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Lyr Add: Bob Coltman's Son of Child songs


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Subject: Bob Coltman's Son of Child songs
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 10:39 AM

Bob Coltman has written a number of updates to Child ballads, which he calls Son of Child, and has produced a CD of some of them. He has also written more of tham that did not fit onto the CD. He said if I would post the ones I have from the CD, he will gradually post some of the others. So here are the ones I have, from the Son of Child CD, which will appear in upcoming versions of the Digital Tradition.

Note from Joe Offer, 23 October 2013: Bob sent me 26 of his songs for posting. Some are on the "Son of Child" CD, but many are not available on recordings. I hope you enjoy them. I'll put the Child songs on this Son of Child thread, even if they aren't on the Son of Child CD. If they aren't Child and they aren't on the Lonesome Robin CD or the Before They Close the Minstrel Show CD, I'll post them in the thread titled Songs of Bob Coltman. I think you'll find some new gems you haven't heard before.
Thanks a lot, Bob.

-Joe Offer-

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Subject: Lyr Add: DEVIL IN THE GARDEN (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 10:41 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Pretty little girl all dressed in white,
    Weave, wove, and woven,
Walking in the garden alone tonight,
Walking in the garden without any light,
    Hee, ho, Devil in the garden,
    Devil in the garden roving.

Down in the garden, she met a man walking,
    Weave, etc.
She knew she shouldn't but she couldn't help larking,
'Fore she knew it she and him was a-talking,
    Hee, ho, etc.

Lookahere, girl, d'you know who I am? ...
Yes sir, yes sir, and I'm in a jam,
For you're the original flimflam man ...

Lookahere, girl, you must play my game.
Nine hard questions, your soul to claim,
And you must answer 'em just the same. .

What is lost and can never be found? ...
What is the ring that'll never roll round,
And what is the rock that'll never break down? .

The days are lost and can never be found . . .
Ring of the bell will never roll round
And a rock of the cradle will never break down

What is the string that can never be tied? ...
And what is the mare nobody can ride,
And what is the question no one can decide? ...

Man's heartstrings can never be tied ...
Old nightmare nobody can ride,
And where I'm goin' even you can't decide ...

What is bluer than the sky so blue? ...
What is truer than me or you,
And what can you tell the poor Devil to do? . . .

Bluer is the water in Duncan's well ...
Truer is love than tongue can tell,
And I can tell the Devil to run back to Hell ...

Fare you well then, human girl ...
God and me and you in the middle,
You speak so smart to the Devil's riddle,
You are not mine, you're of this world . . .

(Riddles Wisely Expounded, No. 1, and The Elfin Knight, No. 2
These two fell together in my mind and wouldn't separate: one a devil's quiz, the other the riddling of an elf lover, both with ulterior motives: to carry off the lady to some secluded spot and...

The story is as old as time, came with us probably when the earth first grew green. It was scary when villages were little spots of light in the great dark of the forest and the next silhouette to come over the hill might not have proper substance. But I made mine modern, as if in one of those movies set in the moonlit garden of some decaying southern mansion, the Devil in the shape of a portly Senator and the wise virgin a sassy flapper out for a breath of air. I wish you could have seen Abby and Lyn singing this; they pounced on it as if they'd been waiting up nights for a chance to sass the Devil

Child #1
filename[ DEVLGARD

Son of Child CD Track 1

(from Joe Offer) Here are the Folk-Legacy notes on this song:

Devil in the Garden

(Bob Coltman, BMI)

Cathy Barton: autoharp, lead vocal; Dave Para: guitar, lead vocal; Additional chorus vocals: Caroline Paton, Sandy Paton, Ed Trickett

It is one of life's great rewards to meet and work with people you have long admired. Bob Coltman is one of many people to whom Ed Trickett introduced us in the winter of 1980, and we long have marveled at his music and creativity. This song, a rewrite of Child #1, "Riddles Wisely Expounded," or"The Devil's Nine Questions," is from Bob's great album of such rewrites, Son of Child (Minstrel JD-205). Bob says he sees it "set in a moonlit garden of some decaying southern mansion, the Devil in the shape of a portly senator and the wise virgin a sassy flapper out for a breath of air." Professor Child may be in orbit over this, but it sure is fun to sing.

(Dave Para)

Pretty little girl all dressed in white,
  Weave, wove, and woven,
Walking in the garden alone at night,
Walking in the garden without any light,
  Hee-ho, Devil in the garden,
  Devil in the garden a-rovin'.


Out in the garden she met a man walking.
She knew she shouldn't, but she couldn't help larking.
Before she knew it, she and him were a-talking.

"Looky-here, girl, do you know who I am?"
"Yes, sir, yes, sir, and I'm in a jam,
Because you're the original flimflam man."

"Looky-here, girl, you gotta play my game:
Nine hard questions, your soul to claim,
And you must answer them just the same.

"What is lost and can never be found?
What is the ring that can never roll around,
And what is the rock that can never break down?"

"Days are lost and can never be found.
The ring of the bell will never roll around,
And the rock of the cradle will never break down."

"What are the strings that can never be tied?
What is the mare nobody can ride,
And what is the question no one can decide?"

"Man's heartstrings can never be tied.
Old nightmare nobody can ride,
And where I'm going, even you can't decide."

"What is bluer than the sky so blue?
What is truer than me and you
And what can you tell the poor old Devil to do?"

"Bluer is the blue (water) in Duncan's well.
Truer is love than tongue can tell,
And I can tell the Devil to go straight to Hell."

"Fare you well, then, human girl.
It's God and me and you in the middle,
And you speak so smart to the Devil's riddle,
You are not mine, you are of this world."

When I originally posted this, I had the first line as "pretty little girl evil dressed in white," but it's definitely "all" on the Folk-Legacy recording. Don't know what happened to the original source, so I don't know if the mistake was mine or theirs. -Joe-

©1992 Folk-Legacy Records, Inc. Sharon, Connecticut 06069

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From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 10:49 AM

(Bob Coltman)

You think I'm a beggar'? Look closer at me,
Little brown, won't you try your eyes?
You can smell the salt of the sea on me,
And the mists of paradise, my love.
Don't you know your old sweetheart the best?

It's a wonderful wedding you have laid on,
I never seen nothing so fine,
Your father pawned his whole house for you,
He wouldn't when you was mine, my love.
Don't you know your old sweetheart the best?

Where'd you get that ring, beggarman?
You must have stole it from a dead man's hand.
I never, I never, I got it from you,
When you told me you'd be true, my love.
Don't you know your old sweetheart the best?

Oh hush, my love, and the tears rolled down,
I can't give you nothing but bread,
For here I'm to marry another man,
And darling, I thought you were dead, my love.
Don't you know your old sweetheart the best?

