All Around My Hat
All Around My Hat
By:, Categories: Words & Images, 2 comments



The exquisite tones from Sandy Denny is generally considered to make her the greatest English female folk singer (sadly she died in 1978) but I’ve always had a fondness for the voice of Steeleye Span‘s Maddy Prior, even when I thought Folk was beyond the pale. OK, simultaneously there was also a big teenage thing going on there with Maddy & Me. 


And the new summer look from my favourite Glasgow charity shop mannequins took me on yet another  pop trip down memory lane, as they reminded me of dear old Maddy and Steeleye Span with my soft spot for their big 1975 hit ‘All Around My Hat‘. Now it isn’t exactly trad Folk with its big pop production, but it is very Hey Nonny Nonny with its merry, skipping around the maypole vibe that makes you want to sink a pint of cider, grab the nearest rosy-cheeked wench, dance a jig with her and have a roll in the hay afterwards.


A few months back, I managed to see Maddy live in concert in Frome, just outside Bath.  She may have aged, but the voice is still as distinctive as ever, not to mention her fondness for merrily dancing around the stage – and she can still belt out ‘All Around My Hat’ as if it were 1975 all over again.  Ah, memories, memories…


Leica M3 & 2/50mm Summicron v5

B+W Yellow Filter

Sekonic L-308S

Ilford FP4+ (@125)

HC-110 (Dil. B – 7:30 min)

Plustek 7600i & Vuescan



  • John. Dave here from Bop Street in Seattle. Always love reading your writings. If you aren't familiar with the Lp Silly Sisters with Maddy and June Tabor check it out. One of my favorites which I know you would thoroughly enjoy. Hope all is well. The best Dave

    • Nice to hear from you again, Dave! I miss Seattle and especially miss visiting the delights of Bop Street - nothing as good as BS in Scotland (or even the whole of the UK, for that matter!) for a good vinyl fix for me to browse and snap away in.

      Yes, I’ve followed Maddy through to her other work with Judy Tabor and the Sisters. Maddy was always good value - she had quite an influence on me when I was a teenager and All Around My Hat stormed the pop charts in 1975. Currently listening to a whole load of Steeleye Span albums (the one on just now is Time).

      If you are also into Fairport Convention, there’s a good BBC documentary you can watch on YouTube ( - and there’s also an extended documentary there on Sandy Denny (

      Hope all is well with you over in Seattle!