A Pinch of Salt (*)1960HMVCLP 1362
Rocket Along: New Ballads on Old Lines1960HMVCLP 1204
Folk Scene1966Folk SceneFSP 001
Folk Festival auf der Lenzburg (2 LPs)1975Claves (Switzerland)DPF 700/2
70 Golden Nursery Thymes (cass) (**)1979 Tempo STMP  9031 
[Reissued as "The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection"] (CD)2011 Ocean Music ?
The Folk Collection 21995 TopicTSCD481
The Voice of Folk1996 TopicTSCD705
English Originals2000 TopicTSCD706
(* with Cyril Tawney, Steve Benbow and Seamus Ennis)
(** with Martin Carthy, Isla St Clair, and Percy Edwards)

Anthology - Maddy Prior, John Kirkpatrick, Frankie Armstrong, Nic Jones, Gordeanna McCulloch, John Wright, Shirley Collins et al.

Ballads1997Fellside FECD 110

Anthology - Steeleye Span, Ian Matthews, Sandy Denny, Shirley Collins, Ian Matthews, Tim Moore et al.

Title year. Label. number.
Walking on the Moon 1991 Mooncrest CREST CD001

Anthology - Frankie Armstrong, Maddy Prior, Cyril Tawney, The Watersons, Peta Webb, A.L. Lloyd, Roy Bailey, Linda Adams, Peter Bellamy, Patti Reid, John Kirkpatrick, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Swan Arcade, June Tabor et al.

Title. year. Label. number.
Voices - English Traditional Song 1992 Fellside FECD 087

Anthology - Various artists including Shirley Collins and Martin Wynham-Read.

Album title. year Label. Number.
Midwinter (Box set) (4 CDs) 2006 Free Reed?

Anthology - Various artists including Devil's Interval, James Raynard, Julie Murphy, Lisa Knapp, Barry Dransfield, James Yorkston & The Athletes, Circulus, Tom Paxton, Jacqui McShee's Pentangle, Shirley Collins et al.

Title. year. Label. No.
Old Wine, New Skins2007 ? 

Anthology - Various artists including Shirley Collins, Mr Fox, Anne Briggs, Steeleye Span, Shelagh McDonald, Pentangle, Loudest Whisper et al.

Title. year. Label. No.
Early Morning Hush2008 Sanctuary 

Anthology - Nic Jones, William Kimber, Harry Cox, Shirley Collins, A.L. Lloyd, Sam Larner, The Watersons, Margaret Barry, The Boys of the Lough, Dick Gaughan, Kentigern et al.

Title. year. Label. number.
Three Score and Ten - A Voice To the People (7 CDs) 2009Topic TOPIC70

Popular downloads.

Bonnie Boy
A Blacksmith Courted Me
Just As the Tide Was Flowing
The Cruel Mother
Polly Vaughan
Barbara Allen
All Things are Quite silent
Brigg Fair
God Dog
Ramble Away

DVD - Isla St Clair, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Floella Benjamin et al.

70 Golden Nursery Rhymes1982 Longman Video

DVD - Isla St Clair, Martin Carthy, Shirley Collins, Floella Benjamin et al.

Titleyear.Label. Number
The Classic Nursery Rhymes Collection [1982] (*)2011Ocean Music Ltd   
(* Reissue of "70 Golden Nursery Rhymes")

"False True Lovers". Recorded 1960.

Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo), John Hasted, Ralph Rinzler, Guy Carawan. Notes by Alan Lomax.



1. I Drew My Ship Words: Trad/ Tune: S Collins
2. The Irish BoyShirley Collins
3. The Spermwhale Fishery (Lowlands of Holland) Trad
4. Dennis O'ReillyTrad
5. My Bonny Miner LadTrad
6. Just as the Time Was FlowingTrad 
7. Bobby ShaftoeTrad
8. Richie Story (Child 232) Trad
9. The Unquiet GraveTrad
10. The Swapping Song Trad
11. Poor Old HorseTrad
12. The False True LoveTrad
13. The Foggy Dew Trad
14. Mowing the BarleyTrad
15. Scarborough Fair (Child 2) Trad
16. The Cruel Mother (Child 20) Trad
17. The Bonny CuckooTrad
18. The Queen of MayTrad
19. Died for LoveTrad

"The Power of the True Love Knot". Recorded 1968. Running time 42 minutes 39 seconds.

