The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #90911   Message #1726665
Posted By: Joe Offer
25-Apr-06 - 03:26 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Minstrel (Graham and Eileen Pratt)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE MINSTREL (Graham and Eileen Pratt)
OK. This is what we have for the whole text, including the last verse. Any other corrections? Can anybody send us the tune?
-Joe Offer-

(Graham and Eileen Pratt)

I sang my song at Hastings' battle
To praise the deeds of Charlemagne.
I sang of Arthur and of Roland,
That men remember their great fame.
I sang to rouse a sinking nation,
That king and man might never yield.
But when the battle cry was over,
We all lay dead on Hastings' field.

I sang my song to conquer loved ones.
I sold my voice to him who paid,
To sing his lady gentle love songs,
To lend his passion subtler shade.
But when my silver-throated praises
At last did melt her heart of stone,
He paid me and they both departed,
And left me there to sing alone.

I sang my song at fair and market,
A song much bawdier than before.
Amidst the pigs and geese and cattle,
I sought to please the crowd once more.
I sang to win applause and favour,
Songs of the cuckold and the whore.
But though I gladly took their money,
I missed the songs I'd sung before.

I sang my song in time of anger.
And found new purpose in the rhymes.
At kings and queens, did point the finger,
And bid them see the nation's crimes.
How bitterly did I condemn them,
All those who left the poor oppressed,
But the time was not yet ripe for changes,
I hung at Tyburn with the rest.

I sang my song in mill and coal-pit,
My voice all cracked with dust and fumes.
I took my tune from the factory sirens,
I took my rhythm from the looms.
But whether anybody listened,
Or paid attention, I can't say.
I couldn't stand the smoke and chimneys,
So I packed my bags and I moved away.

My voice grows tired. My eyes are weary.
The aging memory nearly gone.
I've sung my song for lord and lady.
I've sung it too for common man.
Until there's no more time for singing,
Until we reach the stories' end,
I'll always find the strength within me
To rise and sing my song again.

filename[ MINSTRL

Wendy Grossman has an online recording of the song here (click). This transcription matches what I hear on Grossman's recording, but it's possible that Grossman has altered parts of the song.