The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29130   Message #1303280
Posted By: Reiver 2
21-Oct-04 - 06:03 PM
Thread Name: Origins: How many versions of Geordie
Subject: Lyr Add: GEORDIE (from Maddy Prior/June Tabor)
I have the song Geordie from the Joan Baez Songbook, but never tried to sing it. Reiver 1 and I sang the version we learned from listening to The Silly Sisters. They look to me like two entirely different songs, that just happen to be named "Geordie." Do the two actually have any common root? And is the tune really the same? I'd be very much interested in the historical (if they are historical) events related in the Maddy Prior/June Tabor version which are:


There was a battle in the north and nobles there were many
And they have killed Sir Charlie Hay and laid the blame on Geordie.
Oh he has written a long letter and sent it to his lady,
"You must come to Edinb'ro Town to see wha' kens o'Geordie."

When first she looked the letter on, she looked both red and rosy.
She had not read a word or twa, she grew pale as the lily.
"Gae fetch tae me my good grey steed, fine men shall a' go wi' me,
For I shall neither eat nor drink 'til Ed'nb'ro Town shall see me."

She's mounted on her good grey steed, her men they all went wi' her,
And she did neither eat nor drink 'till Edinb'ro Town did see her.
And first appeared the fatal block and then the axe tae head him,
And Geordie comin' doon the stairs wi' bands of iron upon him.

Tho' he was chained in fetters strang, of iron and steel sae heavy
Oh, not a one in a' the court was sae fine a man as Geordie.
Oh, she's doon on her bended knee, and sure she's pale and weary,
"Oh, pardon, pardon noble King, and gie me back my dearie."

"Go tell the headin' man make haste" oor King replied full lordly.
"Oh noble King, tak a' that's mine, but gie me back my Geordie."
The Gordons cam and the Gordons ran, and they were stark and steady
And, aye, the word amang them a' was "Gordons keep ye ready."

Then an aged lord at the Kings right hand says "Noble King but hear me.
Let her count out five-thousand pounds and gie her back her dearie."
Some gave her marks, some gave her crowns, some gave her dollars many
She's counted oot five-thousand pounds an' she's gotten agin' her dearie.

She blinket blythe then at Geordie's face, says, "Dear I've bought thee, Geordie,
But the blood would ha' flowed upon the green before I lost my laddie."
He clasped her by the middle sma' and he kissed her lips sae rosy,
"The fairest floor o' womankind is my sweet bonnie Lady."

I've always wondered where the people who cotributed to Geordie's ransom were able to obtain the "dollars many", but other than that I think it's a great song! Of course, hearing it sung by Maddie and June makes it nearly impossible NOT to like.

Reiver 2