Telling Stories
April Fool's Day

Tunes for a Monday Morning

Following on from last week's Child Ballad theme, the first tune today is another fine version of "Annachie Gordon" (Child Ballad 239), performed this time by The Unthanks.

This alt-folk group from Northumbria (in the north of England, just below of the Scottish Borders) started off as a quartet of women under the name Rachel Unthank & the Winterset, then changed members a couple of times, reforming as The Unthanks in 2009. At the core of the band are sisters Rachel and Becky Unthank, joined, in the current line-up, by Adrian McNally (Rachel's husband), Niopha Keegan, and Chris Price, as well as a floating number of other musicians. All told, the Unthank sisters have produced five terrific albums of traditional folk music played in untraditional ways.

Above: "Annachie Gordon," with lead vocals by Rachel Unthank.

Below: "The Testimony of Patience Kershaw" by Frank Higgins, about a woman working in the coal mines.

Both songs can be found on the group's third album, Here's The Tender Coming.


In this earlier video, Rachel Unthank & the Winterset perform "Blue's Gaen Oot O'the Fashion" live at Abbey Road (2008). The song comes off their second album, The Bairns. The band's line-up at the time: Rachel and Becky Unthank, Niopha Keegan, and Belinda O'Hooley.

The Unthanks' previous appearance on this blog is here.


Hoping to reach you to complete conversation regarding the 2 prints I ordered in December on etsy; still no sign of prints. Joan Tucker.

Will check on this, Joan, and email you today.

Just hello and love the Unthanks even on this April fools day! May fools prevail, for we are the best humanity has to offer. Only fools fall in love, and the first fool is the last one standing! ,-)

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