Shirley Collins unveils new song "Barbara Allen"

Shirley Collins unveils new song "Barbara Allen"

Ahead of the release of Heart’s Ease on Friday, Shirley Collins is pleased to share “Barbara Allen” from the forthcoming record.


The ballad “Barbara Allen” has been loved for centuries; Collins first heard it in school and has recorded it twice before, one Appalachian version and one English version for which she wrote a new tune. On Heart’s Ease, Collins returns to the traditional English arrangement: “I watched the 1951 black and white film Scrooge and found myself in tears at the scene towards the end of the film where a changed and contrite Scrooge visits his nephew Fred on Boxing Day to beg forgiveness for his past behaviour. Fred welcomes him in, and as Scrooge enters the room, Fred’s wife is sitting at the keyboard singing Barbara Allen to the tune I learned at school…. It was utterly simple, utterly lovely. I knew if I ever recorded the song again, I would use that one”

Shirley Collins has previously shared  “Wondrous Love” and “Sweet Greens and Blues” from the album. Recorded at Metway in Brighton with The Lodestar Band, the album is a glorious reminder that Shirley Collins is still in a class of her own, both as a folk singer with a distinctive no-nonsense style that is all her own, and as an innovator. And she certainly doesn’t intend Heart’s Ease to be her last album.  “I have such a huge memory of songs, so many of which I still want to sing. And I wasted all those years not singing, so now I’ve got to catch up a bit!”


Upcoming live dates
31st July 2021 - Charleston Trust, East Sussex Tickets
1st August 2021 - Charleston Trust, East Sussex Tickets

Available Formats

Buy Now

Shirley Collins Heart's Ease

Album | 24th July 2020

On Heart’s Ease, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course,  from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Tracklisting

  • 1The Merry Golden Tree
  • 2Rolling in the Dew
  • 3The Christmas Song
  • 4Locked In Ice
  • 5Wondrous Love
  • 6Barbara Allen
  • 7Canadee-i-o
  • 8Sweet Greens and Blues
  • 9Tell Me True
  • 10Whitsun Dance
  • 11Orange In Bloom
  • 12Crowlink

Shirley Collins Heart's Ease

Album | 24th July 2020

On Heart’s Ease, Shirley delivers a record even stronger than Lodestar having completely regained her confidence, and singing so well that you can’t believe she was away for so long. As Shirley put it, “Lodestar wasn’t too bad, was it? But when I listen to it, it does sometimes sound rather tentative. I had to record it at home because I was just too nervous to sing in front of somebody I didn’t know. This time I was far more relaxed – even though I went into a studio.” Recorded at Metway in Brighton, Heart’s Ease is as compelling and original as Shirley’s great albums from the Sixties and Seventies. There are traditional songs, of course,  from England and the USA, but there are also more new songs than in the past (four non-traditional tracks) and there’s even a burst of experimentation that hints at possible new directions to come.

Tracklisting

  • 1The Merry Golden Tree
  • 2Rolling in the Dew
  • 3The Christmas Song
  • 4Locked In Ice
  • 5Wondrous Love
  • 6Barbara Allen
  • 7Canadee-i-o
  • 8Sweet Greens and Blues
  • 9Tell Me True
  • 10Whitsun Dance
  • 11Orange In Bloom
  • 12Crowlink
Buy Now