"The Bard Rocks"
16. The Lily of the West
When I first came to Louisville, some pleasure there to find, A damsel there from Lexington was pleasing to my mind.
Her rosy cheeks, her ruby lips, like arrows pierced my breast, And the name she bore was Flora, the Lily of the West.
I courted lovely Flora, some pleasure there to find, But she turned unto another man, which sore distressed my mind.
She robbed me of my liberty, deprived me of my rest, Then go my lovely Flora, the Lily of the West.
Way down in yonder shady grove, a man of high degree, Conversing with my Flora there, it seemed so strange to me.
And the answer that she gave him, it sore did me oppress: I was betrayed by Flora, the Lily of the West.
I stepped up to my rival, my dagger in my hand. Seized him by the collar, and boldly bade him stand.
Being mad to desperation, I pierced him in the breast. Then go my lovely Flora,the Lily of the West.
I had to stand my trial,I had to make my plea. They placed me in a criminal box and then commenced on me.
Although she swore my life away, deprived me of my rest, Still I love my faithless Flora, the Lily of the West.
15. Greensleeves (instrumental)
10. Queen Jane
O women, kind women, as I know you to be. Pray cut my side open and save my baby.
“Oh no”, said the women, “That never might be. We’ll send for King Henry in the hour of your need.”
King Henry was sent for, by horseback and speed. King Henry he come down in the hour of her need.
King Henry he come in and stood by her bed. “What ails my pretty flower, her eyes look so red?”
O Henry, kind Henry, pray listen to me. Pray cut my side open and save my baby.
“Oh no”, said King Henry, “That never might be. I’d lose my pretty flower to save my baby.”
Queen Jane, she turned over and fell into a swound. They cut her side open and the baby was found.
How black was the mourning, how yellow her bed, How white the bright shroud Queen Jane was laid in.;
Six followed after, six bore her along. King Henry come after, his head hanging down.
King Henry he wept ‘til his hands were wrung sore. Says “The flower of England shall bloom never more.”
The baby was christened the very next day His mother’s poor body lay mouldering away.
9. The Devil & the Farmer's Wife
There was an old farmer who lived o’er the hill (Te Roo, te roo, who lived o’er the hill)
And if he ain’t moved away, he’s a-living there still. (Te roo, te roo, he’s a-living there still)
The Devil came up to the farmer one day (Te roo...) Said, “One of your family I’m a-taking away.”(Te roo...)
“Oh, please don’t take my eldest son... There’s work on the farm and it’s got to be done...
“It’s not your eldest son I crave... But your scolding wife I’m gonna take away”....
“Oh you can have her with all of my heart... And I hope to Hell that you never part...”
The Devil put the old lady into a sack... And down the road he goes, clickety-clack...
When the Devil got her to the fork of the road... He says, “Old lady, you’re one Hell of a load”...
When the Devil got her to the high gates of Hell... He says, “Poke up the fires and we’ll scorch her well.”...
Up comes a little Devil, with a ball and chains.. She upped with her foot and kicked out his brains...
Nine little Devils went a-climbing the wall... Saying, “Take her back, Daddy, she’ll murder us all!”...
The old man was a-peeping out of the crack... When he saw the old Devil a-bringing her back...
He says, “Here’s your wife, both sound and well... If I kept her any longer, she’d have torn up Hell...
He says, “I’ve been a Devil most all my life... But I’ve never been in Hell till I met with your wife”...
This proves that women are better than men... They can all go to Hell and come back again...
8. Planxty George Brabazon ( instrumental)
5. Four Nights Drunk
I came home the other night as drunk as I could be And saw a horse in the stable where my horse ought to be.
So I said to my wife, my pretty little wife, “Explain this thing to me: What’s this horse a-doing here where my old horse should be?”
She said, “You darn fool, you drunken fool, can’t you never see? It’s nothing but a milk cow my mother gave to me.”
Well, I’ve traveled this wide world over, some crazy things I’ve saw, But a saddle on a milk cow, I never saw before.
2nd night -similarly - he sees a hat on the table, she says it is a bed pan that her mother gave her, and he says he’s never seen a JB Stetson bedpan...
3rd night - He sees: a pair of pants in the closet. She says: a tablecloth. He says: with a zipper?
4th night - He sees a head on the pillow. She says it’s a mushmelon and he says he’s never seen a mushmelon with a mustache.
1. The Golden Vanity
There was a lofty ship and she faired out to sea, And the name of that ship was the Golden Vanity.
And she sailed upon that low, and lonesome low
And she sailed upon that lonesome sea.
