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Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead

Santa 07 Oct 15 - 10:01 AM
GUEST,# 07 Oct 15 - 06:16 PM
Santa 07 Oct 15 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,# 07 Oct 15 - 07:34 PM
Santa 08 Oct 15 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,# 08 Oct 15 - 10:19 AM
GUEST,Rigby 08 Oct 15 - 04:38 PM
Santa 11 Oct 15 - 11:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Oct 15 - 06:45 PM
Santa 14 Oct 15 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,# 14 Oct 15 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,paul 05 Jan 16 - 06:43 AM
GUEST,Exiled Folkie 17 May 17 - 03:50 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: Santa
Date: 07 Oct 15 - 10:01 AM

Halloween is on its way, and Meg is thinking of suitable songs. She's singing the chorus of The Vicar of Hawkshead but doesn't know the verses. Jane Threlfall and Karl Hogsden sang it on their cassette but that appears to have gone missing. Can anyone help with the words?

I am the vicar of Hawkshead, sir,
And given to speaking true.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 Oct 15 - 06:16 PM

I did a dedicated Google search for

"I am the vicar of Hawkshead, sir"

Exactly like that. The only site that came up is Mudcat, this thread. If someone who knows it doesn't post the lyrics, things don't look too good.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: Santa
Date: 07 Oct 15 - 07:03 PM

Yes, so did I before posting. We are trying other routes.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: GUEST,#
Date: 07 Oct 15 - 07:34 PM

Do you have any parts of any stanzas? And is this a trad song which maybe has be re-titled (as in it was originally The Vicar of somewhere)?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: Santa
Date: 08 Oct 15 - 08:58 AM

No, we don't recall any of the words of the verses. Some might surface if we kept prodding the subconscious, but thankfully we don't need to. We have found a fellow folk-club member (Anne Green, then the organiser) who also has the cassette, and Meg is with her now as I type - or will be soon enough. If it says more about the origins I'll post details.

I don't think it is a traditional song found elsewhere - vague memory says that Karl found it going through old texts in Lancashire libraries. It is however fairly generic, so could be anywhere.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: GUEST,#
Date: 08 Oct 15 - 10:19 AM

Thank you, Santa. I'd love to hear more about this song. Glad it's worked out.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: GUEST,Rigby
Date: 08 Oct 15 - 04:38 PM

I think the text is Victorian but Carl set it to a tune of his own. It's a great song -- I have a recent recording of him singing it so could transcribe it if needed.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: Santa
Date: 11 Oct 15 - 11:28 AM

Thanks for the offer, but we have the cassette now so will do the job ourselves. I'll post the words here when we've sorted them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Oct 15 - 06:45 PM

Can't help. But here is a link to a site containing an Easter Pace Egg mumming play collected in 1898 - from Hawkshead. " the northermost parish in Lancashire" in those days. But it's in the part of Lancashire that was redefined as part of Cumbria a few years ago. Though I don't imagine the locals are likely to accept that.

No vicar in the play I'm afraid - but it's got King George and Lord Nelson and Molly Masket...


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE VICAR OF HAWKSHEAD (H. Morland)
From: Santa
Date: 14 Oct 15 - 10:42 AM

The Vicar of Hawkshead
Lyrics H.Morland

I am the vicar of Hawkshead, sir, and given to speaking true O
This thing it happened in the year of 1852 O
I am no crank imaginer, nor any the more than you O

Chorus
I am the vicar of Hawkshead, sir, and given to speaking true, O
And given to speaking true.

One cold March night, by waterside, I was trudging home to bed O
I'd been to comfort a widowed soul, whose man was lately dead O
And nothing but simple Christian thoughts sang quietly in my head O

Chorus

And as I walked I saw ahead, a country woman's shape O
Or such it seemed in bonnet and scarf and a dark enfolding cape O
A good few minutes my eyes marked that dark and plodding shape O

Chorus

"A rare cold night" I said to her, but never a word she replied O
I turned, but Heaven send me Grace, this was no womankind O
No human features marked that face, or none that I could find O

Chorus

I lacked the power, or I'd have fled, but forced my eyes to stare O
I see no form, but only space, there's a stench in the cold night air O
As if a body two months dead lay still unburied there O

Chorus

Then the road was bare in the cold moonlight, with nothing alive to show O
And only the track of my own two feet lay printed in the snow O
I am no crank imaginer, nor any the more than you O

Chorus

From the singing of Carl Hogsden and Jane Threlfall 1993

I presume (safely enough, surely) that the final Os are Carl's rather than in the original, and can be left to the singer. I can't help with the tune, I'm afraid.


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Subject: LYRIC ADD in Santa's last post.
From: GUEST,#
Date: 14 Oct 15 - 12:26 PM

Thank you very much and Merry Christmas to you, Santa :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: GUEST,paul
Date: 05 Jan 16 - 06:43 AM

Well done. Been after that for years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Vicar of Hawkshead
From: GUEST,Exiled Folkie
Date: 17 May 17 - 03:50 AM

Carl wrote the tune


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