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The Living and the Dead

By The Insects

On 17, Jun 2016 | 12 Comments | In | By The Insects

The Living and the Dead

This was a brilliant show to work on – such a great team of writers , directors, actors, producers, photographers, editors and sound designer.

We arranged and produced a number of traditional folk songs for the series, and tried to give a new interpretation to these songs, matching the atmosphere of the show.

The main theme and titles music for the series is a song called “A Lyke Wake Dirge”. The song has pagan pre-Christian origins and tells of the soul’s travels on its way from earth to purgatory. The singer on this is Howlin’ Lord who is a friend and occasional collaborator.

The song featured in Episode One is “She moves through the Fair”, which is a much-recorded and well-known tune of Celtic origin. The singer is Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins, Massive Attack). She really is an amazing singer!

The song which features heavily on Episode Three is “The Reapers Ghost”, written in the 1930s by American singer/songwriter Richard Dyer Bennet. He based the song on a story he overheard in a rural pub in Norfolk about a man who walked behind a hayrick and was never seen again! The singer on our arrangement is Sean Cook (Spiritualised,Lupine Howl & The Flies).

The short section of song in Episode Four is called “The Lovers Ghost”. The singer is Elizabeth Fraser.

The soundtrack album for the series is no longer commercially available, but if you want a copy please get in touch with your email details and we’ll send you a copy for free.



  1. Really enjoyed your music

  2. Wonderful soundtrack .Glad you are to release it

  3. I finally got it to open. What a wonderful soundtrack. Love the series and the music really adds to it. Great work!

  4. Why can’t I find the reapers Ghost by Sean Cook anywhere

    • The Insects

      Hi Amy. Sean Cook’s version of The Reaper’s Ghost is on The Living and The Dead Album along with a different version sung by Tom Tetley and other folk songs sung by (in my eyes) wonderful singers!

  5. I love your version of the Lyke Wake dirge–in my opinion the best arrangement since Benjamin Britten in his Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings.

    • The Insects

      Wow that’s a compliment Derek. Thank you so much.

  6. This series was worth it for the recordings with Elizabeth Fraser alone. Absolutely delighted to hear this most wonderful of singers on the series, thank you so much for having her on the soundtrack. Wonderful haunting music all the way through, which fitted the series so well.

    • The Insects

      Thank you so much Bruno. We certainly were blessed and are humbled to have Elizabeth Fraser feature on both the soundtrack and the soundtrack album. Bob

  7. Looking forward to the soundtrack brilliant !

  8. Any chance the soundtrack will be available to download again?

  9. Hi
    Love the music from th living and the dead. Is it possible to download the soundtrack?
    Many thanks

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