The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #15043   Message #2612928
Posted By: Boho
17-Apr-09 - 03:50 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Little Duke Arthur's Nurse (F Armstrong)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Little Duke Arthur's Nurse
I used to have this song on an old home-made tape, performed by Australian band Mara! from an album called Images. I have been trying to remember all the words for months. As far as I can judge from the posts on this thread the Mara! version is fairly close to the Frankie Armstrong version, but not identical. What's below is pretty much entirely dredged up from memory, together with bits from the above posts and my assumptions about verses I can't remember at all based on the DigiTrad Duke of Athol's Nurse [in square brackets]. This album doesn't appear ever to have been available on CD, and is apparently no longer available even on vinyl (not that I have anything to play it on even if it were). It would be fantastic if anyone could help me fill in the blanks.

Young Johnny rode out on a May morning
With his buckles and bridle ringing
And as he rode by the castle wall
He heard a sweet voice singing:

"Oh, I'm the little Duke Arthur's nurse
And the post do well become me,
But I'd give both of my gay gold rings
For a sight and a kiss of my Johnny!"

"If you're the little Duke Arthur's nurse,
Were ye never half so bonny,
Keep well, keep well of your gay gold rings,
For you'll have a sight of your Johnny."

Then he leaned over his saddle bow
He said, "You have my heart but another has my hand,
So much good would it do you."

"If I have your heart but another has your hand
These words have fair undone me.
But let's make a tryst when we'll meet again
And then in love I'll entwine ye."

"So go you down to yon tavern house
Where the welcoming lights are beckoning
And sure as I'm a woman true
I'll come to settle your reckoning."

[Verse where she tells him not to spare on the drinking and she'll be there by dawn.]

Well he's spared not the cheer of the [Whitby] beer,
And the wine they kept on pouring
And every glass he's drunk to the lass
Who was coming to him ere the morning.

[Verse where he wonders where on earth she can have got to.]

Now he looked out of the shop window
A little before the dawn-o
And here come running her brothers three
With their naked swords all a-drawn-o.

"Oh, landlady, landlady! What shall I do?
My life's not worth a halfpenny,
For she who was to lie with me
Has sent her brothers to slay me!"

[Verse where the landlady dresses Johnny in her clothes and sets him to the baking]
She put on her petticoats

[Verse where the brothers come into the tavern]

"Oh did you have a lodger here last night
Who drank till the dawn was beckoning?
So show us the room where the lodger ….
For we've come to settle his reckoning."

"No, we never had a lodger here last night
Who drank till the …….
He called for a pint, an' he paid it ere he went,

One of them being in a very merry mood,
[To the young squire fell a-talkin'.
The wife took her foot an' she gae him a kick
Says, "Haste ye, bonnie Annie, wi your bakin."]

They've … the house up and they've … the house down
Till the ….. was shaking
And every one as they passed him by
Kissed the bonny lass at the baking.