The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84355   Message #1556412
Posted By: Joe Offer
05-Sep-05 - 06:03 AM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: The Poor Ditching Boy (Richard Thompson)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE POOR DITCHING BOY (Richard Thompson)
Hi, Chris -
I found this at the Online Guitar Archive. I can't vouch for accuracy, since I dont' know the song.
-Joe Offer-

Here's a song by Richard Thompson, "The Poor Ditching Boy," off
_Starring as Henry the Human Fly_. fortunately, this album has been
rereleased by Rykodisk. It's definitely worth the money.

It's in open-g: dgdgbd (drop 6, 5, 1 one whole step--notice that this makes
your guitar have the same shape as an a major open chord)

You should embellish these chords as much as you feel confident to do and/or
is tasteful. Richard certainly does. The nature of the alternate means that
the open strings will never be dissonant with each other or notes in the g
major scale, so if in doubt they will be ok. I'm not entirely sure what he
does in this song as he has a violin player as well as his guitar. It
works nicely with two guitarists, though. Best way to get a feel for this
is to listen really carefully to the song. I don't think Richard plays the
bits exactly the same way each time through.

Tab (notes given relative to open g tuning):

g variant 1 x05035
g variant 2 x00000
a minor 7 x02012
a minor 7 sus 4 variant 1 x02010
b minor 7 minor 6 x04232
d 7 sus 4 x04010
a minor 7 sus 2 variant 2 x20010

The astute reader will note quickly that the a minor 7
doesn't have an a in it! Perhaps I should have called it a c major. :)
The low d doesn't show up in these chords, but it does fit in the key, so
you can use it too. I don't much like the sound, though.

Lyrics and chord outline (verses are all the same as the first one):

g 1
Has there ever been a winter so cold and so sad,
g1 (or g2)          a min 7
A river too weary to flood?
g 1
The storm and the wind cut through to my skin,
g 1 (or g 2)             a min 7
But she cut through to my blood.

I wasn't lookin' for trouble to tangle my line,
But trouble came lookin' for me.
I knew I was on unsteady ground,
I was sinkin' too fast to run free.

amin7 amin7/2 bmin7   g2
With her schemin', idle ways,
amin7 amin7/2 g2
She left me poor enough.
The stormin' wind cut through to my skin,
amin7 d76 g1
But she cut through to my blood.

I would not be askin', I would not be seen,
Beggin' from mountain or hill,
But I'm ready and blind with my hands tied behind,
I've neither a mind nor a will.


It's bitter the need of the poor ditching boy,
He'll always believe what they say,
They tell him it's hard to be honest and true,
Does he mind if he doesn't get payed?

[repeat last line of chorus]