In a trade with a savvy old beggarman
I swapped his old clothes with my new,
I swapped his old clothes with my new,
For to clothe a fine lady like you, my love.
Don't you know your old sweetheart the best?

The bridegroom put on his hat and coat
And stepped upon the stair,
But when he reached to the altar front
His pretty little bride wasn't there, my love.
Don't she know her old sweetheart the best?

The bridegroom's sitting alone tonight,
Hanging his handsome head,
While me and my darling Angeline
A-sharing a woodland bed, my love.
Don't I know my old sweetheart the best?

Hind Horn, No. 17   
   This is the survivor of one of the great old stories, exactly the sort of cante-fable with which the old jongleurs would scratch for a living, stretching the story as long as they could in hopes of pay by the yard. It was the soap opera of its time. There must be some truth in the stereotype of the threadbare minstrel, ragged and hungry, his lute cracking and warping in the summer heat, the winter chill, the spring damp, having nowhere to lay his head but the tussock by the roadside, or fighting the hounds for a little straw and a grudged place next to some smoky kitchen fire. But then there were the other minstrels, the more settled types, more or less musical civil servants, with tenure and security: the 14th-century hi-fi set, needing only to perform something like this to ensure that patronage would continue.
   Child runs the story down like a rabbit throughout Europe and into Romania, Greece and Russia. The variants differ widely in detail, but a fair summary is this: Hind Horn serves the King seven years, falling in love with his daughter meanwhile. She has given him a jeweled ring; as long as the stone keeps its color he will know she is faithful, but if it gets pale, their romance is on the rocks. Everything is going fine when suddenly Hind Horn angers the King and is banished to sea indefinitely.
   Seven years a sailor, he sees his ring grow pale. He makes for home, changes clothes with a beggar from whom he hears of his love's wedding plans. But she has been dilly-dallying, refusing to go to bed with the groom till she hears from Hind Horn (cheers). Horn, at the wedding, reveals himself to his lady and the song collapses into a happy ending; I prolonged it into a gypsy-style elopement because it's such a grand climax that it shouldn't be rushed.

@token @wedding
Child #17
filename[ HNDHORN6

Son of Child CD Track 9

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Subject: Lyr Add: SLEEPY OWLSEY (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 10:52 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Sleepy Owlsey, old sleepyhead,
Betcha I can sleep with you and keep my maidenhead,
You'll never touch me, I'll go a maiden home,
You'll be so sleepy that you'll never know I'm gone.

Sleepy Owlsey raised his sleepy head,
All right then, Brinnie, go and make up the bed,
I may not know much, but one thing I do,
I never go to sleep at night without I dream of you.

Brinnie took a feather, magic for to make,
Wrapped it in a cobweb, he'll never stay awake,
Slipped it in his pillow, sleepy as can be,
Old dull fool-cake, he'll never bother me.

When here come Owlsey and he laid down his head,
Feather in the pillow the magic it spread,
Down come his eyelids, he hardly made a peep,
Never even touched her before he's fast asleep.

He woke up in the morning, he looked and she was gone,
Thought it was the soft bed had made him sleep so long,
He threw away the blanket, threw away the sheet,
Threw away the pillow, see now if I sleep.

Come on now, Brinnie, won't you try another lick?
She looked at the bare bed, she looked a little sick,
I don't think I better, I really can't stay,
I got about a thousand things I got to do today.

She pulled and she tugged, but he got her on the bed,
Rumpled up her clothes and he tousled up her head,
Rocked her like a rowboat drifting in a squall,
And old Sleepy Owlsey wasn't sleepy at all.

Brinnie lay and Brinnie smiled and Brinnie blew a kiss,
I never would have, fussed so if I'd known `twould be like this,
I will lay aside my magic, be good if I can,
And old Sleepy Owlsey be my true loving man.

The Broomfield Hill, No. 43

Talk about old stories; they can hardly come any older. In the original the lady bets a knight she can lie down with him in the broom and yet rise up a maiden. Sometimes by luck, sometimes by magic, she contrives to do it, making him sleep so hard he can't manage to touch her. He wakes up well into the day with his horse and hound looking at him in the most excruciatingly pitying sort of way. Naturally the maiden herself has gone snickering home. Well ... witchcraft has its ups and downs. I changed the Scots recipe for the yawns, broom flowers liberally sprinkled over the head, to the European feather, and added the cobweb myself, for what else is so sleepy? But strangely enough, even this potent spell did not work. Also it seemed to me that the lady, if she was going to play with fire, ought at least to get warm.

@magic @myth
Child #43
filename[ BROMFLD5

Son of Child CD Track 4

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Subject: Lyr Add: CHEVY CHASE (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 10:59 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Going up in the mountains, where the tall trees grow so green,
High up on Chevy Chase, to see what can be seen,
Come on with me, my friends, away up in the hills,
Arrow and bow upon our arm, to see what we can kill.

How lovely is the weather, how beautiful is the way,
Pity's the child that's not been born to see our hunting day,
Percy looked upon his left, he looked upon his right,
He wared he seen old Douglas a-coming with his face as black as night.

Hello, Douglas, have you come to kill some deer?
Douglas cried, Who give you leave to do your hunting here?
1 don't need any leave, my friend, from you or anyone else,
I mean to hunt here how I like, I mean to please myself.

'Twas there they had a battle of fifty gallant men,
That came to take the lives of deer and stayed to lose their own,
Men of land and men of hand and men of honory,
And if their legs was cut in two they'd fight upon their knees.

An arrow come a-flying, as true as it had eyes,
It struck poor Douglas cruel hard, he fell and he could not rise,
Montgomery come running, he flung his spear so hard,
It took poor Percy in the breast and pierced him by a yard.

Word come to King Jamie that Douglas he had died,
And Percy in his splendor, and all their men likewise,
Lieutenants of the marches, the best that ever I see,
I have a hundred captains I could lose more easily.

But I shall have a sweet revenge, and I shall have my way,
For each of their two murdered heads a hundred men shall die,
The widows come a-weeping to carry their men away,
Pity the child that's ever been born to see this hunting day.

