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Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle

Related threads:
Folklore: Hunting the witch at Pendle Hill (55)
Lyr Req: Old Pendle (Milton Allen, Brian Osborne) (27)


Jack Blandiver 19 May 08 - 09:56 AM
Barb'ry 19 May 08 - 10:14 AM
Jack Blandiver 19 May 08 - 10:50 AM
Bryn Pugh 19 May 08 - 11:14 AM
GUEST, Sminky 19 May 08 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Austin Pollard 10 Feb 09 - 06:08 PM
Steve Shaw 10 Feb 09 - 06:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Feb 09 - 08:24 PM
GUEST,Austin Pollard 10 Feb 09 - 10:07 PM
Malcolm Douglas 10 Feb 09 - 10:16 PM
GUEST,Austin Pollard 10 Feb 09 - 10:35 PM
alex s 11 Feb 09 - 05:46 AM
Bernard 11 Feb 09 - 09:20 AM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Feb 09 - 10:08 AM
Bernard 11 Feb 09 - 12:30 PM
The Sandman 11 Feb 09 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Austin Pollard 11 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM
andrewq 11 Feb 09 - 04:18 PM
Snuffy 11 Feb 09 - 05:26 PM
Weasel 11 Feb 09 - 05:36 PM
s&r 11 Feb 09 - 06:35 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Feb 09 - 09:43 PM
Susanne (skw) 14 Feb 09 - 05:52 PM
GUEST,Helen Howard 25 Mar 09 - 08:53 PM
GUEST,Rod of Warton, Carnforth 02 Nov 10 - 12:24 PM
Ian Hendrie 02 Nov 10 - 01:05 PM
GUEST,Lizzie 19 Jun 11 - 09:43 AM
GUEST 04 Jun 14 - 05:58 PM
Ross Campbell 04 Jun 14 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,guest -headey 05 Jun 14 - 07:06 AM
GUEST,threelegsoman 06 Jun 14 - 03:19 AM
GUEST 06 Jun 14 - 03:23 AM
GUEST,freespiritceol1 06 Jun 14 - 06:42 AM
GUEST,janet 05 Jan 18 - 04:47 PM
GUEST,henryp 06 Jan 18 - 09:03 AM
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Subject: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 May 08 - 09:56 AM

Spent much of yesterday motoring around rural Lancashire to the accompaniment of Dolly Parton's 2002 masterpiece Halos & Horns; turned up some very singular carvings in the church of St. Bartholomew in Chipping & chanced upon the splendid Bowland Wild Boar Park on the banks of The Hodder wherein a memory was sparked of a song sung by our old oppo Frank Williamson up at The Durham Folk Club. A search on Mudcat proved fruitless, but a search on Google turned up the following:

Oh Pendle.....

....oh Pendle, thou standest alone,
Twixt Burnley and Clitheroe, Whalley and Colne,
Where Hodder and Ribble's fair waters do meet,
With Barley and Downham content at thy feet.

Oh Pendle, oh Pendle, majestic, sublime,
Thy praises will ring till the end of all time,
Thy beauty eternal, thy banner unfurled,
Thou dearest and grandest old hill in the world.

And when witches fly on a cold winter's night,
You must not tell a soul, and you'll bolt the door tight,
You'll sit by the fireside and keep yourself warm,
Until once again you can walk in her arms.

Oh Pendle, Oh Pendle, o'er moorland and fell,
In glorious loveliness ever to dwell,
Through life's fateful journey where e'er we may be,
We'll cease in our labours and oft think of thee.

....Traditional song.


Click HERE to see it in context.

Traditional? I have my doubts, but if anyone would care to enlighten me either way...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle
From: Barb'ry
Date: 19 May 08 - 10:14 AM

You are quite right that it isn't a traditional song! I think it was written by the late Brian Osbourne of the Blackpool Taveners. Glad you are enjoying Lancashire - will we see you at any of the clubs?
Barb'ry


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 19 May 08 - 10:50 AM

We're regulars at The Steamer in Fleetwood, and have dipped a toe into The Clarence, and are still on a promise to visit Pete & John over at The Plough in Staining. Otherwise we're at The Beech sing in Chorlton on the first Wednesday of the month, health permitting, and popped into a Bank Holiday sing in at The Orwell in Wigan back in August too...

