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Anne Briggs

Travelling in Ireland with Sweeney's Men until success got in the way, sleeping on the floor of the late Gill Cook, manager of Collets folk department, living in a caravan in Suffolk, Anne was a wild, free spirit, unconcerned with the commercial success of her peers. Two further recordings for CBS, The Time Has Come and Sing A Song For You (unreleased at the time) followed before Anne disappeared to her Hebridean retreat and that was it.

Anne Briggs summed up in her voice, in her attitude to life, in her looks, that brief sunlit period of the folk revival perhaps better than any of the other great singers - Shirley Collins, Sandy Denny, Jacqui McShee that came from it. Somehow it's not surprising that her Irish mother and Nottinghamshire father died when she was young and - like all fairy tale princesses - Anne was raised by a straight, old aunt from whom she fled as soon as the first suitable travelling circus came to town. Except the circus was the legendary Centre 42 - the TUC's attempt to devolve arts from London to the people. Auditioning before communist and folk club promoter Bruce Dunnet, Anne sang two songs unaccompanied: She Moves Through The Fair and Let No Man Steal your Thyme. She played at the Centre 42 festival and found herself, a runaway, not yet 18, working at their office in London. Which is where she began to perform, where she first met Topic Records founder and father of the folk revival, Bert Lloyd, where the pattern of her life for the next decade was laid down.

There's a deep magic at work in these unadorned, unaccompanied songs - an ancient, spine-chilling voice from the traditional heart of England that speaks through the young and beautiful form of Anne Briggs even to us - misfits of our technological world.


Sing A Song For You - Anne Briggs - LP - - FIRST TIME EVER ON LP

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The Complete Topic Recordings - Anne Briggs - Double LP

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