The Hunting of the Cheviot, No. 162
The tale of the chase through the Cheviot hills ending in its tragic border battle is one of the great classics: 60-plus stanzas in the original, already an old and well-known ballad by the middle of the 16th century. The history of it seems to stem from the Battle of Otterburn, celebrated in its own ballad (No. 161), which was one of a long series of fracases between the belligerent border freeholders of northern England and southern Scotland. In the middle of August 1388 a muster of Scots barons and knights invaded England, purposing to attack a number of towns; James Earl of Douglas commanded a detachment of picked men-at-arms and archers moving on Newcastle. When they got there, Henry Percy, son of the Earl of Northumberland, rallied the English in defense, but in a running fight his banner was captured. Enraged, Percy followed to Douglas's camp at Otterburn, apart from the main Scots force, and on the 19th, after supper, he struck. By the light of the rising moon the two sides engaged, shouting their Percy! and Douglas! battle cries. The attackers had the early 'advantage; Douglas, trapped, tried to hew his way clear with a two-handed axe, but was borne down by spears. Percy wasn't killed as the ballad claims, but was taken prisoner by Lord Montgomery; he did not die until 1403, but the ballad kills him off for symmetry's sake.
The Hunting of the Cheviot makes it a much more sylvan scene and recasts the carnage as a deer hunt in the Cheviots, a clash of shooting rights. Percy and Douglas are crusty old wardens; the fight begins almost without pretext, goring the forest in a manner worthy of Culloden or Flanders, and King Harry (Henry IV, though the dating's wrong by a decade) vows revenge. The vow did, incidentally, bear fruit, as kings' vows are all too likely to do, in the battle of Homildon 14 years later. The courtly poet Sir Philip Sidney reported that he heard the ballad sung by a blind fiddler in about 1580, though he could not help reflecting how much nicer it would have sounded if it were "trymmed in the gorgeous eloquence of Pindar!" Well ... it was my pleasure, also lacking Pindar's gorgeous eloquence, to make this brief telling singable (at the cost of enormous detail) and to bring Cheviot's embattled hills again alive.

Child #162
filename[ CHEVCHA2

Son of Child CD Track 6

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Subject: Lyr Add: RED ROBBER (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 11:01 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Little Mayro was a-walking
In Silver's wood one day,
Not a-thinking no harm.
When up stepped Red Robber
and he took Little Mayro in his arms.

   Little Mayro, don't you cry   
       for me (2)

Oh spare me, Red Robber,
Oh spare me and my child,
I need not be your wife.
But he took no pity on little Mayro,
He stabbed her with his knife.

She leaped and she staggered.
She weeped and she cried,
She run and she fell down.
Her poor sides broken open
And her little babe was found.

Red Robber took that little boy
And he give him to nurses nine
For to raise up as his son.
I'll teach him to be a red robber
And do like his daddy done.

Daddy, oh Daddy,
Let's sit us down and rest,
For this robbing day is long.
There's something I've always wanted to ask,
For you know I am your son.

Whatever you like, Red Robber said,
Just go ahead and ask,
I'll answer anything.
Well, how come all the other little boys have mamas
And only I've got none?

I'm sorry you asked, Red Robber said,
Sorry as I can be,
But I said I'd tell you all.
You see that place where grass won't grow?
That's where I killed your ma.

The boy he bent a man's big bow
And an arrow straight and long,
And he shot Red Robber through.
I think that place where grass won't grow
Is far too good for you.

Oh fare thee, little baby,
Oh fare thee, sweet child,
Oh fare thee anyhow.
I never regretted what I've done
One-half so much as now.

Jellon Grame, No. 90
    Jellon Grame is kind of a monster of the greenwood, a bad Robin Hood, more like what a regulation outlaw should be. I've modeled this on Child's first version; in the other ones May Margerie or May-a-roe has two lovers, which complicates the plot a great deal. In some of the versions there is definitely witchery working: the boy grows up with unnatural speed and learns much too readily for any ordinary sort of child, as if Mama had somehow passed on a curse. But the magic is too low-lying and old and cryptic to be seen clearly.
    There are pieces of many ballads in this, a sign that it was composed late, probably in the early part of the 19th century when people were all hot and excited about ancient relics and antiquities, and songwriters cast about amongst the old dusty bits of ballads to please them. It was a fairly steady ballad market, the customers being largely prosperous folk and particularly gentle young ladies with spinets. As the French say, the more everything changes the more it is the same.

Child #90
filename[ JELGRAE2

Son of Child CD Track 3

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Subject: Lyr Add: ROBIN AND GAMBLIN (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 11:04 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Come on, Robin, let's break the rules,
Let's leave our schoolbooks and run away from school,
Run and catch a little rabbit, run and set a little snare,
Run and chase old Rennock's cows, Rennock won't be there.

Peekin' through the briars, stealin' over the creek,
Must be half a hundred, looks like they're asleep,
Cows with spotted hides, black, white and brown,
Rennock won't be a-catchin' 'em once we've made 'em run.

Running in amongst 'em, sticks in our hands,
Up, cow, run, cow, over Rennock's lands,
Wasn't any warning, no sight or sound,
But a shot come a-flying and struck little Robin down.

Out stepped Rennock, shotgun in his hand,
You better run home, little Gamblin, if you don't want some
of the same,
Better not say nothin', forget what has been done,
Better go learn your `rithmetic and leave my cows alone.

Rennock turned homeward, I watched him go,
Looked at poor little Robin, and he's bleedin' so,
Poor little Robin, so little and light,
What will your mama say when you don't come home tonight?

I don't care what comes of me, I don't care at all,
Rennock killed little Robin, I saw him fall,
Long as I can track him, well, I can throw stones,
If I can prevent it, Rennock won't reach home.

One stone went too far, one went too near,
Third one got him, right behind his ear,
Rennock won't be drinkin' no victory wine,
Robin may be his to kill but Rennock is mine.

(Robyn and Gandelyn, No. 115)
About six of us kids lived within running reach of each other in the rolling Pennsylvania farm-and-forest country, pastures with creeks at the bottoms of them, and we used to chase and tease the cows, which the farmers hated because it spoiled the milk. So when I came across this ballad, dating from about 1450, it seemed contemporary, and it was natural to transport the original deer-poaching tale into our own countryside. It fits perfectly; even Rennock is real. As children we were certain that one particular shotgun-waving farmer would really someday go the whole way and shoot us, and in fact one Halloween night, goaded past all endurance, he did let off a blast of rock salt over our startled heads.
In the original Gandelyn is Robin's knave, social inferior and faithful sidekick. Wrennok of Donne, the marksman, is represented as a "lytul boy", but he acts big, like a grown gamekeeper, or some sort of wilderness hoodlum. Gandelyn and Wrennok duel with bows over Robin's corpse; Wrennok's shot passes between Gandelyn's legs touching "neyther thye", but Gandelyn's arrow cleaves Wrennok's heart in two.

Child #115
filename[ RHGANDY2

Son of Child CD Track 2

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Subject: Lyr Add: ANDREW BATAN (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 11:06 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Cold falls the snow in midwinter,
King Henry's mad as a bee,
I will pull down that lawless man
That stands between the seas and me.