We hear tell of a good 'un in Preston too; hopefully we'll get along one of these days. Any further recommendations much appreciated! Anything nice & rural I wonder?

Otherwise - loving Lancashire...


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 19 May 08 - 11:14 AM

I thought this was written by Roger (can't remember his surname, but he also danced with Garstang) of the Pendle Folk ?


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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD PENDLE (Milton Allan, Brian Osborne)
From: GUEST, Sminky
Date: 19 May 08 - 11:58 AM

OLD PENDLE

(Words: Milton Allan; Tune: Brian Osborne)

Pendle, old Pendle, thou standest alone.
Twixt Burnley and Clitheroe, Whalley and Colne,
Where Hodder and Ribble's fair waters do meet
With Barley and Downham content at thy feet.

Pendle, old Pendle, by moorland and fell
In glory and loveliness, ever to dwell
On life's faithful journey, where e'er I may be,
I'll pause in my labours, and oft think of thee.

When witches fly out on a dark rainy night,
We'll not tell a soul, and we'll bar the door tight,
We'll sit near to t' fire, and keep ourselves warm
Until once again we can walk on thy arm.

Pendle, old Pendle, majestic, sublime
Thy praises shall ring till the end of all time
Thy beauty eternal, thy banner unfurled,
Thou'rt dearest and grandest old hill in the world


Tickawinda did a fine version of this song on their album Rosemary Lane.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Austin Pollard
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 06:08 PM

Hmm, Brian Osborne wrote one verse, but as for the tune - check out "Songs of a changing world" 1973 Trailer LER 2083. (Tony Rose/Jon Raven/Nic Jones)

Track 1 "The Rosemary" performed by Jon Raven and is credited to Pete Dodds, but doesn't mention the tune - which is the same as Old Pendle!

I've lost the album, so I can't check the sleeve notes - has anyone out there got a copy?

Puzzled

AP


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 06:49 PM

Pendle looked lovely last week with snow right to the bottom. I took some lovely pics in the sunshine with Clitheroe Castle in the middle ground. I'd just taken my mum for lunch at The Three Fishes in Mitton and we went for a little drive round afterwards. Now that I live in Cornwall I have to see some decent high ground once in a while, and Pendle, which I must have clambered up dozens of times in my youth, never disappoints. :-) Never "Pendle Hill," by the way!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 08:24 PM

I've never heard 'Old Pendle' sung so far as I remember. The insert with Songs of a Changing World credits both words and music (for 'The Rosemary', that is) to Dodds. The tune as sung by Jon Raven is very generic and I wouldn't be surprised to find others turning up very like to it; perhaps even predating both songs.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Austin Pollard
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:07 PM

Thanks Malcolm - Ignoring the chorus of "The Rosemary" - listening to the tape, the verse tune sounds pretty nigh on identical to me (and I have been known to play 'old pendle' so I'm pretty familiar with that as well). Still, could just be me...

I'd be interested in knowing if anyone knows of similar (traditional?) tunes predating both these songs. It often happens that we draw on half remembered traditional tunes and phrases when writing songs, only to have some clever b*gger say "Oh that's just like the tune to ..." ;O)

When did Brian write 'Old Pendle'? Anyone have the Blackpool Taverners LP it's on? I'm pretty sure the long-defunct group 'The Pendlefolk' were singing it in 1970 or thereabouts.

Perhaps Burnley Folk Club could help? Alex! Get on the case! ;o))

Austin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:16 PM

I don't doubt your ear; as I say, I'm not familiar with 'Old Pendle'. After some consideration, I'd suggest that the 'Rosemary' tune is pretty much a variation (conscious or unconscious) on 'The Unfortunate Rake'.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Austin Pollard
Date: 10 Feb 09 - 10:35 PM

Thanks Malcolm, Interesting. If you mean the 'The Unfortunate Rake' aka 'St James Infirmary' I see what you mean - there are a lot of variations on that tune. Hmmm.

But I'm probably just being anal about it!

Thing is, I'm from Pendle, and as this is one of the few songs that mention Pendle it's one of the ones people always ask for in the Pub round there.

