Jon Wilks plays Lofty Tall Ship or Henry Martin (Roud 104)

Henry Martin / Lofty Tall Ship (Roud 104)

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I first heard ‘Henry Martin’, or ‘Lofty Tall Ship’, on Sam Larner’s album, A Garland for Sam. Shortly afterwards I was lucky enough to spend a day with Martin Carthy, in which he talked about ‘Lofty Tall Ship’ as his favourite traditional folk song. It was also the subject of the first episode of The Old Songs Podcast, in which Nick Hart and I examined the bejeezus out of it for an hour or so, before Nick sang an exquisite unaccompanied version. (It’s worth checking out the episode just for that recording – it may be, for me, the definitive version of the song.)

Here’s a recording in a fingerpicked style. The tuning is DADGAD, the capo is on the first fret, and the guitar is an Atkin OM28.

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