Then God forbid, says Henry Hunt,
He has the strength of five,
I was Sir Andrew's prisoner once.
He'll never be taken alive.

I will have him and I must have him
And I must have him soon,
Now go and take Sir Andrew Batan
Whether by sun or moon.

Sir Andrew Batan looked low on the sea,
He looked to the topmast high,
He looked and he seen Sir Henry Hunt
Come a-sailing under the sky.

What English dog comes barking here,
What peddler with his pie?
I'm admiral of this Portygal sea,
No captain passes me by.

Now the first shot that Sir Henry shot
It like to won the day,
But the first shot that Sir Andrew shot
It carried their mast away.

Now when the ships come closer in
They struck with a dreadful sound,
Says Andrew Batan to the Gordon boy,
Go let my beams fall down.

But Horsley shot and Harroway shot
And Henry Hunt shot too,
And every arrow that they shot
It pierced Sir Andrew through.

Fight on, fight on, cries Andrew Batan,
I am not nearly slain,
I'll just lie down and bleed a bit
Then rise and fight again.

But Henry Hunt took sword in hand
And cut off Andrew's head,
Then he run on home to King Henry
To show him Batan was dead.

When the King saw Andrew's deathly head
He wept like a man insane,
Oh, such a hero as this was,
I rue that he ever was slain.

But we shall on a progress go
Both here and westerly,
To honor the soul of Andrew Batan,
There's nary another like he.

(Sir Andrew Barton, No. 167)
        Andrew and his brothers Robert and John Barton were all men of note in Scotland's naval history. After a Portuguese squadron seized one of John's richly laden merchant ships in 1476, the brothers applied to the Scottish crown for letters of reprisal which permitted them to prey on Portuguese shipping-the richest in the world at the time because the Portuguese had just found out where India was and had its sumptuous trade all to themselves. Thereafter there was nothing but trouble; the Bartons got excited about the fun and profit of piracy and took it up as a career. Thirty years later they were still at it, which the King of Portugal thought was a little excessive.
        The King of Scots, for his part, wasn't terribly bothered, and would as lief have overlooked the whole thing, but in 1511 things came to a head. King Henry VIII, then two years on the throne and with all his marital adventures still ahead, felt he must do something to justify his job, else why have a king? To unstrain the Portuguese and Scottish relationship, Henry set a plot afoot against Barton, who was admittedly taking his part very freely. By now he was even seizing English cargoes and excusing himself by saying they were Portuguese.         One of the Howard family, chronicles differ which, was sent to sea on an expedition sanctioned by Henry but declared to be private so as to stave off political repercussion. Barton was a hero to many of his countrymen, and England could not afford much trouble with Scotland (that's why Henry makes such a to-do in the last two verses). Barton valiantly fought to the last, drumming his men to a charge while dying of his wounds. But Howard captured his ship Lion, and his bark Jenny Pirwyn, and brought them back to London with Barton's head and such of his crew as were still alive.
        The King of Scots sent asking redress for Barton's slaughter. But Henry refused on grounds that since Barton was a pirate it was no breach of the peace if an English private citizen happened to strike up a quarrel with him on the high seas and, alas, kill him. Regrettable, of course, but ... The two kings, as kings do, settled it amicably between themselves, though a great many Scots stayed unhappy. Child notes that Henry Martyn (No. 250), a weaker and less interesting ballad, "must have sprung from the ashes of Andrew Barton." [BC]

@outlaw @pirate
Child #167
filename[ ANDBART2

Son of Child CD Track 7

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From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 11:09 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Word come to Scotland king,
Word about Johnny Armstrong,
Been a-robbing of the North country
And doing the people wrong.
The King wrote a lovely letter
And he's sealed it with his own hand,
And sent it to Johnny Armstrong's house,
Come see me in High Scotland.
Johnny read that letter over
And he sang like a bird in a tree,
I never stood before no king,
So the King I'm a-going to see.
But when he left his own front door
It come a cold shower of rain,
Fare you well, my childhood home,
I may never come back again.
Now when he come to High Scotland town
With all of his men riding,
The ladies curtseyed to the ground
More royal than to the King.
But when he come before the throne
To ask the King's pardon,
Away, away, you false traitor,
I'll see you condemned and hung.
Johnny looked over his left shoulder,

Said here's a graceless thing,
I should have known better than to ask
My pardon of such a king.
And then old Scotland all rise up,
Rise up by thousand three,
A cowardly man behind his back
Has stabbed my fair Johnny.
Beware, beware of a country where
Kings such treachery try,
He tossed back his yellow hair,
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.
Welcome home, my red roan mare,
You always loved oats and hay,
But since you come back with your saddle bare
You must eat sorry straw today.

(Johnie Armstrong, No. 169)
        The Armstrongs were people of power in the border district of Liddesdale from the 14th century on, and by the 16th century they were a dominant force in Scottish national politics and a definite nuisance to England, said to command more than 3,000 horsemen. Nothing in the private sector except corporations could be called equivalent in our day for lawlessness, immorality and general applecart-upsetting.
        John Armstrong Laird of Kimockie with his brother Thomas Laird of Mangerton, Sym Armstrong of Whitlaugh and a chiel with the genial nickname of Ill Will Armstrong collaborated in a systematic series of raids over the Cheviots to lay waste the English side. In this absorbing pursuit they pulled down parish churches, scattered households, and brought Scotland and England to the brink of war (which was nothing new).
        Other measures having failed, or so it was said, King James V of Scotland, in the summer of 1530, levied an army and agreed with the lords and barons at Edinburgh to bring the Armstrongs and a number of other bad types to a reasonable facsimile of justice. Invitations were sent to the lairds for a grand deer hunt; there may have been an implicit understanding that pardon or amnesty or something might be involved. It did not fall out so. John Armstrong, among others, took the bait, coming with a band of followers, but no safe-conduct, to Edinburgh. He was fallen upon; his men were unequal to his defense, and he was taken, imprisoned, and hanged. No trial is recorded, and the summary nature of the execution dismayed many Scots who idolized John of Kilnockie.
        When I came to write my version I followed Armstrong's sympathizers. It was 1971, and the events seemed all too contemporary, with rage in the air, false talk of amnesty, and the shadow of death over all. The first spring flowers were getting ready to pop, and in the bliss of spring the sky was bringing destruction to faraway friends who could not be helped in time. No King seemed good to me. Nor does now. [BC]

@outlaw @border
Child #169
filename[ JARMSTR3

Son of Child CD Track 10 - listed as "Johnny Armstrong's Last Lament"

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Subject: Lyr Add: HEIST HER IN THE BASKET (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 11:11 AM

(Bob Coltman)

Down to the ocean to get a little fish
Went little Sally in the morning. .
The grocery boy come a-running along
To follow little Sally wherever she's going,

cho:        Heist her in the basket high,
        Heist her in the basket low,
        Heist her in the basket up so high
        She'll never come down any more.