So there I was in deepest Hampshire at Halloween a couple of years ago playing it in a local folk club (it's a really fun-to-play melodeon tune): someone pipes up 'that's the same tune as ...'. It's been niggling me ever since ...

Austin


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: alex s
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:46 AM

Hi Austin

I'll do my best, although in all honesty I have to say it's one of my most "unfavourite" songs..............Nuff sed. But in the spirit of folk music I promise to try.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:20 AM

A correction... the tune was actually written by Ted Edwards (the original song was 'Come Back Love'), and Brian collected the poem, added a verse and put it to Ted's tune. Somewhere along the line confusion set in, and Brian was credited with actually writing the tune.

Ted's PC is currently at my house for repair, so I may be able to check it for more details this evening - but it also means he is temporarily unable to read his email.

Ted isn't particularly interested in chasing this matter, particularly as his namesake Brian is no longer with us (Ted's name is really Brian), but some of his close friends (of whom I am one) would simply prefer to see the record set straight, purely as a historical matter.

If you happen to be near Lymm, Cheshire this evening, Ted will be at the Saracen's Head, Warburton, for Songs in the Snug... ask him yourself. Unfortunately on this occasion

Consider... Brian Osborne (who I also knew and had buckets of respect for) and Brian 'Ted' Edwards... a reputation as a prolific lyricist and tunesmith?

No, I do not wish to 'knock' Brian Osborne's memory, and I am well aware that somehow he ended up with copyright accreditation on the tune. This has more to do with the way copyright used to 'happen' to folk music in the 1960s than any deliberate attempt on Brian's part to actually deceive.

I also believe that Alan Bell, who set up the copyright (or so it seems) may have misunderstood the situation, and no-one did anything to correct it at the time. 'Putting the tune to' a song doesn't necessarily mean you wrote the tune, but I believe that's how an innocent mistake was made.

As I said, copyright was more of a happening at the time, and the rules are much stricter these days.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 10:08 AM

Evidently the 'poem' appeared in Milton Allan, Songs of the Pendle Country, Book Number 1 (Colne, Lancashire: Joshua Duckworth, 1945). Seven songs, arranged for voice and piano. Since you use the term 'collected', I assume that Brian Osborne got it from somebody's recitation rather than from the book, and so was unaware that it had already been set. It would be interesting to know what the original tune was, and which is the added verse.

Copies come up from time to time in the dealers' lists, and there's one on Ebay at the moment:  Item number: 360128530379: SONGS OF THE PENDLE COUNTRY milton allan


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 12:30 PM

As far as I am aware, the 'Witches' verse was added by Brian (it is certainly different from the other verses), and he didn't use the first verse as the chorus, which was the way I learned it in the 1970s.

Hopefully someone has more information - possibly Alan Bell could shed some light if anyone is near enough to ask him?

It's possible that he simply didn't like the original tune - there are plenty of instances of that, for example McPeake's 'Wild Mountain Thyme'/'Will Ye Go, Lassie, Go?' from Tannahill's 'Braes of Balquhidder'.

Must buy myself a Folk Processor sometime!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 01:26 PM

if someone contacts Dave[oldham tinkers] and Helen Howard,they will be able to give you more information about the original tune .


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Austin Pollard
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 03:28 PM

Alex - know what you mean, it's a good tune though!

I have a copy of the Milton Allan original booklet somewhere (in the attic probably), if I find it I'll post it, but to my recollection the tune is mawkish high victorian - like the rest of the songs (Alex - the rest of the songs in there are even worse).

Bernard: Thanks - it's been annoying me for ages, now you have put the record straight!

AP


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: andrewq
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 04:18 PM

Milton Allan's original tune and words are here:

http://www.lancastrian.org/MiltonAllanOldPendle.jpg


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Snuffy
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:26 PM

click


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Weasel
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 05:36 PM

It sounds like my memory has been playing tricks, but for years I associated this song with a tv young persons "write us a song" programme on the telly when I was a kid. I always thought it had been written for this programme (the winning song if I remember rightly was called "Indian Scene" and was about poverty.

I'm really disappointed to read that Old Pendle was not written by a young group especially for the programme.

