Reynardine (if Wikipedia is to be believed) is an early 20th century re-interpretation of a 18th or 19th century folk song, overlaying mystic overtones on a straightforward story of a young woman being waylaid by some rake.
Whatever its history, the three versions I have posted here are amongst my favourite performances from the respective artists.
The first one from Bert Jansch I first heard on BBC radio on a show featuring The Pentangle in 1971. I recall John Renbourne (the other Pentangle guitarist) commenting after the performance; “that was amazing”. I agreed then, and I still do.
The second is from Fairport Convention’s 1969 Liege and Lief album. A Youtube commenter says ” This is a masterpiece. It’s even better now than it was in ’69”. I agree with that as well.
Finally a very different version from Sheila Chandra, called The Enchantment, it re-interprets the reinterpretation of Reynardine. From an interview at: http://www.innerviews.org/inner/chandra.html
Following the Indipop albums, Chandra signed a series of one-off deals for three albums released through Peter Gabriel’s Real World label. Weaving My Ancestors Voices, The Zen Kiss and Abonecronedrone found her delving deeper into solo voice and drone than ever before. Their beautifully naked, minimalist pieces explore Indian, Irish, Scottish and Arabic influences. And rather than highlight the differences between the cultures, Chandra successfully depicts how similar and seamless they can be.