Tell me where you live at,
I ain't seen you till now,
I'd like to come and visit you .
If you'll be so kind as to tell me how.

Daddy's a mean old jailer,
My Mammy keeps the key.
You'll have to be a tough nut
To get past Daddy and Mammy to me.

Don't you worry, baby,
Don't you worry none.
I'll be in your feather bed
Tonight before the moon goes down.

He got him a good long ladder
And a basket light and strong,
And he went and he got his brother Sam
To climb on the roof and lower him down..

Daddy fell to snorin', I
But Mammy she's awake.
Hark, there's something stirrin',
Listen little Sally's old brass bed shake!

Daddy raised one eyelid,
Said hush your silly noise
Get along to the Devil with you,
Our little Sally don't mess with boys.

Just a daggone minute,
It's exactly like I said.
Somebody's done burgled us
And he's burglin' Sally in her very own bed!

The old'woman come stumbhn',
Into the basket fell
Brother felt her tugging
And he hauled her up like a bucket from a well.

Oh my mercy sakes alive,
Old man don't you see?
You wished me to the Devil just now
And here the Devil's come for me!

Keep on a-haulin',
The old man's heard to say.
You'll do me a favor
If you keep the old lady till Judgment Day.

Her and that Sally,
You can have 'em both to keep
If we could just get peace and quiet,
Maybe I'd get a little wink of sleep.

(The Keach in the Creel, No. 281)
Here's the sort of archaic skin fable that made Chaucer tingle. There are lots more of them, this is only a taste. The Whummil Bore, the Friar in the Well, the Boy and, the Mantle ... oh, look out, I may have to do another record. In fact, the second Son of Child may already be fattening the Muse's pretty waist. As a song, the original doesn't go back very far; it seems to have escaped print until a cluster of scholars nabbed it in the early 19th century. But the incident of consummating an affair by means of ladder, basket and chimney or skylight has a long and honorable history stretching back at least as far as the Middle Urges. There are some good British versions being sung today, and there should have been some good American ones, but evidently the transmigration from Scottish to American sidewalks doesn't work as well as the one from glens to hollers. This song must be my remedy. [BC]

Child #281
filename[ KEACHCR5

Son of Child CD Track 5

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Subject: Lyr Add: PATRICK SPENCER (Bob Coltman)
From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 08:00 PM

(Bob Coltman)

Oh, don't the moon look pretty, she sails like a ship in the sky,
Darling, you don't know nothing about sailing, she's got a cast in her eye,
When the moon weeps silvery tears, you can look for a terrible storm,
God pity the sailor that's out tomorrow, I'm glad I can bide at home.

If you be Patrick Spencer, and man, you better had be,
Here's a letter from the King, he commands you to go to sea,
How little he thinks of the dangers, among his wine and his song,
His daughter in far Norroway, she's sick and she wants to come home.

He might have written me greeting, he might have cast me blame,
He might have asked me a hundred favors, God knows I'd never complain,
But this running up in the rigging with a hurricane on the wing,
It's come to a matter of life and death to have to pleasure the King.

Standing out to sea, oh Lord, it commenced to rain,
The sea like the tops of mountains, and the wind like a thing in pain,
Patrick Spencer took his glass, and he put it in Johnny's hand,
Run up, Johnny, as high as you can, and see if you can see any land.

No land, Patrick Spencer, no never a sight of shore,
Then give it over, boys, he cried, we'll never see home anymore
Never mind your buckle shoes, for you'll wet more than your feet
And as for the letter from the King, it's a damn small winding sheet.

Christine be a long, long while a-waiting for me to come home,
And the cold, cold sea be a long, long time a-walking over my bones
That man that told the King about me, I wish I had him here
And the one last wish I would like to have granted is to carry him under with me.

(Sir Patrick Spens, No. 58)
I was surprised when I looked it up to find there's really not much historical basis for this song. History does give an occasion: the never fully explained loss of Princess Margaret, "the Maid of Norway", placing the Scots succession in jeopardy. The beloved King Alexander III had died of a fall from a horse pushing through Fife in a tempest, and Margaret, daughter of Eric King of Norway, was the nearest heir. Scots custom forbade a female sovereign, and civil war swirled around the dark figure of Robert the Bruce, who sought the throne. Edward I of England sent for Margaret out of Norway to marry his son and take the Scottish throne, but word came first that she would travel by land instead of sea, then that she was dead, of an illness that may or may not have been political. Foul play or fair, the succession failed, paving the way for the rising of William Wallace and the eventual succession of Robert. But what is the place of Spens in all this? A ship sent for Margaret indeed did fall foul of evil weather on the return trip, and many knights and nobles who were to have been her guard of honor were drowned. But there is no record of a Patrick Spens. There are local traditions surrounding the name: on the island of Papa Stronsey, roughly "half ower to Aberdour", there is a standing stone reputed to be Spens' grave, but then there are about a thousand Robin Hood's Hills, and look at all the places George Washington slept in. However it may really be, both the time of year and the weather omens were bad, the new moon holding the old in her arm, and the King in his safe warm apartments was like bosses everywhere: fazed not at all by hardship when subordinates can be ordered to undergo it. How many despots have lightly chosen men and women to throw into the jaws of death? And how do they sleep?

Child #58
@sea @Scots
filename[ PATSPEN2

Son of Child CD Track 8

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From: Susan of DT
Date: 20 Sep 07 - 08:04 PM

(Bob Coltman)

Old Captain Hanley was wounded in the war
Come a-rapping, come a-tapping, come a-knocking on Mazie's door
His old peg leg didn't faze him none
Looked little Mazie over and he said to her, Hon:

I'm an old soldier
I'm a-gonna roll you soon as I can
I got teeth to keep my gold in
Whiskers on my soul
And I'm a-gonna roll you once
And then I'll roll you again

He drew out his hanger and he backed her to the wall
His beard was so prickly, it made her skin crawl
Now hold it, said Mazie, not so daggone fast
First you must answer some questions I'm a-gonna ask
Where is my needle and where is my thread
And what do I keep down at the foot of my bed
And how many stitches in this long nightgown
That's three you must answer if you want to roll me down

Needle's in the haystack, you've run out of thread
You keep your skimpies at the foot of your bed
And not too many stitches in your nightgown to tear
I'll roll you down if you just show me where

Now what is the thing that I most desire
And what is the thing that I do most require
And what is the thing that's both pointed and round
Answer me that if you want to roll me down

