Annie Haslam's newest single, "Lily's in the Field", was sold as a limited edition CD at the Benefit Concert for Orphan Children in Bosnia - Hercegovina held in New York on 21 November 1995; it is her second release with co-writer Steve Howe. Of course, obtaining a copy in the UK was no small feat, but certainly one within the capabilities of dedicated Renaissance and Annie Haslam fans. Our review follows.
'Lily's in the Field' was born, a tribute to these innocent victims of war, in hopes that one day they will be able to run through the fields and play like children of the free world. I look at Lily as the surrogate for all the children and people of Bosnia-Hercegovina and former Yugoslavia and pray for her every night.
The song's introduction features Steve Howe's acoustic guitar followed by a blend of supporting instrumentals provided by David Biglin. It is a quiet and moving contemporary ballad that should appeal to everyone. Annie's lead vocals are crystal clear and dominate the song over a light, but pronounced, acoustic guitar and percussion background. Steve Howe performs acoustic guitar interludes between the lyrical segments. Annie's harmonic backing vocals and further supporting instrumentals emphasize more dramatic portions of the song. Her emotional attachment to the plight of the orphan children is clear in her performance.
"Lily's in the Field" is more heavily accompanied than "Turn of the Century" (another recent Annie Haslam solo recording), but is still lighter than much of Annie Haslam's other solo work. "Lily's" does not seem to be as demanding on Annie's voice; it does not require her to stretch beyond her middle range. It's a lovely song in all respects and should be part of any serious fan's collection.