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The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter

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Liquid Acrobat as Regards the Air

1968

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter [back cover]

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter is possibly the best-known album by the Incredible String Band. It is regarded by many critics as the quitessential example of the counter-culture life-style, with its promotion of new ideas such as vegetarianism, communal living, and eastern mysticism.

The title of the album is a reference to the social revolution of the sixties, with the "hangman" referring to the dead former culture and the "beautiful daughter" to the coming rebirth. The album's cover art consists of a photograph taken on Christmas Day 1967, featuring the children of Mary Stewart, a friend of Robin Williamson

Robin Williamson: lead vocal (on his own compositions), guitar, gimbri, whistle, percussion, pan pipe, piano, oud, mandolin, jew's harp, chahanai, water harp, harmonica
Mike Heron: lead vocal (on his own compostions), sitar, hammond organ, guitar, hammer dulcimer, harpsichord
Dolly Collins: flute organ and piano
David Snell: harp
Licorice: vocal and finger cymbals and added voices on "The Minotaur's Song"

Released March 1968
Recorded December 1967 at Sound Techniques, London
Genre Psych folk
Length 49:51
Label Elektra / WEA
Producer Joe Boyd

(Mike Heron)

Winter was cold and the clothing was thin
But the gentle shepherd calls the tune
Oh dear mother what shall I do
First please your eyes and then your ears Jenny
Exchanging love tokens say goodnight
 
Lay down my dear sister
Won't you lay and take your rest
Won't you lay your head upon your saviours breast
And I love you but Jesus loves you the best
And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight,
And I bid you goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.
One of these mornings bright and early and fine.
Goodnight, goodnight
Not a cricket not a spirit going to shout me on
Goodnight, goodnight
I go walking in the valley of the shadow of death
Goodnight, goodnight
And his rod and his staff shall comfort me
Goodnight, goodnight
Oh John the wine he saw the sign
Goodnight, goodnight
Oh John say I seen a number of signs
Goodnight, goodnight
Tell A for the ark that wonderful boat
Goodnight, goodnight
You know they built it on the land getting water to float
Goodnight, goodnight
Tell B for the beast at the ending of the wood
Goodnight, goodnight
You know it ate all the children when they wouldn't be good
Goodnight, goodnight
I remember quite well, I remember quite well
Goodnight, goodnight
I was walking in Jerusalem just like John
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.
 
Who would lose and who would bruise
Or who would live quite prettily?
And who would love what comes along
And fill the air with joyous song
 
Who would go and who would come
Or who would simply linger
And who would hide behind your chair
And steal your crystallised ginger
 
Nebulous nearness cry to me
At this timeless moment
Someone dear to me wants me near, makes me high
I can hear vibrations fly
Through mangoes, pomegranates and planes
All the same
When it reaches me and teaches me
To sigh
 
Who would mouse and who would lion
Or who would be the tamer
And who would hear directions clear
From the unameable namer

Who would skip and who would plod
Or who would like quite silly
And who would ride backwards on a giraffe
Stopping every so often to laugh
 
Amoebas are very small
 
Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
I don't need a wife
living the timeless life
If I need a friend I just give a wriggle
Split right down the middle
And when I look there's two of me
Both as handsome as can be
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh here we go slithering, here we go slithering and squelching on
Oh ah ee oo there's absolutely no strife
living the timeless life
 
Black hair brown hair feather and scale
Seed and stamen and all unnamed lives that live
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Turn your quivering nerves in my direction
Feel the energy projection of my cells
Wishes you well.
 
May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide you all the way on.

The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter 1968

  1. "Koeeaddi There" (Williamson) - 4:49
  2. "The Minotaur's Song" (Williamson) - 3:22
  3. "Witches Hat" (Williamson) - 2:33
  4. "A Very Cellular Song" (Heron) - 13:09
  5. "Mercy I Cry City" (Heron) - 2:46
  6. "Waltz of the New Moon" (Williamson) - 5:10
  7. "The Water Song" (Williamson) - 2:50
  8. "Three Is a Green Crown" (Williamson) - 7:46
  9. "Swift as the Wind" (Heron) - 4:53
  10. "Nightfall" (Williamson) - 2:33

Robin Williamson, Mike Heron [click for larger]

 

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