She had not been out, but two weeks or three When she was overtaken by the Turkish Revelee...
Then upspake our little cabin boy,”Oh What will you give me if I will them destroy, if I sink her....
“O, the man that them destroys”, our captain then replied, “Five thousand pounds and my daughter for his bride, if he sinks....”
Then the boy smote his breast and overboard went he And he swum till he come to the Turkish Revelee, as she sailed....
He had a little tool that was made for the use, He bored nine holes in her side all at once, and he sunk her....
He swam back to his ship and he beat upon the side, crying, “Captain, pick me up for I’m weary with the tide and I’m sinking...
“No, I will not pick you up,” the Captain then replied, “I will shoot you, I will drown you, I will sink you with the tide, I will sink you....
If it was not for the love that I bear for your men, I would do unto you as I did unto them, I would sink you....
Then the boy bowed his head, and down sunk he, Farewell, farewell, to the Golden Vanity, as she sails...
Great Hits of the 1600's-
I have long been joking about my "deservedly rare" CD, "Great Hits of the 1600's", but now it is no longer so rare. It can be purchased postpaid here for $12.50 or in person for only $10 (cheap, either one). It comes with a 10 page booklet and all the bells and whistles. Checks and cash are both accepted.
Please be sure to have your address clearly written and remit to:
597 State Highway 162
Sprakers, NY 12166
If you like them enough to want to learn these songs for yourself, here are the words, chords, and music notation to each song.
18. The Castle By the Sea
Arise, arise, my lady fair for you my bride shall be And we will dwell in a sylvan bower in my castle by the sea.
And bring along your marriage fee, which you can claim today, And also take your swiftest steeds, the mild white and the gray.
The lady mounted her white steed, he rode the turban gray, They took the path to the wild sea shore or so I’ve heard them say.
As she saw the walls of the castle high that looked so black and cold, She wished she’d remained in Boston town with her ten thousand pounds of gold.
He halted by the wild sea shore, “My bride you shall never be! For six fair maidens I have drowned here and the seventh you shall be.”
Take off, take off your scarlet robes and lay them down by me. They are too rich and too costly to rot in the briny sea.
Then turn your face to the water’s side and your back to yonder tree, For it is a disgrace for any man an unclothed woman to see.
He turned his face to the water’s side and his back to the lofty tree. The lady took him in her arms and flung him into the sea.
Lie there, lie there, you false young man and drown in place of me. If six fair maidens you drowned here, go keep them company.
She did then mount her milk white steed and led the turban gray And rode until she came to Boston town two hours before it was day.
12. Henry Martin
There were three brothers in merry Scotland. In Scotland there lived brothers three.
And they did cast lots which of them should go, should go, should go For to turn robber all on the salt sea.
The lot it fell first upon Henry Martin, the youngest of all the three.
That he should turn robber all on the salt sea, salt sea, salt sea For to maintain his two brothers and he.
He had not been sailing but a long winter's night, and part of a short winter's day,
When he espied a rich lofty stout ship, stout ship, stout shop Come a bibing down him straight away.
“Hello, hello,” cried Henry Martin, “What makes you sail so high?”
“I'm a rich merchant ship bound for fair London town, London town, London town
Won't you please for to let me pass by?”
“O no, o no”, cried Henry Martin, “That thing it never can be,
For I have turned robber all on the salt sea, salt sea, salt sea For to maintain my two brothers and me”.
So lower your topsail and brail up your mizzen, bow yourself under my lee,
Or I shall give you a fast flowing ball, flowing ball, flowing ball And your dear bodies drown in the salt sea.
Then broadside and broadside and at it they went for fully two hours or three
Til Henry Martin gave to her the death shot, deathshot, death shot Heavily listing to starboard went she.
The rich merchant vessel was wounded full sore, straight to the bottom went she
And Henry Martin sailed away on the salt sea, salt sea, salt sea (finish as instrumental)
Bad news, bad news to old England came, bad news to fair London town:
There was a rich vessel and she's cast away, cast away, cast away And all of her merry, her merry men drowned.
3. Young Behan
Young Behan sailed on the salt, salt sea, until he came to Turkey’s shore.
Where he was caught & placed in jail; he feared he’d never travel more.
The jailer had just one fair child, a pretty girl as you ever did see.
She stole the key to Behan’s cell, she stole the key and set him free.
Have you got house? Have you got land? Have you got wealth for me to see?
Have you got anything for to maintain me on, for to keep me from slavery?
I’ve got house and I’ve got land and both of these and I’ll give to thee.
My merry men shall you command, if you’ll go to my country.
