S04E11 – Lord of the Reedy River (Donovan song)

Welcome to the first of only a few episodes of the b-sides/collabs part of The Dreaming season. This week, we’re discussing a song that Kate didn’t write, so this marks the first officially released cover song in Kate’s repertoire!

The famous 1960s folk singer Donovan (known for hits like Sunshine Superman, Catch the Wind, and Mellow Yellow) wrote Lord of the Reedy River for his album H.M.S. Donovan, released in 1971, an album that Kate cited as an absolute favorite. Only a few years before Donovan’s released version, the Welsh singer Mary Hopkin got a hold of it and released her version for her debut album Post Card. Then, more than a decade later, along came our Kate to put her own take on this rather mournful folk song, using a disused swimming pool at Townhouse Studios and a brand new expensive toy: the Fairlight CMI.

To discuss this song this week, we have Frezno from Newfoundland, a younger fan of Kate who loves this song for its strange qualities. We get to talk about the production of this song, how Kate changed the pronouns in the song to make it more personal and put it from a feminine point of view, how Kate came to choose this song to record, and…. wait, the single for Sat in Your Lap had THIS on the b-side? Talk about a whiplash of moods!

Song clips used:

Donovan – Lord of the Reedy River (from his 1971 album H.M.S. Donovan

Donovan singing Lord of the Reedy River in the 1969 film If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium

Mary Hopkin – Lord of the Reedy River (from her 1969 album Post Card)

Kate Bush – Lord of the Reedy River