Maybe the group just did a spot on the same show.

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: s&r
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 06:35 PM

Bernard - the tune is claimed (sincerely) by Ted Edwards and also (sincerely) by Brian Osborne.

This stays sadly unresolved. Brian wrote the witches verse, and the tune used in the Taverners' Songbook. He added the verse to a song which he came upon as a poem. He later discovered the Author, who told him that it had been a song, but said that he was very pleased to hear Brian's version, and was pleased for him to use it.

I had some correspondence with Ted who sent the tune he wrote. Virtually the same. No reliable dating in either case of first writing.

Assuming that Brian and Ted are honorable men, the possibilities are: 1. Both had it in the back of their minds from a common original source
2. Brian heard it from Ted's writing and used it unknowingly
3. Ted heard it from Brian's writing and used it unknowingly

This was the topic of an extensive thread some years ago. It was unresolved then and looks like staying that way

Stu


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Feb 09 - 09:43 PM

I thought there was beginning to be something a little familiar about this discussion, but had assumed that IB would have consulted the search engine before starting a new thread. Just goes to show, I suppose. The two previous threads are:

Folklore: Hunting the witch at Pendle Hill (2005-6)
Lyr Req: Old Pendle (Milton Allen, Brian Osborne) (2006)

I presumably read them at the time. Several of you lot were major participants, and variations on the same information are included.

One point raised and not yet mentioned in this new thread was the noticeable similarity of the modern 'Pendle' tune (tunes, I suppose, if we allow the possibility that the two Brians came up independently with very similar ones) to Colin Wilkie's 'You Won't Get Me Down in Your Mine'. This also appears on Songs of a Changing World, of course, sung by Nic Jones during a rather over-stylized period; perhaps that was why I hadn't previously noticed how like the 'Rosemary' melody on the same record it was.

As I mentioned earlier, the 'Rosemary' melody is fairly generic and bears in turn a resemblance to forms of 'The Unfortunate Rake' that I'd consider sufficient to treat them as members of the same family regardless of copyright issues or questions of relative originality. Wilkie's song has the feel of a relative in another branch, so to speak; and indeed, 'The Blantyre Explosion' on the same record is sung to yet another relative, more usually associated with 'The Streets of Laredo'. It must fall to those familiar with the 'Pendle' tune(s) to comment further on the degree of correspondence between all these if they think it relevant or interesting.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 14 Feb 09 - 05:52 PM

I asked Colin Wilkie about the similarity last year. He has never heard of the song Old Pendle and can't remember where he got the tune.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Helen Howard
Date: 25 Mar 09 - 08:53 PM

OLD Pendle not oh, was written as a 3 verse song in 1920-30 by 2 men, only know their surnames, Milton-Allen. They wrote the tune too and I have a signed copy that had belonged to my Mother, who was brought up in Barley. My Grandfather said he knew the men too.
In the mid 60's the extra verse.."When witches do fly..." was added by Brian Osbourne, and as I remember he added the NEW tune too.I took it that he did not have, or could not read the music at the time. I have my doubts there is any connection to Ted Edwards.
My mother always disliked the new tune as the original is lovely and was the very first song I collected when I was first getting interested in Folk Music.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Rod of Warton, Carnforth
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 12:24 PM

A gentleman sang this song at The Eagles in Over Kellet last weekend. A regular session on the last Sunday eve of each month. I would like to hava go on it on my uke. Anybody guessed at the chords?? Thanks


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Ian Hendrie
Date: 02 Nov 10 - 01:05 PM

Haven't sung the song for ages but here are the chords I used to use - I think with a capo on position 3. I do now sing 'The Rosemary' and use slightly different chords. The tunes are not exactly the same IMHO.

[Am]Old Pendle, Old Pendle, thou [G]standest [Am]alone
Twixt [F]Burnley and [C]Clitheroe, [G]Whalley and [Am]Colne
Where [F]Hodder and [C]Ribble's fair [G]waters do [Am]meet
With Barley and [G]Downham cont[Am]ent at [G]thy [Am]feet


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,Lizzie
Date: 19 Jun 11 - 09:43 AM

I was looking for the words to 'Old Pendle' as I was recently asked to sing something Lancashire. I learnt this song at junior school in the early sixties, in fact I think it was our school song! I always thought it was a lovely song.

