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Shadowfall - Staines Morris 

The earliest reference to this tune is in William Ballet’s ‘Lute-Book’ c1600. It is also listed as ‘Stanes Morris’ in the first edition of John Playford’s The English Dancing Master dated 1651. Apparently the lyrics were published by Robert Cox in his Actaeon and Diana, in a collection of theatrical pieces 1655. The words and music were brought together by William Chappell in his Popular Music of the Olden Time (vol. 1); 1859. It is more likely that the title referred to a morris tune by Mr Stanes than an association with Staines, Middlesex. Oh dear, I can see you yawning at the back. Sorry, that’s all a bit nerdy. Just showing off that I know how to Google ‘Staines Morris’ as part of my in-depth research.

I knew none of the above when I first heard this on the album Anthems in Eden by Shirley and Dolly Collins in 1969. I just thought it was a good song. It’s been in the band’s repertoire since 1970.


All text, images and music samples on this site are copyright © Childe Rolande.




1. Staines Morris 
2. On Board a ‘98’ 
3. Blacksmith 
4. Polly on the Shore 
5. Barley Straw 
6. Our Captain Cried 
7. John Barleycorn 
8. Lowlands Low 
9. Lorelei 
10. A Thousand Ships 
11. Bold Astrologer 
12. Shadowfall 
13. Warp and Weft