A few years back I was researching about 17th Century Witch Trials in England when I came across the tale of Joan Peterson. She was known as the Witch Of Wapping & was condemned to be hanged at the triple tree of Tyburn on Monday 11th April 1652. It was claimed that she had bewitched a child & rocked the cradle in the form of a cat, that she had cast the evil eye on the baker & that the Devil appeared to her in the likeness of a black dog or of a squirrel. She lived on Spruce Island near Wapping & was a Cunning Woman. She was popular enough with the residents of Wapping when they needed a cure for the fever or something to help the cow milk better, less popular when she wanted some kind of payment for her troubles. When the baker refused to pay he swore she had overlooked him & he had a fit on the spot. This was all the evidence needed to condemn her.
I know enough of the history of Cunning Folk to see the trace of fingermen here. Joan did not deserve her fate, nor the Pendle Witches, nor those in the Eastern Association predated upon by Matthew Hopkins. The list goes on & every country has it’s share of witch-hunts.
Modern times aren’t so much different from back then when you bother to look & Cunning Folk are still around quietly getting on with stuff, helping out when needed.
I wrote a song for Joan Peterson & for all the others who have been & gone before & you can here it on the usual streaming services here
Making music is a team effort & I am very lucky to have some great friends who helped me make this song. Gemma Khawaja added some magical vocal harmonies. Sam Kelly drummed & sang harmonies too. Olly Parfitt played keyboards. I played acoustic guitars, bass guitars & sang on the song & produced it. Ian Carter mixed it. Phil Knox-Roberts released it.