I do not remember any witches and that verse does not sound right with the tune I remember.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Jun 14 - 05:58 PM

The 'lancastrian.org' link above seems dead.
Here is another pic at sheetmusicwarehouse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 04 Jun 14 - 06:38 PM

That link too appears to be broken. Sheet music for the Milton Allan three-verse song is here -

https://archive.org/stream/OldPendleByMiltonAllanLambert#page/n0/mode/2up

Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,guest -headey
Date: 05 Jun 14 - 07:06 AM

! Sorry, not broke(at the moment), just badly made and not checked, try again...
sheetmusicwarehouse.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,threelegsoman
Date: 06 Jun 14 - 03:19 AM

A couple of years ago I was looking for the lyrics to this song and surprise, surprise, I found them here on mudcat. On checking to see if there were any more verses, further down the thread I found a version with one more verse. The person who contributed this version was an E.Payne of Epworth folk club. I was at college with an Eric Payne who was a keen folk singer, so I contacted Mr Payne to see if it was the same person and was delighted to discover that it was indeed my old friend. Eric and I corresponded for some time, but then sadly he died, so I never got the opportunity to meet him again in person. However, I did sing Pendle, Old Pendle using his verse. For some unknown reason, that particular video has disappeared so I shall do another.

Old Pendle
Milton and Allen Lambert with extra verse by Eric Payne

Dm                      C         Dm   
Pendle, old Pendle, thou standest alone.
                            C          Am               
Twixt Burnley and Clitheroe, Whalley and Colne,
      Dm                      C         Am
Where Hodder and Ribble's fair waters do meet
    Dm                   Am          Dm               
With Barley and Downham content at thy feet.

Pendle, old Pendle, majestic, sublime
Thy praises shall ring till the end of all time
Thy beauty eternal, thy banner unfurled,
Th'art dearest and grandest old hill in the world

When witches fly out on a dark rainy night,
We'll not tell a soul, and we'll bar the door tight,
We'll sit near to t' fire, and keep ourselves warm
Until once again we can walk on thy arm.

Pendle, old Pendle, by moorland and fell
In glory and loveliness, ever to dwell
On life's faithful journey, where e'er I may be,
I'll pause in my labours, and oft think of thee.

And I dream of the days on your summit I walked
And climbing your cart track with Pendleside folk
And sleeping by wall sides encompassed by sheep.
And drinking cool water at springs where you weep


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jun 14 - 03:23 AM

As I thought, on sending the last message, the position of the chord changes have slipped out of alignment.
They should be:

                     
(Dm) Pendle, old Pendle, thou (C)standest a-(Dm)lone.

Twixt Burnley and Clitheroe,(C)Whalley and (Am)Colne,

Where (Dm)Hodder and Ribble's fair (C)waters do (Am)meet

With (Dm)Barley and Downham con-(Am)tent at thy (Dm)feet.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,freespiritceol1
Date: 06 Jun 14 - 06:42 AM

We were lucky enough to know Brian, and even recorded a version of him singing the song the song when we lived in Lancashire. His only claim that we knew was that he had added a new verse, and it's pure Brian Osborne, can almost hear him singing it now. Spent many happy weekends with him at the Ingleton gathering. One of his party tricks was to play a really intricate intro to one song and then launch into something completely different, throwing the audience into hysterical laughter. A real gentleman and sadly missed. We are lucky enough to have a copy of his solo album ay fond kiss, and Pendle is on there. he signed it for us and it's a treasured item, Thanks for the thread it's brought back some nice memories. All the best John & Marie


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,janet
Date: 05 Jan 18 - 04:47 PM

Love this song- everytime I travel to Lancashire and pass Pendle Hill I find myself singing it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Pendle, oh Pendle / Old Pendle
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 06 Jan 18 - 09:03 AM

Friends from Clitheroe wanted to perform this on International Women's Day, and asked me to write a new verse to mark the occasion;

Pendle, old Pendle, you've seen it before,
The hardship of labour, the horror of war.
We'll work with our sisters, sunrise to nightfall,
To build a new world that is fit for us all.


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