10/12/15 – Lindisfarne – Lady Eleanor – 1971

Song Of The Day

Lindisfarne - SeventiesAs a big fan of The Unthanks from Ryton, near Gateshead and after yesterday’s post about David A. Stewart from Sunderland, I was thinking about Folk Rock that has come from Tyne And Wear – Lady Eleanor is one of the classic songs by a band from the North East of England.

Originally appearing on Lindisfarne’s debut album Nicely Out Of Tune released in 1970, Lady Eleanor was written by guitarist Rod Hull and released in 1971 but it failed to chart. It wasn’t till their second album Fog On The Tyne released in 1972 reached No.1 in the UK chart that a rerelease of Nicely Out Of Tune saw the debut album make it to No.8 the same year. A single from Fog On The Tyne, Meet Me On The Corner written by bassist Rod Clements reached No.5 in the UK chart and was impetus for a rerelease of Lady Eleanor as a single, on second try the song climbed to No.3.

There’s various theories about what Lady Eleanor is about. Hull was apparently a fan of Edgar Allan Poe and it has been said that Lady Eleanor was written after a nightmare he had whilst reading The Fall Of The House Of Usher. (There is also a Poe story called Eleanora). Another theory is that his Lady Eleanor was a statue of a beautiful woman on a pathway that acted as a short cut to the pub in Dingly Dell – that in turn being the title of Lindisfarne’s third album. Whatever the story, the intriguing lyrics, the little guitar riff, the infectious melody and the close harmonies with the short pauses make for an evocative tune and tale..

Alan Hull died in 1995, his obituary is below. Lindisfarne continue to this day and have recently enlisted Paul Thompson from Roxy Music, another native of the area, after original drummer Ray Laidlaw retired in 2013. Original bassist Rod Clements rejoined  band in 2013. Ray Jackson the original lead vocalist on Lady Eleanor left the band in 1990. Sadly original lead guitarist Simon Cowe died in September 2015.


Bashee playing magician sitting lotus on the floor
Belly dancing beauty with a power driven saw
Had my share of nightmares, didn’t think there could be much more
Then in walked Roderick Usher with the Lady Eleanor

She tied my eyes with a ribbon of a silken ghostly thread
I gazed with troubled vision on an old four poster bed
Where Eleanor had risen to kiss the neck below my head
And bid me come along with her to the land of the dancing dead

But it’s all right, Lady Eleanor
All right, Lady Eleanor
I’m all right where I am

She gazed with a loving beauty like a mother to a son
Like living, dying, seeing, being all rolled into one
Then all at once I heard some music in playing in my bones
The same old song I’d heard for years, reminding me of home

But it’s all right, Lady Eleanor
All right, Lady Eleanor
I’m all right where I am

Then creeping on towards me, licking lips with tongues of fire
A host of golden demons screaming lust and base desire
And when it seemed for certain that the screams could get no higher
I heard a voice above the rest screaming “You’re a liar”

But it’s all right, Lady Eleanor
All right, Lady Eleanor
I’m all right here in your arms







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