I think The Mules** may have released this song before, with a different b-side. Of course, I may have imagined it… but I find it hard to believe that my mind has yet reached such a state of decline that I could’ve conjured a memory of something this… under-chromosomal-sounding from the void. Or maybe I just don’t want to believe it. Either way: I recommend that you go forth and acquire this, because it really is rather fine.
A-side ‘Polly-O’ is an arrhythmic, heel-kicking rollercoaster of a song, all tumbling drums, hollered backing vocals, handclaps, buzzing violins and flailing hyperactivity, like hillbillies on speed. The free-association lyrics, spanning from valium to drowning and back again with no apparent logic to them, contribute to the general impression that the Ceilidh has slipped into some bizarre and backwards dimension where man was not meant to tread: you could dance to the resulting madness, but you might strain something. Still, it's a risk worth taking; and you can always spend the runtime of frankly disturbing b-side ‘O Grandfather’ recovering: its low-speed dirge and ponderous vocals, with just enough scratchy violins and vocal howls to stop you getting too complacent, is apparently explicitly designed to render the listener immobile with morbid disturbance.
Still: ’tis all good, unclean fun! On with the dance…