HMS Donovan - Dawn / Epic 1971

Tracks: 1. The Walrus and the Carpenter / 2. Jabberwocky / 3. The Seller of Stars / 4. Lost Time / 5. The Little White Road / 6. The Star / 7. Coulter's Candy / 8. The Road / 9. Things To Wear / 10. The Owl and the Pussycat / 11. Homesickness / 12. Fishes In Love / 13. Mr. Wind / 14. Wynken Blynken and Nod / 15. Celia of the Seals / 16. The Pee Song / 17. The Voyage of the Moon / 18. The Unicorn / 19. Lord Of The Dance / 20. Little Ben / 21. Can Ye Dance / 22. In An Old- Fashioned Picture Book / 23. The Song of Wandering Aengus / 24. A Funny Man / 25. Lord of The Reedy River / 26. Henry Martin / 27. Queen Mab / 28. La Moora


HMS Donovan is in many ways a quite different Donovan album. Some of the songs can be described as children's songs and could probably be compared to a parts of "A Gift from a Garden to a Flower". Unusual too, is it that many of the song lyrics are not written by Donovan himself. Donovan has written music to rhymes and verses written by authors like Lewis Carroll, Thora Stowell and WB Yeats.

Many of the songs are accompanied only by acoustic Donovan's guitar, but his Open Road friends do back-up up on some tracks. Only few of the songs are known from the otherwise numerous collection albums that have been released in Donovan's name - in fact it is probably only "Celia of the Seals" that can be called well-known - the song was also the album's only (minor) hit.

Some reviewers have expressed that the original double album could have been much stronger if the best songs had been collected on a single album only. Though the album works quite well as a whole, I am inclined to agree with this point of view.

The opening number, which is almost more of a listening play than a song I could easily do without along with some of the less significant acoustic songs. "Celia of the Seals" is the highlight of the album, but also the two songs "The Voyage of the Moon" and "Lord of the Reedy River" which were also recorded by Mary Hopkin are among the most memorable tracks. "Coulter's Candy" which has a charming, simple melody, interestingly enough, it was a big hit in Denmark with a completely different text dealing with the young hippies who had the habit of concentrating on "Stork Fountain" in Copenhagen in the middle of 1960's.

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