Can You Identify Unknown Sandy Denny Recording?
The late Sandy Denny is to have a 19-CD box set released by Universal Music Catalogue in October – and in the process of putting this together, a never-before-heard home recording has been found.
The set features songs the great folk vocalist, who died in 1978, performed with Alex Campbell, Johnny Silvo, Fotheringay, Strawbs, Fairport Convention and solo. There are also outtakes and previously unreleased tracks, alternate takes, BBC recordings and interviews.
But the really interesting news is the unearthing of Denny doing an unidentified folk song has been found among her home recordings. Here are the lyrics for this, as far as they can be made out:
“I saw a dark star against the black sky
Of a night thirteen hundred years long
It cast shrouding shadows upon the desert
of the dark moons that formed in her eyes
“On the vowel of her rack the sun never smiled
And the noon of the day was in shadow
And the sky left its beard on the black barren earth
And the … was … in …
“On a shrine of black flowers Ethusel lay dead
as he had for thirteen centuries
At his feet five crows stood and watched to his keep
And the whisper of time sighed around the hills
“Pannasowna has tried fair winged [weird] for it stead
though the sky’s in search of the star
and the serpent entwined about the stag’s head
tried to reach out and poison her hair.
“O no, Pannasowna, you will not go far
Ethusel [Methusa] has only one hour
and if you do not reach him before it is over
then rada falls into the ocean. [then the world falls into the sea].
“Pannasowna took her form and she stabbed [pierced] the serpent’s eye
and he fell through the clouds to the land. [sea]
As she rode on and on full of laden stones
With horizons of life in her unsung [till she came to …]
“It was then that the daylight became the dark night
[and] she recalled [remembered] what the farmer [sermon] had said:
When the night becomes black and no sound can be heard,
You have come to the land of … [Fardinarel]
“And she found the dark star hanging low in the sky
and she gathered it up in her arms
and she rode to the shrine where Ethusel lay dead [and she rode to the place that was so …]
and she placed the dark star on her …
“And the star became bright and it shone on the land
and the shrouds of darkness were gone
and Ethusa was standing before Pannazorna
and the light came to bear in her hair.”
If you know what the song is, then Sandy Denny’s estate would love you to contact them. Here’s the email address: email@example.com