Now I've got the thing that you most do desire
And I've got the thing that you most do require
And pointed and round is here under my hand
I'll roll you down if you'll just tell me when

Well will you be careful and will you be true
Gentle my body and humor my rue
Be kind to my clothes as you rip them away
What, tell me what, will my dear mother say

You know I can't answer a one of those
To Hell with your mother, to Hell with your clothes
To Hell with your questions, I'll give you a kiss
And if that don't keep you quiet, I'll try some of this

Now old Captain Hanley had no more to say
He hauled on her nightie and he ripped it away
Took off his britches and his regimental hat
Ain't gonna tell you what happened after that.

note: son of Child #46 (NOTE: TUNE FILE: CAPWEDER)
Recorded by Coltman- Son of Child
Copyright Bob Coltman, 1973
@parody @courting
filename[ CAPHANLY

Lonesome Robin CD Track 10

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Subject: Lyr Add: TOM O' THE LINN (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 04:17 AM

(Son of Child #39, Tam Lin)
(Bob Coltman)

Jenny, don't go by the lover's walk,
Don't you go to the fair,
And never you stray by Carter' Hall,
For Tom o' the Linn is there,

Carter' Hall' my very own,
Daddy gave it to me,
I'll there if I want to,
I need not to ask any leave.

She picked the flowers one by one
And never a sight of man,
When out steps Tom o' the Linn himself
And takes her by the hand,

He never asked her any leave,
He weighed her down to the ground,
And when he let her up again
Her petticoat was torn.

Four and twenty ladies went
A-dancing at the ball,
Said, Jenny, what' the matter with you?
You look so pale and all,

In came her uncle,
Jenny what have you done?
If ever a girl was gone with child,
Jenny, you're the one.

Well, if I am with child
Then who bears the blame?
There's never a man hear good enough
To give my child a name,

She pulled up her petticoats
Round about her knee,
And she ran off to Carter's Hall,
Tom o' the Linn to see.

Tom, love, Tom a' the Lin,
Tom, show your face,
Are you of the heaven or hell,
Or of an earthly race?

I am earth-born and earthly bred,
And an earthly father's heir,
But I've been in the Middle Mist
For more than seven year.

Tonight is Halloween, Lady,
And Hallowday to come,
And your true heart might win me back
Ere Halloween be done,
For out of Middle Mist the fairy
Folk will fly tonight,
And you must wait at Mile Cross Bridge
And hold onto me tight.

For I shall turn, and change, and turn,
And change within your arm,
But see you keep a hold on me,
And I'll do you no harm,
Hold to me, I'll hold to thee
Like the true of earthly men,
And dip me in a dish of milk,
And I'll be yours again.

About the middle of the night
She heard the bridles ring,
And Jenny was as glad at that
As any earthly thing,
She knew him by his right-hand glove,
His left hand being bare,
White, white horse and golden curls,
She caught him in the air.

He grew into a Carribee,
He turned into a snake,
He changed into a grizzly bear,
She thought her arms would break,
He turned into a fall of ice,
Into a whipping wind,
Then he became a red-hot iron
And burned poor Jenny's hand,
She doused him with a dish of milk,
And he was a naked man.

She covered him with her green mantle
To keep him from the rain.
The Queen of Middle Mist spoke up
Out of a bush of rye,
Then that's gotten Tom o' the Linn
Have gotten a perfect boy,
If I'd a-known you yesterday
I'd not a-bode alone,
I'd a-snatched out your heart of flesh
And sizzled it on a stone.

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE LASS OF ROCH ROYAL (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 06:44 PM


(Son of Child #76, The Lass of Roch Royal)
(Bob Coltman)

Now, who'll shoe your pretty foot,
And who'll glove your hand,
Yes, who'll shoe your pretty foot
When I'm in the Louisian', my love,
When I'm in the Louisian'?

I'll wear my oldest shoes, my love,
Let the wind come chap my hand,
My kisses will be for you alone,
For you're my only man, my dear,
You're my only man.

Away, away on the riverboat,
Far as I can see,
There he stood on the afterdeck,
A-wavin' back at me, me,
A-wavin' back at me.

The night so dark and a drizzle of rain,
And bitter cold the air,
I dreamt somebody rose and cried,
Who's that a-knockin' there? oh,
Who's that a-knockin' there?

I went down, unlatched the door,
I looked out into the park,
I thought I saw my true love's form
A-glidin' through the dark, oh,
A-glidin' through the dark.

She cried as hard as ever she had,
She ran to the river shore,
She thought she heard her true love's voice,
You'll never see me more, no,
You'll never see me more.

I heard the riverboat was sunk,
I heard that it went down,
I heard there wasn't a one was saved,
And every last one drowned,
And every last one drowned.

Oh sorrow such as I never dreamed,
That I should live so long,
To live alone in Roch Royal
And my love forever gone,
And my love forever gone.

For who will shoe my foot now,
Or who will hold my head,
Who will ever kiss me again
Now my love is dead? and gone,
Now my love is dead?

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: WITCHES' COURTING (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 08:08 PM

(Son of Child #44, The Two Magicians)
(Bob Coltman)

Oh, she stood in the window, white as milk,
He came a-riding in the sky, black as silk.

No, no, no, no, you coal-black smith,
You shall do me no wrong,
I never shall change my maidenhead
That I have kept so long,
For I shall flee, and for I shall fly,
Black is the devil in you, a maiden I shall die.

Then she became a dove, a-flying over the air,
And he became a hawk, and he snatched her down from there.

Then she became a fish, a-swimming in the flood,
And he became a kingfisher, and drawed her pretty blood.

Then she became a rabbit, a-bounding over the hill,
And he became a greyhound, and ran her faster still.

Then she became a grey mare, a-pacing on the track,
And he became a saddle a-setting on her back.

Then she became a ship, a-sailing on the sea,
And he became a calm, and she could not sail free.

Then she became a woman, and he became a man,
No more changes, ever I can stand,
If you would have me yours, as I would have you mine,
Make yourself a tree, and I will be your vine.

He turned to a tree, a-growing up from the ground,
But she turned to an axe, and so quickly cut him down.

You changed and you changed me, more than I could bide,
Now lie there as helpless as you would have me lie.

Then away and away, and away goes she,
Away to her window in her own country,
And away and away, and away goes I,
And if you don't like it, why, neither did I.

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BROWN GIRL (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 08:58 PM

(Son of Child #295)

(Bob Coltman)

I am as brown as brown can be,
My eyes as black as a sloe,
I can sing pretty as a nightingale,
And dance like any doe,
And dance like any doe,
I can sing pretty as a nightingale,
And dance like any doe.

My love sent me a love letter
From his palace up in town,
He said he could not fancy me
Because I am so brown,
Because I am so brown, etc.