She carried him down to the wharf and loosed a ship that rode the foam.
Seven dark sailor men she gave to him, saying, “Soon, my lord, you’ll be at home.”
When he reached his home, he forgot the maid, forgot the maid that saved his life.
He sought the hand of neighbor girl and in a little while, she’s his wife.
The Turkish girl waited long for him before she tried to cross the sea.
At last she said, “I’ll follow him, my own true love to his own country.”
She traveled many a weary mile before she reached Young Behan’s door.
Her body ached, her heart was sick, and her little feet was very sore.
When she reached the door of his castle grand she tingled fondly at the bell.
“O, who is that?”, the young wife cried. “O, who is that, I pray thee tell?”
“There’s a lady there”, the servant said, “A lady here and richly clad.
Your husband’s name is all she speaks; her voice is quare and very sad.”
Young Behan walked through the long, long hall to meet his true love by the door.
He took her by her lily-white hand and he bowed him down unto the floor.
“My own true love has followed me from out a far-off distant land.
My pledged word belongs to her; my heart and life she doth command.
You may return to your father’s house. Ten thousand pound I’ll give to thee.
Six merry men to guard you home. My own true love will marry me.”
2. Mary Hamilton
Last night, there were four Maries, tonight there’ll be but three. There were Mary Beaton and Mary Seaton, Mary Carmichael and me.
Oh, often I have dressed my queen and put on her braw silk gown And all the reward I’ve got tonight it to be hanged in Edinborough town.
Full often I have dressed my queen and put gold in her hair, But all the reward I have got tonight is the gallows to be my share.
Oh, little did my mother think the day she first cradled me Of the land I was to live in or the death I was to dee.
They’ll tie a kerchief ‘round my eyes and no let me see to dee, And they’ll never tell my father or mother but that I’m away o’er the sea.
repeat first verse
19. Fair Ellender
Oh father oh father come riddle to me, come riddle it all as one,
And tell me whether to marry Fair Ellen or bring the Brown Girl home.
The Brown Girl, she has house and land, Fair Ellender, she has none,
And there I charge you with my blessing, to bring the Brown girl home.
He got on his horse and he rode and he rode, he rode till he came to her hall.
And no one so ready as Fair Ellen herself, to rise and welcome him in.
“What news have you brought unto me, Lord Thomas, what news have you brought unto me”
“I’ve come to ask you to my wedding, a sorrowful wedding to be.”
“Oh mother oh mother would you go or stay?” “Fair child, do as you please.
But I’m afraid that if you go you’ll never return, to see your dear mother anymore.”
She turned around, all dressed in white, her sisters all dressed in green,
And every town that they rode through, they took her to be some queen.
They rode & they rode until they came to the hall, she pulled on the bell and it rang.
And no one so ready as Lord Thomas himself to rise and bid her come in.
Then taking her by her lily white hand and leading her unto the hall,
Saying 50 gay ladies are here today but here is the flower of all.
The Brown Girl, she was standing by with knife ground keen and sharp,
Between the long ribs and the short, she pierced Fair Ellender’s heart.
Lord Thomas he was standing by, with knife ground keen and sharp,
Between the long ribs and the short, he pierced his own bride’s heart.
Then placing the handle against the wall, the point against his breast.
Saying here’s the end of three lovers, God sends them all to rest.
Oh father oh father, go dig my grave. Dig it wide and deep.
And place Fair Ellender in my arms and the Brown Girl at my feet.
13. The Butcher's Boy
In London City, there did dwell, a butcher boy I knew right well He courted me my life away, but now with me he will not stay.
I wish, I wish, I wish in vain, I wish I were a maid again. But a maid again, I ne’er will be, till cherries grow on an ivy tree.
(can be used as a chorus)
She went upstairs to make her bed, and calling to her mother said Give me a chair till I sit down and a pen & ink till I write down.
At every word she dropped a tear, at every line cried “Willie dear” Oh what a foolish girl am I to be led astray by the butcher’s boy.
Her father he came home from work, Saying “Where is daughter, she seems so hurt?
He went upstairs and the door he broke, And found her hanging from a rope.
He took his knife and cut her down, And in her pocket these words he found:
” Oh what a foolish girl am I, To be led astray by the butcher’s boy.
Oh make my grave large, wide and deep; Place a marble slab at my head and feet
And at my breast a turtle dove, To signify that I died for love.
7. Earl Brand
Rise up, rise up, my 7 bold sons, and bring your sister down It’ll never be said that a steward’s son has carried her out of town.
“I thank you kindly, sir” said he, “But I am no steward’s son. My father is a regis king and my mother a Quaker queen.”
