Songs You May Have Missed #100

Hero & Heroine

Strawbs: “Autumn” (1974)

Here, for the first time, I won’t shy away from that dreaded word so overused in the appraisal of music: “underrated”. Because while plenty of 70’s progressive rock displayed more complexity or virtuosity, none exhibited more sheer beauty than the best of David Cousins’ compositions–yet he and his band are anything but household names, even to those who grew up listening to the music of the era.

strawbs

“Autumn”, from Strawbs’ great 1974 Hero and Heroine LP, has three distinct movements. The first (instrumental) section, “Hero’s Theme”, sets the mood: somber, mournful. Part two, “Deep Summer’s Sleep” finds Cousins wistfully contemplating the approach of autumn in beautifully poetic style. Part three, “The Winter Long” is sung by Dave Lambert, whose voice is more suited to the romantic sentiment of the final portion, and it concludes with climactic unison singing and swelling Mellotron. I’m pretty comfortable calling this one a masterpiece, from a great band in the prime of their career.

Strawbs evolved during the ’70’s from folk to folk-rock to baroque progressive rock as their lineup and focus shifted. But the inspired vision of David Cousins remained at the core of their music throughout. I most heartily recommend Strawbs to anyone who at all appreciates art rock from any era. One of my two or three favorite bands. Very underrated!

I sense Autumn coming on
The mist has hung low all day
Small birds gather  on the wing
Preparing to make their way.

The trees begin to show
A  trace of brown among the green
Bringing back the memories
That only you  and I have seen.

I sense Autumn coming on
The sun sinking red and  deep
The fires burning in the fields
As late Summer falls  asleep.

The leaves begin to scatter
As the North wind calls their  name
Folding gently back into
The silent earth from which they came.

Still waters flow
Sea breezes blow
Wild flowers  grow
Abundant at your feet.

Soft falling snow
Warm candle  glow
Flushed faces show
The pleasure when we meet.

Hold on to me,  I’ll hold on to you
The winter long I will always be with you.
Hold on to  me, I’ll hold on to you
I will be the one who will always see you through

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/09/28/songs-you-may-have-missed-481/

See also: https://edcyphers.com/2013/02/11/recommended-albums-38/

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