Old Tunes Fresh Takes – Willie O’ Winsbury pt 1 - 19th April 2021

This episode we’re joined by the comedian Stewart Lee who is asking you to reimagine Willie of Winsbury, an odd tale of illicit love, a pansexual ghost, and denunciation of property rights. Stewart unpicks some of the rich symbolism at the heart of this beguiling popular folk song and we explore how one man’s accident in the mid-20th century may (or may not) have come to dominate the song’s recent history of interpretation.

Check out Stewart’s documentary King Rocker here.
Watch Stewart’s chart topping track ‘Coming Over Here’ with Asian Dub Foundation here.
The book on drones that Stewart references is ‘Monolithic Undertow’ by Harry Sword.

Listen to Part 2 Here

/// TAKE PART ///
Charts: example score, chords & lyrics (.pdf)
Playlist: Spotify playlist of existing versions of Willie O’ Winsbury
Find a quick guide on how to submit here.
Stewart will be back again to listen to your takes in the second part of this episode released Monday 17 May. Remember to get your takes to us by Monday 10 May to feature! Drop us a message if you have any questions.

If you’re interested in getting deeper into the conversation, come and join our group on Facebook. There’s been some amazing chats over the last month with people sharing demos, feedback and ideas.

6:27 – Coming Over Here – Asian Dub Foundation
11:09 – Prayer for a Saint – Ustad Saami
18:55 – Willie O’ Winsbury – Dick Gaughan
21:55 – Willie O’ Winsbury – Anais Mitchell & Jefferson Hamer
24:27 – Willie O’ Winsbury – Dick Gaughan
30:41 – Willie O’ Winsbury – Anne Briggs
33:38 – Willie O’ Winsbury – Sweeney’s Men
38:17 – Lord Thomas of Winesbury and the King’s Daughter – Barbara Dickson
40:33 – Willie O’ Winsbury – Offa Rex
45:00 – Polly on the Shore – Stewart Lee and Stuart Estell