Tipplers Tales

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Tipplers Tales
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1978
RecordedFebruary 1978
Studio Chipping Norton Recording Studios, Oxfordshire.
Genre British folk rock
Label Vertigo
Producer Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention chronology
The Bonny Bunch of Roses
Tipplers Tales
Farewell Farewell

Tipplers Tales is a 1978 album by Fairport Convention, the band's thirteenth studio album since their debut in 1968. Recorded in only ten days, [1] it was the last album the band recorded for Vertigo. Simon Nicol later wrote


"We secured a deal with Vertigo, the one that ended up with them paying us not to make records. It seemed a novelty, like that Marx Brothers line: "How much for you NOT to rehearse?" "Oh, you can't afford it." We did Bonny Bunch and Tipplers Tales then didn't make the other four contracted albums" [2]

Dave Pegg later said

"It wasn't a great deal of money. It was about £30,000. It was the first time we had ever made money out of music. We got like £7,000 each. It was more money than we'd ever had in our lives. This was back in '78 and it enabled us to split up." [1]

Following the release of Tippler's Tales, Fairport Convention did not record for the following seven years until the Gladys' Leap album in 1985. [3] [4]

Several of the traditional folk songs had previously been recorded by A. L. Lloyd accompanied by Dave Swarbrick. The version of "John Barleycorn" here is close to the version recorded by Traffic, as Steve Winwood had been taught the song by The Watersons. [5] The tune is based on "Wir Pflügen" by Johann Schultz, better known as "We Plough the Fields and Scatter", an old English harvest festival hymn.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svgStar empty.svg [6]

Tipplers Tales was described by AllMusic as "not a concept album, even though alcohol is a recurrent motif in many of the traditional numbers", [3] but nonetheless "doing what the band members do best – taking some fine old traditional English jigs, reels, and traditional narratives and putting their own distinctive folk-rock stamp on them". [3]

Track listing

All tracks credited as "Traditional" unless otherwise stated

Side one
  1. "Ye Mariners All" (including "Bottom of the Punch Bowl" / "East Nuke of Fyfe") [7] – 4:29
  2. "Three Drunken Maidens" [8] – 2:46
  3. "Jack O'Rion" (Including "Turnabout" / "Tiree" / "Miss Stevenson's" / "Do It Again" / "March of the Last" / "Turnabout") – 11:04 [9] [10]
Side two
  1. "Reynard the Fox" – 3:02
  2. "Lady of Pleasure" (Allan Taylor) – 2:34
  3. "Bankruptured" (Dave Pegg) – 1:55
  4. "The Widow of Westmorland" – 3:23 [11]
  5. "The Hair of the Dogma" (Dave Pegg) – 1:48
  6. "As Bitme" (Dave Pegg, Bruce Rowland) – 1:40
  7. "John Barleycorn" – 4:39


Fairport Convention

Release history

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  1. 1 2 "Innerviews: Fairport Convention – Come All Ye – Dave Pegg". www.innerviews.org. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  2. "History: Simon Nicol writes about Fairport – Fairport Convention's official website". www.fairportconvention.com. Archived from the original on 11 February 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  3. 1 2 3 "Tippler's Tales – Overview". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  4. "Fairport Convention – Discography – Main Albums". www.allmusic.com. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  5. "John Barleycorn". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  6. Allmusic review
  7. Collected in 1907 and previously recorded separately by A. L. Lloyd and Martin Carthy "Ye Mar'ners All". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  8. An ancient song, over 200 years old when recorded by A. L. Lloyd "The Drunken Maidens". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  9. The main track is a version of the Child Ballad "Glasgerion" "The Child Ballad Collection". members.chello.nl. Retrieved 18 November 2009.
  10. A previous version by A. L. Lloyd had featured Dave Swarbrick's violin-playing. "Jack Orion". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  11. Another prior collaboration between Lloyd and Swarbrick. Lloyd suggested in his sleevenotes that Francis Child refused to include this song in his collection due to its bawdiness. "The Widow of Westmoreland's Daughter". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  12. "Fairport Convention: The Bonny Bunch of Roses". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2 June 2017.