Shirley Collins (vocal, 5-string dulcimer), Dolly Collins (pipe-organ), Bram Taylor (cello on tracks 1 and 9), Mike Heron (finger cymbals, African drum, clapping), Robin Williamson (Japanese sticks, tin whistle, chanter (on track 11) from Indian Shahanhai, clapping)



1. Bonnie Boy Trad
2. Richie Story [Child 232]Trad
3. Lovely Joan Trad
4. Just as the Tide Was FlowingTrad
5. The Unquiet Grave [Child 78]Trad
6. Black-eyed SusanTrad 
7. Seven Yellow Gipsies [Child 200]Trad
8. Over the Hills and Far Away Trad
9. Greenwood LaddieTrad
10. Lady Margaret and Sweet William [Child 74] Trad
11. The Maydens CameTrad
12. Polly VaughanWords: Trad/ Tune: S Collins
13. The Barley Straw Trad
14. Barbara Allen [Child 84]Trad

The Classic Collection. Recorded 1966 - 1978. Released on CD in 2004. Running time 57 minutes 24 seconds. 
Track 1 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ). 
Track 2 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, 5-string dulcuimer), Dolly Collins (pipe organ), Bram Martin (cello). 
Track 3 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal). 
Track 4 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ), Phil Pickett (recorders). 
Track 5 (Royston Wood) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ). 
Track 6 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo). 
Track 7 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ). 
Track 8 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ). 
Track 9 (Richard Thompson) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (piano). 
Track 10 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo). 
Track 11 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo). 
Track 12 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo). 
Track 13 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ).
Track 14 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ), Bob Stewart (plucked psaltry). 
Track 15 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo). 
Track 16 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ). 
Track 17 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Etchingham Steam Band. 
Track 18 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (pipe organ). 
Track 19 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal), Dolly Collins (piano, vocal), Phil Pickett (tenor curtal, cornett).
Track 20 (Traditional) Shirley Collins (vocal, banjo). 
Title. Album. Date
1. The Sweet Primeroses The Sweet Primeroses 1967
2. Bonnie Boy The Power of the True Love Knot 1968
3. Adieu to Old England Adieu to Old England 1974
4. The Moon shines Bright For As Many As Will 1978
5. March the Morning Sun The Holly Bears The Crown 1969
6. A Blacksmith Courted Me The Sweet Primeroses 1967
7. Just As The Tide Was Flowing The Power of the True Love Knot 1968
8. Down by the Seaside Adieu to Old England 1974
9. Never Again For As Many As Will 1978
10. I Drew My Ship False True Lovers 1960
11. The Foggy Dew False True Lovers 1960 
12. False True Love The Sweet Primeroses 1967
13. All Things are Quite Silent The Sweet Primeroses 1967 
14. One Night As I Lay On My Bed Adieu to Old England 1974
15. Polly Vaughan The Power of the True Love Knot 1968
16. The Cherry Tree Carol The Holly Bears the Crown 1969
17. Come All You Little Streamers The Etchingham Steam Band 1975
18. Greenwood Laddie The Power of the True Love Knot 1968
19. Guilderoy For As Many As Will 1978
20. The False Bride The Sweet Primeroses 1967

"The Holly Bears the Crown". Recorded 1969. Running time 32 minutes 50 seconds.

The Young Tradition (Peter Bellamy (vocal), Heather Wood (vocals), Royston Wood (vocals)), Shirley Collins (vocals), Dolly Collins (pipe-organ),  Adam Skeaping (bass viol), Roderick Skeaping (recorder). Narrations by Gary Watson. Instrumental arrangements by Dolly Collins. Produced by John Gilbert. Photography by Brian Shuel. Cover artwork by David Suff.



1. Prologue from "Hamlet" (spoken) Shakespeare
2. The Boar's Head CarolTrad
3. Is It Far To Bethlehem? Frances Chesterton/ Trad
4. Lullay My LikingTrad (tune by Gustav Holst)
5. The Cherry Tree CarolTrad (tune by Shirley Collins)
6. Shepherds AriseTrad  (Copper Family)
7. I sing of a Maiden That Is MakelessTrad (tune by Dolly Collins)
8. Interlude: the Great Frost (spoken) Virginia Woolf ("Orlando")
9. Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing DayTrad
10. A Virgin Most Pure Trad
11. The Coventry CarolTrad
12. The Holly Bears The CrownTrad
13. March The Morning Sun Royston Wood
14. Bring Us In Good AleTrad



Last updated on 11/08/2012