The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #28223   Message #3658673
Posted By: Einsetumadur
09-Sep-14 - 07:04 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Earsdon Sword Dance Song /Calling-On Song
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Earsdon Sword Dance Song /Calling-On Song
I've once transcribed the lyrics of a version of "Earsdon Sword Dance" which Ashley Hutchings with his Albion Country Band Mk.2 in The Howff, London, on December 29 1972. Since there are some minor differences to the versions appearing here, I thought I'd post it here.

Line-up:    Ashley Hutchings (bass), Simon Nicol (lead vocals, electric guitar), Richard Thompson (electric guitar), Roger Swallow (drums), Shirley Collins (lead vocals), Linda Thompson (lead vocals)

The ACB version is fairly grungy and sombre, plodding along heavily in a very slow 6/8 rhythm as R.Thompson's and S.Nicol's electric guitars weave into each other in finest "No Roses" fashion.

In his book "THE SWORD DANCES OF NORTHERN ENGLAND" (1911-1913) Cecil Sharp refers to Simon Nicol's verse as "The Short-Sword Dance", whilst all other verses are attributed to "Earsdon Sword Dance".

Verse1 ("Earsdon Sword Dance"):
[Shirley Collins; D Major]
Good people, give ear to my story,
we have called for to see you by chance;
Five heroes I've brought blithe and bonny,
intending to give you a dance.

For Earsdon is our habitation,
the place we were all born and bred;
There are not finer lads in the nation,
and none are more gallantly led.

Verse 2 ("Earsdon Sword Dance"):
[Shirley Collins; D Major]
'Tis not for your gold or your silver,
nor yet for the gain of your gear.
But we just come to take a week's pleasure,
to welcome the incoming year.

My lads, they are all fit for action,
with spirits and courage so bold;
They are born of a noble extraction,
their fathers were heroes of old.

Verse3 ("The Short-Sword Dance"):
[Simon Nicol; D Major]
And this is the son of brave Elliott,
the first youth to enter the ring ;
and So proudly rejoice I can tell it,
how he fought for his country and king.

"When the Spaniards besieged Gibraltar,
bold Elliott defended the place,
And he so caused their plans for to alter;
some died — others fell in disgrace.

Verse4 ("Earsdon Sword Dance"):
[Shirley Collins; D Major]
Now my next handsome youth that does enter
is a boy of ability bright;
Five thousand gold guineas I'd venture
that he like his father would fight.

At Waterloo and Tarryvary,
Lord Wellington made the French fly ;
You scarcely can find such another,
he'd conquer or else he would die.

Verse5 ("Earsdon Sword Dance"):
[Linda Thompson; C Major]
Oh this one's the son of Lord Nelson,
that hero that fought at the Nile ;
Few men with such courage and talent
the Frenchmen he them did beguile.

The Frenchmen they nearly decoyed him,
but the battle he managed so well.
In their fortress he wholly destroyed them,
scarce one did get home for to tell.