Songs from a bare open field


Polly Bolton-the Lake of Innisfree –  Steve Dunachie – piano (W.B.Yeats/Dunachie) From the album ‘Songs from a cold open field’


Polly is recognised as one of the leading exponents of decorative style of tradition British singing. She began singing in the folk clubs of Leamington Spa, along with June Tabor, in the mid 1960’s. While studying zoology at Swansea university, Polly joined acoustic folk rock band, Dando Shaft, and gigged with them for a few years, recording about three albums with them. In the 1970’s she worked in soul and jazz bands in Britain and the States and performed in folk clubs with Kevin Dempsey.

IIn 1980 Polly left the music business to start an organic plant nursery in South Shropshire, singing in early music choirs and choral societies. In 1985, Polly was persuaded out of hiding by Ashley Hutchings to sing on his album “By Gloucester Docks I Sat Down and Wept”. For the next few years she sang and recorded with the ALBION DANCE BAND and in 1987 Ashley produced Polly’s first solo album, “No Going Back”.

In the 1990’s Polly appeared as a guest singer  both as a performer and on recordings with SHOW OF HANDS, ALAN STIVELL  and JENNIFER CUTTING.

In 1989 Polly began working with two South Shropshire based musicians, John Shepherd (who she had worked with in the Albion Dance Band,)  and Steve Dunachie. They toured and recorded for 10 years and made three albums, Woodbine and Ivy, Songs from a Cold Open Field and settings of A.E. Housman poems, Loveliest of Trees.

Polly has also performed and played with legendary wind player, Paul Dunmall and they have recorded two improvised albums, A View from the Bay and A walk on the Beach.

In 1998, Polly began teaching community choirs and writes and arranges many of the songs she teaches. She runs three choirs and teaches occasional voice workshops, specialising in helping those who fear singing. Details of singing workshops can be found on

Polly has also written songs for theatre groups and one off arts events commissions and often works with Chester based poet, Gill McEvoy.

She is a long term member of the Natural Voice Practitioners Network which encourages everyone to find their voice and sing with others.







  1. Rebecca Wilson Avatar

    I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,

    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

    Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,

    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;

    There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

    And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day

    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

    I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

  2. Mary Tolhurst Avatar

    How wonderful. Polly's silvery voice is a delight

  3. Bee Buckmaster Avatar

    Beauuutiful 🙏🏼💞

  4. Ann M-B Avatar

    I have just discovered Polly Bolton after hearing her sing Ashley Hutchings 'To Ireland I Made My Way'. Her voice is absolutely beautiful.

  5. lois hopwood Avatar

    So happy to have heard this piece this morning .

  6. Gabriel Yacoub Avatar

    Beautiful and inspiring…

  7. lucymay29 Avatar

    Fantastic Polly what a fantastic voice

  8. Ben Stevenson Avatar

    Ah Polly , lovely to hear your voice once more…. what a combo … Polly and Yeats ….. Fab…

  9. tacfoley Avatar

    I'd love to hear Hilariter…

  10. Caketin Hurcombe Avatar

    Polly Bolton to my good fortune lives nearby and gives of her skills and love of music freely and unsentimentally. I love her music. I love her voice. I love her larks.

  11. Daniel Reed Avatar

    Polly has a amazing talent and amazing voice that is very rare heard by other singers my uncle Stevens played in this album and he has dug music into my very talanted cousins whom both achieved so much in their young lives already. Anyhow when I was 16 this song Polly deadicated it too me and I never forgot it. This song relates to us all in diferent ways. Hope Ì hear Polly someday soon òne amazing folk singer xxx

  12. paul adams Avatar

    Brilliant polly.

  13. Jessica Shepherd Avatar

    I'd be very suprised if this was Steve Dunachie on the piano. Steve plays the violin. The pianist on this album was my Dad, John Shepherd.

  14. Jill Dempsey Avatar

    This is one of the most beautiful performances I have ever experienced

  15. Ros Martin Avatar

    Beautiful as always. A true gift. Thank you.

  16. carlofantom Avatar

    no singer can come close to the wonderful Polly Bolton.Vocal perfection.

  17. coopz Avatar

    The one and only…

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