He mounted her on the bonny, bonny black, himself on the ample gray, And he threw his bugle all around her neck and they went singing away.
Rise up, sire up, my 7 bold sons, put on your arms so bright, It’ll never be said that a daughter of mine, slept with a lord all night.
They were not 3 miles out of town, when he looked back again And he saw her father and 7 brethren come a tripling over the plains.
“Light down, light down, Lady Margit,” he said, “& hold my horse for a while. While I fight your 7 brethren and your father a walking so high.”
And she held, and she held so still, and never did speak a word, Not even when she saw her 7 brethren go a-tumbling down in their blood.
And she held, and she bitter, bitter held and never a word did speak Until she saw her father’s head come a-tumbling down by her feet.
“O hold your hand, love William:, she said,”For your stroke is now full score. It’s many the true lover I might have had, but a father I’ll have never more.”
“If you ain’t pleased, Lady Margit”, he said, “If you ain’t pleased said he, You oughta stayed in your father’s house and me in a chambery.”
“But you must choose, Lady Margit,” he said. ”Will you go with me?”, he cried. “I’ll go with love William,” she said, “For you’ve left me without a guide.”
Then wind you east, then wind you west, I’ll wind along with thee. So he hung his bugle around her neck and he went bleeding away.
They rode till they came to his mother’s gate; he tingled at the pin. “Mother, Mother, asleep or awake, arise and let us come in.”
“Sister, sister, go make my bed, for my wound is now full sore. "Mother, Mother, bind up my head, for me you’ll bind no more.”
“Father, Father, go dig my grave, dig it wide and deep, And place Lady Margit in my arms, that together we might sleep.”
Love William died as ‘twas midnight, Lady Margit just at day. And I hope every couple that do love may see more pleasure than they.
4. Wraggle Taggle Gypsies
There were three gypsies a-come to my door and downstairs ran this lady-O.
One sang high, the other sang low and the other sang “Bonnie, Bonnie Biscay-O.”
Then she pulled off her silk-finished gown and put on hose of leather-O.
The ragged ragged rags about our door & she’s gone with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O!
It was late last night when the Lord came home, inquiring for his a-lady-O.
The servants said on every hand, “She’s gone with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O.”
O saddle for me my milk-white steed and go fetch me my pony-O,
That I may ride and seek my bride who is gone with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O.
Oh, he rode high and he rode low; he rode through the woods and the copses too,
Until he came to a broad open field and there he espied his lady-O.
What makes you leave your house & land? What makes you leave your money-o?
What makes you leave your new-wedded Lord? I’m off with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O.
What care I for my house and land? What care I for my money-O?
What care I for my new-wedded Lord - I’m off with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O.
Last night you slept on a goose-feather bed, with the sheets turned down so bravely-O.
Tonight you sleep in a cold open field, along with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O.
What care I for my goose-feather bed with the sheets turned down so bravely-O,
For tonight I shall sleep in a cold open field along with the wraggle taggle gypsies-O.
21. The Cruel Mother
She loved him up, she loved him down... She loved him 'til he filled her arms...
She leaned her back against an oak.... First it bended and then it broke...
She leaned her back against a thorn... There she had two fine babes born...
She pulled down her yellow hair.... She bound it round their feet & hands
She pulled out a wee penknife... And she stabbed those babies to the heart...
She laid them under a marble stone... And then she started as a fair maid home...
One days she was sitting at her father’s hall... She saw two babes come a-playin' at ball....
Babes, o babes, if you was mine... I'd dress you up in scarlet fine...
Mother o mother, it’s we was yours.... Scarlet was our own heart’s blood...
You wiped your penknife on y our shoe... The more you wiped, the redder it grew...
You laid us under a marble stone... And then you started as fair maid home...
O babes,o babes, it’s heaven for you... O Mother, O Mother, it's Hell for you...
14. Lady of Carlisle
Unless it was a man of honor, a man of honor and high degree. And there approached two loving soldiers, this fair lady for to see.
One being a brave lieutenant, a brave lieutenant & a man of war.
The other being a brave sea captain, captain of a ship called the Hong Kong Kar.
And then upspoke this brave young lady, “I can’t be but one man’s bride. If you’ll come back tomorrow morning, on this case we will decide.”
She ordered her a span of horses, a span of horses at her command. And down the road these three did travel, rode till they came to the lion’s den.
There they stopped & there they halted, these two soldiers stood gazing around.
For the space of half an hour, this young lady lay speechless on the ground.
