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Lyr Add: Silver Darlin's + Who Pays the Piper


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Susanne (skw) 28 Apr 00 - 07:52 PM
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From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 28 Apr 00 - 07:52 PM

These songs were mentioned in a recent thread. However, my connection was faulty for a few days; as I can't find the thread again I'll post them here. If someone finds the other thread: Susan's version of 'The Silver Darlin's' is more or less what the Battlefield Band sing on the 'Music in Trust' album. I'll post it again with proper formatting to make it easier to harvest.

(Brian McNeill / Dougie Pincock)

Between the beggar's mantle and the lights o Peterhead
The fisher lads were heroes and the herring was the creed
The herring paid the factor, the herring fed the weans
But now the herring's gone and the fishing's no the same

The likes o me was put to sea as soon as I could stand
Tae catch the silver darlin's for the folk upon the land
With half a mile o net between the bottom and the keel
And half a score o years between the cradle and the creel

And amang the rigs o barley, amang the rigs o rye
Amang the rigging o the masts all dark against the sky
But the lads that used to work them all, they've gone for better pay
And the rigs that work the oil are all the rigs you'll see the day

So dinna blame the fisher folk for taking tae the oil
For if they couldna find the fish, they'd nothing for their toil
And there's still as many families and as many mouths to feed
Between the beggar's mantle and the lights o Peterhead

[1960:] 350 years ago [Fife] was described by King James VI as 'a beggar's mantle with a fringe of gold' indicating that at that period prosperity was confined to the fertile stretches round the coast. (Earl of Elgin, quoted in Weekly Scotsman, April 14)

(Nancy Nicolson)

Who pays the piper, who pays the piper
Who pays the piper, who calls the tune
Who pays the piper, what is the fee
Flames on the water, death on the sea

And the tune is old and has always told
How the great brave and bold they do flourish
How bravely they gamble with other men's lives
And profit as other men perish

And the tune rings out and is always found
When the ground receives yet another
Father of dazed and despairing young bairns
Or son of a desolate mother

And the price is dear for the folk who fear
And who bear the burden of sorrow
For those who were lost when the graph of the cost
Crossed the graph of rich pickings tomorrow

[1990:] A song about the Piper Alpha disaster. After it was all over, after all the fires were put out, the people who own the rig said, Well, we'll spend more money now, we'll make sure this can never happen again. We'll spend more money on safety. And of course nothing really happened. Nancy wrote the song not so much about this one specific disaster but about the dangers of going out to the North Sea to get the oil for people. "He who pays the piper calls the tune" - the person with the money also has a responsibility. And Nancy took that idea, remembering the name of the rig. (Intro McCalmans)

Generations of Change is in the DT. - Susanne

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