The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #11438   Message #85246
Posted By: Peter
09-Jun-99 - 03:05 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: The Yew Tree (Battlefield Band)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE YEW TREE
The Battlefield Band sings it and (I think) wrote it - here is my correction of the lyrics above:

a mile [frae Pencaitland] on the road to the sea
Stands a yew tree a thousand years old
And [the auld women swear by the grey of their hair]
That it knows what the future will hold
For the shadows of Scotland stand round it
Mid the [kale] and the corn and the [kye]
All the hopes and the fears of a thousand long years
Under [the Lothian] sky
My bonny yew tree, tell what did you see?

Did you look through the haze of a long summer's day
To the south and the far English border
All the bullets of steal [on Flodden's foul] field
[As they marched by your side in good order]
Did you ask them the price of [their] Glory?
When you heard the great slaughter begin
All the [dust from their bones would rise up from the stones]
To bring tears to the eyes of the wind
My bonny yew tree, tell me what did you see?....

It continues:

Did ye no' think tae tell, when John Knox himsel'
Preached under your branches sae black?
Tae the poor common folk, he would lift up the yoke
Of the bishops and priests frae their back.
But you know the bargain he sold them;
And freedom was only a part
For the price of their souls was a gospel sae cold
It would freeze up the joy in their hearts
My bonny yew tree, tell me what did you see?

When the moss-troopers layin your shade
To hide frae the thunder and count our the plunder
And share out the spoils of their raid?
But you saw the smiles of the gentry
And the laughter of lords at their games
When the poor hunt the poor across mountain and moor
The rich man can keep them in chains.
My bonny yew tree, tell me what did you see?

And I thought as I stood and laid hands on your wood
That it might be a kindness to fell ye
One kiss of the axe and your free froae the wracks
adn the sad blody tales that men tell ye.
But a wee bird flew out of your branches
And sang out as never before.
And the words of the sang were a thousand years lang,
And to learn them to know thousands more.
My bonny yew tree, tell me what can you see?

HTML line breaks added --JoeClone, 28-Nov-01.