And when she did recover, she threw her fan into the lion’s den, Saying, “Which of you to gain a lady, will return my fan again?”
Then upspoke that brave lieutenant, raised his voice both loud and clear. Say “I know I am a true lover of women, but my own life I hold too dear.”
Then upspoke that brave sea captain, raised his voice both loud and high. Says, “I know I am a true lover of woman and I will return your fan or die.”
Down in the lion’s den he boldly entered, the lions being both bold & fierce. In around and in among them, safely did return her fan again.
When she saw her true lover a-coming, seeing no harm had been done to him,
She laid her head upon his bosom, saying “Here’s the prize that you have won.”
11. Johnson Jinkson
Johnson getting off his horse, and proceeding to look all around, Till he come upon a woman, with her hair pinned to the ground.
"Woman, dearest woman, who brought you here for spite? Who has brought you here this morning, with your hair pinned to the ground?
"It were 3 bold & struggling men, with sword keen in hand Who hath brought me here this morning with my hair pinned to the ground."
Johnson being a man of his own and being a man in bold, He took off his overcoat to cover her from the cold.
Johnson getting on his horse, the woman getting on behind. Down that long and lonesome highway, their fortune for to find.
They rode on and farther on and nothing could they spy Till she put her fingers to her ears and gave three shivering cries.
Out sprang three bold & struggling men, with sword both keen in hand, Who commanded Johnson, commanded him to stand.
“I’ll stand then,”said Johnson, “I’ll stand then” said he, “For I never was in my life, afraid of any a three.”
Johnson, killing two of them, not watching the woman behind, While he was on the other one, she stabbed him from behind.
The day was clear and a market day, the people all passing by, Who that saw this awful murder and saw poor Johnson die.
6. The Water Is Wide
The water is wide, I cannot get o’er, And neither have I wings to fly. But build me a boat that can carry two And both shall row, my love and I.
A ship there is and she sails the sea; She’s loaded deep as deep can be. But not so deep as the love I’m in, And I care not if I sink or swim.
I leaned my back against an oak, Thinking he was a trusty tree. But first it bended and then it broke. So did my love to me.
I reached my finger into a bush, Thinking the fairest flower to find. The thorns they pierced me to the bone And so I left that flower alone.
Oh love is handsome and love is fair, Fresh as the dew when first it’s new. But love grows old and waxes cold And fades away like the morning dew.
17, The House Carpenter
Well met, well met, my own true love, Well met, well met , said he.
I’m just returning from the salt salt sea, and it’s all for the love of thee.
Come in, come in, my own true love and have a sit with me.
It’s been three fourths of a long long year, since together we have been.
I can’t come in and I can’t sit down, for I have but a moment’s time.
They say you’re married to a house carpenter and I know you will never be mine.
I could have married the king’s daughter fair, and I’m sure she’d have married me,
But I’ve forsaken her crowns of gold, and it’s all for the love of thee.
Now when you’ve forsaken your house carpenter, and go along with me,
I’ll take you where the grass grows green, on the banks of Italy.
She picked up her little babe, and kisses gave it three,
Saying “Stay right there, my little man, and keep your papa company.”
They had not been on ship two weeks, I’m sure it was not three,
When his true love began to weep and mourn, and she wept most bitterly.
“Are you weeping for my silver and gold? Are you weeping for my store”
Or are you weeping for the house carpenter, whose face you’ll see no more?”
“A curse, a curse,” to the sailor she cried, “A curse, a curse” she swore.
“You’ve robbed me of my dear little babe, I’ll not see him anymore.”
They had not been on board three weeks, I’m sure it was not four,
Until there came a leak in the ship and it sunk to rise no more.
As we marched down to Fenario As we marched down to Fenario
Our captain fell in love, with a lady like a dove And they call-ed her pretty Peggy-O.
Come go along with me, Pretty Peggy-O (2x)
In coaches you shall ride, with your true love by your side, Just as grand as any lady in the are-O.
What would your mother think, pretty Peggy-O? ...
What would your mother think for to hear the guineas clink And all the soldiers are a-marching before ye-O.
You;re the man that I adore, handsome Willy-O...
You’re the man that I adore, but your fortune is too low And I fear my mother would be angry-O.
Come a-tripping down the stairs, pretty Peggy-O...
Come a-tripping down the stairs and tie back your yellow hair, Bid a last farewell to handsome Willy-O.
If ever I return pretty Peggy-o...
If ever I return , this city I will burn And ravage all the ladies in the are-O.
Our captain he is dead, pretty Peggy-O...
our captain he is dead and he died for a main And he’s buried in Louisiana Country-O.