Well, I don't care, and I will not care,
And I don't care a pin,
He may go on just how he likes,
And he may kiss the wind,
And he may kiss the wind, etc.

There's a many and there's a crowd
That's anxious for my arms,
And there's fine fellows more than one
That loves a brown girl's charms,
CHORUS varying as before

No some six months were past and gone,
And I'd about forgot,
He wrote me a new love letter,
Sounding desperate,

Says, Betsy, pretty Betsy,
Oh, won't you please come quick?
For lack of you and thinkin' of you,
My love has made me sick,

I tell you how I hurried,
It might well make you smile,
I was a lee long summer's day
Going a quarter mile,

Now when I came to his bedside,
I could not hide my sass,
I tried to make my face behave,
But I just broke out and laughed.

Says, Here is your broken faith,
The same you gave to me,
I give it fully back to you
As broken as can be.

If you insist on dying,
Don't look for me to rave, -
I'll dance my prettiest dances on
Your sad and lonesome grave.

If you insist on dying,
Don't look for me to cry,
I'll be in the greenwood with
Some handsome neighbor boy.

But if you're thinkin' of living,
Don't call, for I won't come,
I'll be charmin' the eyes of them
That don't think I'm too brown!

Click to play (joeweb)

"No some six months were past and gone" - is that right, Bob?

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Subject: Lyr Add: CAPTAIN CARR (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 09:46 PM

(Son of Child #178, Captain Car, or, Edom o' Gordon)

(Bob Coltman)

Hard is the fighting,
Now that winter's come,
Got to find some place to go
To rest our weary bones.

I know where there's a castle
Built of lime and stone,
The lord is fighting far away,
His lady's livin' at home.

Margaret's walkin' on the castle wall,
She seen the troops ridin' down,
She thought it was her very own lord
Come a-ridin' home.

She come dancin' down the stairs,
She slid back the bar,
In come Adam Gordon,
And in come Captain Carr.

Here's three hundred tired men
Wantin' to take their rest,
And I the first among them all
To lay my head on your breast.

Go get me my pistol out,
Load it ready to fire,
I will not give my castle up
To wicked Captain Carr.

Oh, damn your soul, John Singleton,
That ever I paid your hire,
For now you've broke my castle wall,
And set my house on fire,

The Captain caught her oldest son,
Led him before the rest,
Tore the tongue out of his head,
The heart out of his breast.

Then up spoke her youngest son
Sittin' upon her knee,
Mother, better give up the house,
The smoke is smotherin' me.

She climbed to the highest floor,
The top of the highest stair,
The fire licked her gold stockin's,
The sparks flew in her hair.

Her children round her petticoats,
The flames around her head,
She took and kissed them one by one,
Said, Babies, we are all dead.

Home came Lord Hamilton,
Weary for his bed,
He found his house all burnt to the ground,
His wife and babies dead.

Round and round the walls he went,
Their ashes for to view,
Oh curse you, curse you, Captain Carr,
That ever you came in view.

Oh curse you, curse you, Captain Carr,
That your mother ever bore you,
And now this fire is hot enough,
I'll bid this world adieu.

He went as close, and close to the edge
Where the flames leapt thrice times three,
He let himself drop into the flames
No future ever to see.

Click to play (joeweb)

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From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 10:50 PM

(Son of Child #83, Child Maurice)

(Bob Coltman)

Willie Morris played in the street,
He played all over the town,
But when he saw Jim Thomas's wife
He ducked his little head down,

In the showers of rain so cold,
The showers of beautiful rain.

She's the very first woman that ever loved me,
John, do you see what I mean?
Run and give her this handkerchief,
And tell her to come see me,

Willie, you can't mean what you say,
Do you want to lose your life?
You're not but barely fifteen years old,
And that's Jim Thomas's wife,

John didn't go to her at all,
He went to Jim Thomas instead,
Mister Thomas, I don't know how
To say what's got to be said,

Willie Morris is friend of mine,
He is my friend for life,
But I can't conscion him foolin' around
To ruin a good man's wife,

Jim Thomas put his coat on slow,
He reached and he got him knife,
I don't care if he is a kid,
He's not gonna mess with my wife,

Virginia found the handkerchief,
Said Lord, can it ever be so?
For I wrapped this round my baby's head
Such a very long time ago,

She ran on out into the street,
She ran all over the town,
She found Jim Thomas a-wipin' his knife,
And Willie Morris struck down,

What's the matter, Virginia dear,
Can't you find your tongue?
I think this kid's some lover of yours,
Didn't know you liked 'em so young,

Oh God, he was no lover of mine,
As any fool might've seen,
He was my only baby boy,
Born when I's only fifteen,

She lifted up his bloody head,
She laid it over her knee,
Poor little Willie, poor little child,
He wanted to come see me,

I got him by my true loving,
And I got Jim Thomas the same,
And now little Willie's dead for no reason
I'll never love again,

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: ELFLAND (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 23 Oct 13 - 11:48 PM

(Son of Child #40, The Queen of Elfan's Nourice)

(Bob Coltman)

I heard a cow low in the forest deep,
Sunrise and tiptoe and all the world asleep,
I heard a cow low, I had to go see,
Could've caught a horn in the brush, no milk for baby,

Elfland, Elfland is near,
Elfland, Elfland is here,
Ever so wary, feet lest they stray,
Elfland, steal you away.

In the sparkle of the sunshine
I set my foot wrong, and crossed a line,
I met an elf-woman, come then, says she,
Your breasts are full, you shall nurse my baby.

Seven long years, Oh! let me go!
My little baby is crying, I know,
Seven long years, and the dew is so cold,
And my little baby will be so very old.

Seven long years, and seven more, I'm sure,
Pled and I pled till I could plead no more,
She smiled an elf-smile: Fine then, go home,
The milk of a mortal is hard as a stone.

So soon as I ran home, ran in at the door,
There lay baby, just as before,
Seven and seven years, yet it came so soon,
It was just eleven, and now it is noon,

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: YOUNG WATERS (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:28 AM

(Son of Child #63, Child Waters)

(Bob Coltman)

Down to the stable, and a-ready for to ride,
By come fair Ellen, says, Darling, won't you bide?
I can't bide, nor I can't stay,
I'm bound to go a-riding, I'm already half away.

You're hasty in your riding, I wonder do you see
This long skirt I'm wearing, how short it's got for me,
There's a child in my body, so little and weak
'Twould claim you for its father if it could only speak.

Wherever I'm going no woman can go,
Oh let me go with you, I'll dress as a boy,
Cut short my gown and cut short my curls,
I shall be your footpage, none know me for a girl.

