The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18386   Message #184225
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
24-Feb-00 - 04:23 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Jack Orion - Bert Jansch
Subject: Lyr Add: JACK ORION (Bert Jansch)
Now, as promised, the LONG version that Bert Jansch recorded with Pentangle; it looks as if they have taken most of A.L. Lloyd's re-write and expanded it with modernised sections from Glasgerion:

Jack Orion was as good a fiddler
As ever fiddled on a string;
He could make young women mad
To the tune his fiddle would sing.

He could fiddle the fish out of salt water
Or water from a marble stone
Or the milk out of a maiden's breast
Though baby she'd got none.

He's taken his fiddle into his hand,
He's fiddled and he's sung;
And oft he's fiddled unto the King,
Who never thought it long.

As he sat fiddling in the castle hall,
He's played them all so sound asleep;
All but for the young princess,
And for love she stayed awake.

At first he played them a slow grave tune,
And then a gay one flew;
And many's the sigh and loving word
That passed between these two.

"Come to my bower, sweet Jack Orion
When all men are at rest;
As I am a lady true to my word,
Thou shalt be a welcome guest."

He's lapped his fiddle in a cloth of green
A glad man, Lord, was he;
Then he's run off to his own house
Says, "Tom come hither unto me.

When day has dawned and the cocks have crown
And flapped their wings so wide,
I am bidden to that lady's door
To stretch out by her side."

"Lie down in your bed, dear master,
And sleep as long as you may;
I'll keep good watch and awaken you
Three hours before 'tis day."

But he rose up, that worthless lad
His master's clothes did don;
A collar he cast about his neck
He seemed a gentleman.

Well he didn't take that lady gay
To bolster nor to bed,
But down upon the bower floor
He quickly had her laid.

And he neither kissed her when he came,
Nor when from her he did go,
And in and out of her window,
The moon like a coal did glow.

"Ragged are your stockings, love,
Stubbly is your cheek and chin
And tangled is that yellow hair
That I saw yestere'en."

"The stockings belong to my boy Tom;
They're the first come to my hand.
The wind it tangled my yellow hair
As I rode o'er the land."

Tom took the fiddle into his hand,
So saucy there he sang;
Then he's off back to his master's house
As fast as he could run.

"Wake up, wake up, my good master;
I fear 'tis almost dawn.
Wake up, wake up, the cock has crowed;
'Tis time that you were gone."

Then quickly rose up Jack Orion,
Put on his cloak and shoon
And cast a collar about his neck;
He was a lord's true son.

And when he come to the lady's bower,
He lightly rattled the pin;
The lady was true to her word,
She rose and let him in.

"Or whether you have left with me
Your bracelet or your glove?
Or are you returned back again
To know more of my love?"

Jack Orion swore a bloody oath
By oak and ash and bitter thorn,
Saying, "Lady, I never was in your house
Since the day that I was born!"

"Oh then it was your young footpage
That has so cruelly beguiled me
And woe that the blood of the ruffian lad
Should spring in my body!"
Then she pulled forth a little sharp knife
That hung down at her knee.

O'er her white feet the red blood ran,
Or ever a hand could stay;
And dead she lay on her bower floor
At the dawning of the day.

Jack Orion ran to his own house,
Saying, "Tom, my boy, come here to me;
Come hither now and I'll pay your fee
And well paid you shall be.

If I had killed a man tonight,
Tom, I would tell it thee;
But if I have taken no life tonight,
Tom, thou hast taken three."

Then he pulled out his bright brown sword
And dried it on his sleeve,
And he smote off that vile lad's head,
And asked for no man's leave.

He set the sword's point to his breast,
The pommel to a stone;
Through the falseness of that lying lad
These three lives were all gone.