All day long Young Waters did ride,
All day long she run barefoot by his side,
Never for a moment did he have the courtesy
To give her a hand up and say, Ellen, ride with me.

They came to the water, Ellen stumbled in,
I have run these twenty miles, and now must I swim?
Oh, won't you go slower? Oh, must you ride so fast?
This child that is none but yours will make my body burst.

Oh don't you see the island, the tower of red gold,
The fair and silken bower, the dark ancient wood,
The ladies in the garden, a-playing at the ball,
And my own intended lover the fairest of them all.

Why, is this your footpage, how handsome is he!
He seems so tired, let me take him in with me,
Oh no, says young Waters, he's been running in the mire,
He must take my horse to grass and build the kitchen fire.

He sent Ellen down to town, alow down in the street
For to hire him a damsel the night for to keep,
Now, darling Waters, let me lie at your bedfeet,
For I am weak and terrible cold, and I have nowhere to sleep.

Rise up, young Waters, you sleep so like the dead,
The cries I hear below the bedfoot like to freeze my head,
It sounds like some ghost in penitence doth groan,
Or else some woman in childbed far gone.

He rose up and found her, singing lullaby,
Her voice a mixture of grief and of joy,
His heart broke within him, he came and took her hand,
Saying, you have been the truest girl, and I the cruelest man.

Peace now, Ellen, and let me see you smile,
I swear I shall love you through all the after while,
If I have been your devil, I will now change my way,
And the bridal and the christening shall be one single day.

Click to play (joeweb)

Bob - first verse, second line - is that supposed to be "By come fair Ellen"? (Bob replied that "by come fair Ellen" is correct)

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Subject: Lyr Add: UNCLE LINKIN (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 01:53 AM

(Sir John Butler, Son of Child #165)

(Bob Coltman)

Daddy, oh Daddy, won't you wake up now?
I seen from high windows where stout boats doth row,
Boats built of willow, and covered with skin,
And the very first boat carries Uncle Linkin.

Run, Ellen Butler, run downstairs and call,
Let all the pretty serving-girls lock up my hall,
Tell them to bar up, and not let him in,
For the cold wrath of God is your Uncle Linkin.

Daddy, oh Daddy, the door's open wide,
And Uncle Linkin is a-standin' inside,
With a long sword and buckler and a big ugly grin,
Says your gold cannot buy you from Uncle Linkin.

John Butler lay shiv'ring, while all through the halls,
John Butler lay shiv'ring, while they pounded on the walls,
John Butler lay shiv'ring with the quilts to his chin,
Till in come Will Savage and Uncle Linkin.

Love Lady Butler a-riding in mud,
She dreamt that her lord was a-drowndin' in his blood,
Turn back, comely coachman, turn back, take me home,
For fear that Uncle Linkin has kilt my man John.

Oh curse you, Will Savage, and false Percy Lee,
And curse the false porter that brought this on me,
Hung a light in the window, by water and wind,
And unbarred the portals to let Linkin in.

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: SHUT THE DINGDANG DOOR (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 02:12 AM

Son of Child #275

(Bob Coltman)

We had a spell of cold last night, it was the bitter end,
Froze my nose and froze my toes, ain't been this cold since when,
Old Cody come a-rollin' in from the barn,
He drug his chair up by the fire and commenced gettin' warm,

Ring a ma rye,
Ring a ma ree,
If it don't bother you, my love,
It don't bother me.

The wind blowed like the devil, it whipped around the barn,
It blowed the front door open, like to froze the whole consarn,
Big white snowdrift piled up on the floor,
Marthie says to Cody, Git up and shut that door.

Cody says to Marthie, you ought to of kept still,
I was a-gonna shut it, but no I don't b'lieve I will,
You're up and I'm restin', I'm so dang cold I'm blue,
If anybody shuts that door, old woman, it's a-gonna be you.

Marthie says to Cody, Be danged if I do,
My hand are all greazy from cookin' this stew,
I'm workin', you're sittin', now need I say more?
Git up off your duff, old man, and shut the dingdang door.

Cody picked up the paper, said, I ain't a-gonna budge,
Marthie set the stew to cool and started makin' fudge,
Doggone you, old Cody, I ain't a-gonna say no more,
Which of us speaks first is gonna have to shut that door.

Cody and Marthie, stubborn as they been,
The door stood open, and the wind blowed in,
Cody and Marthie turned a fine shade of blue,
But neither one would speak a word and neither one would move.

Long after midnight, must of been nigh four,
Two jolly burglars come a-wand'rin' in at the door,
One says to the other, Now, tell me, ain't this nice?
It must be two statues all carved out of ice.

I'll tell you what we'll do, my friend, it's what we've never done,
That's take a break from burglary and have a little fun,
Take the fudge that's on the stove, and sharpen up your knife,
Lather and shave the old man, and I'll kiss the wife.

Old Cody jumped up from his chair and started in to roar,
Daggone you two-bit burglars, I ain't a-gonna take no more,
Old Marthie started dancin' all over the floor,
Cody, you have spoke the first, now shut the dingdang door.

Ring a ma rye,
Ring a ma ree,
If it don't bother you, my love,
It don't bother me.

Click to play (joeweb)

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Subject: Lyr Add: ROSIANNE (Bob Coltman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Oct 13 - 02:18 AM

Son of Child #50-51, The Bonny Hind / Lizie Wan

(Bob Coltman)

Oh George, oh George, where are you a-goin'?
Down to the riverside land,
It's been a long, too long of a time
Since I seen Rosianne,
Since I seen Rosianne.

It always looks so pretty to see
You take her by the hand,
Such love and care for a sister
Is becoming in a man,
Is becoming in a man.

Dear Rosianne, give me your hand,
And Rosie why not rise?
Why do you set so steadfast still,
And the tears all fillin' your eyes?
And the tears all fillin' your eyes?

Oh George, oh George, how couldn't you know?
I thought you surely knew,
A child of brother and sister:
Is that plain enough for you?
Is that plain enough for you?

Why didn't you tell me this before?
Why did you let it wait?
We could a-done what had to be done,
But now it is too late,
But now it is too late.

She creeped, she cuddled close to him,
She bowed her golden head,
He slipped his dagger into her side,
And left her faintin' and dead,
He left her faintin' and dead.

Oh George where are you a-goin' so quick?
And where is Rosianne?
I left her down by the bank of the brook,
A-talkin' to a man,
A-talkin' to a man.

They washed her poor spilt blood away,
They combed her silken brown,
They had to bury her in the field
And not in churchyard ground,
And not in churchyard ground.

But where, or where is George? they said,
As they were a-lowerin' her down,
But when they went to look for him
They found him a-wand'rin' around,
They found him a-wand'rin' around.

Click to play (joeweb)

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