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ADD: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home

GUEST,mamphiek@hotmail.com 30 Aug 03 - 11:42 AM
Sorcha 30 Aug 03 - 01:03 PM
GUEST,GML 14 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM
Malcolm Douglas 14 Aug 06 - 12:07 PM
GUEST,GML 15 Aug 06 - 04:42 AM
GUEST 06 Nov 08 - 07:49 PM
Malcolm Douglas 07 Nov 08 - 09:56 AM
Jim Dixon 08 Nov 08 - 04:44 PM
Steve Byrne 22 Sep 09 - 04:04 PM
Steve Byrne 22 Sep 09 - 04:05 PM
Jim Dixon 23 Sep 09 - 06:49 PM
GUEST 13 Oct 09 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Anne Butler 14 Jan 10 - 11:09 AM
GUEST,999 14 Jan 10 - 02:23 PM
GUEST,Anne Butler 15 Jan 10 - 12:12 PM
GUEST 16 Jan 10 - 10:41 AM
GUEST,Pippi 26 Nov 10 - 03:18 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Nov 10 - 10:57 PM
GUEST 17 Mar 11 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,Guest Treasa 06 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 11 - 02:16 PM
GUEST 26 Aug 13 - 09:42 AM
GUEST,Juf 11 Dec 14 - 01:44 PM
GUEST 08 Jul 15 - 08:00 PM
GUEST 03 Feb 16 - 11:39 AM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 03 Feb 16 - 02:28 PM
Reinhard 03 Feb 16 - 04:49 PM
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Subject: london lights
From: GUEST,mamphiek@hotmail.com
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 11:42 AM

I am looking for a song my grandmother from Aire in Scotland used to sing. As I remember it it was called London Lights about a girl who had left home and was lamenting the fact that she would never be able to return home as it would bring shame on her mother's door. I wonder if the title has been changed and my grandmother sang it as London as she herself had moved to london. I only remember one line "see how those london lights are burning"(or shining)
Does anyone know what I am talking about?


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Subject: RE: london lights
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Aug 03 - 01:03 PM

No luck with this one either.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: london lights
From: GUEST,GML
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 07:53 AM

Three years after the original query, I wonderered if anyone had any further information on this song. My father also remembers his mother singing it, and here's a slightly longer fragment:


See those London lights are burning
Out on this cold and dreary moor
.... ....
.... because I'm poor.


My grandmother's family were from Fife, and there's a Lundin in Fife, so just possibly it should read "Lundin" instead of "London". The following lines may be from the same song, or maybe not:


My sisters they have turned against me
My brothers they have done the same
My dad's the only one who loves me
My mother hangs her head in shame

Mother, mother dear forgive me
Take me to your heart once more
But though you turn me from your bosom
Pray don't turn me from your door


We also have a tune for these lyrics, if that would help, but any assistance tying any of this together would be much appreciated.

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: london lights
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 14 Aug 06 - 12:07 PM

Of course, there were rather a lot of songs written on this sort of subject; they were a staple of the early music hall. Some, like 'Mary of the Wild Moor' (and other titles) have turned up quite a lot, while others, such as this one, have rather faded from sight.

There is just one example of what may be the same song listed in the Roud Folk Song Index (number 18815, 'London Lights'); an unpublished recording in the Helen Creighton collection (Nova Scotia archives). The first line is quoted as 'See those London lights are gleaming'.

A song like this will certainly have appeared on popular song sheets and the like, but a quick look in the usual places reveals nothing so far, except for eliminating two quite different songs with similar titles: it isn't 'The Lights of London Town' (George R Sims and Louis Diehl), nor is it 'Lights o' London' (you can see a broadside edition of the latter at the Bodleian Library website).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: london lights
From: GUEST,GML
Date: 15 Aug 06 - 04:42 AM

Thanks for your help Malcolm. The Helen Creighton reference sounds hopeful, and I'll try following that up. I'll also keep on at my father to see if he can remember any more, and will post anything further we can come up with.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: london lights
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Nov 08 - 07:49 PM

i hope u got the words , im looking for them for my mum in laws birthday she loved that song..im gonna sing it to her..dont know all the words.if u could help it would be fantastic
she will be 90 in december


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: london lights
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 07 Nov 08 - 09:56 AM

A little more information has come to light since the original question. Lizzie Higgins knew this but hardly ever sang it, and May Bradley also had a version, the words mixed with some from 'Blue Eyed Lover'. Lizzie's text, as recorded by Rod Stradling at the King's Head Folk Club, Islington, in 1970, can be seen at the Musical Traditions website:

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/higgins.htm

The cd, In Memory of Lizzie Higgins, is well worth getting hold of.


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONDON LIGHTS (from Lizzie Higgins)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Nov 08 - 04:44 PM

From the liner notes of Lizzie Higgins' album "Lizzie Higgins: In Memory of ..." (Musical Traditions MTCD337-8)--see Malcolm's link above:


2-13 LONDON LIGHTS (Roud 18815)
Recorded by Rod Stradling at the King's Head FC, Islington, 11.3.70


LONDON LIGHTS

CHORUS:
See how those London Lights are gleaming
Through the frost and falling snow.
Sleep on, sleep on my blue-eyed treasure,
Your mother's got nowhere to go.

See how my sister they despise me,
And my brothers do the same.
Father says he will not own me,
And my mother hangs her head in shame. CHORUS

Oncet a young man learned to love me,
And he taught me do the same.
Now he's went away and left me,
And on my brow there is written shame. CHORUS


Rod comments that Steve Roud was hitherto unaware of this lovely little song (so it has a new number) and it doesn't appear anywhere in the School of Scottish Studies Archive indices, at least, not under this or similar title. So we may assume that it was a song Lizzie knew of, but did not sing, until her visit to the King's Head folk club in London made it appropriate. If so, this gives an insight into the degree to which she considered her audience's needs and interests.

This delicate version of the perennial abandoned unmarried mother song would appear to be relatively modern, presumably from the music halls. Lizzie's mother, a wide-ranging singer, was indeed especially fond of music-hall songs, but the source of this one is unclear.

However, Rod has just discovered - quite by chance - that May Bradley, the Gypsy singer from the Marches, sings essentially the same song. It's titled Blue Eyed Lover in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library archives, since her first verse is from that song - but the remainder is the verses from London Lights, without Lizzie's chorus, but sung to her tune. This doesn't alter the attractions of Lizzie's song as it stands, but we now know that it wasn't unique to her, and that the tune and some of the text had a wider distribution in the Gypsy tradition. Also, a Web search comes up with the fact that the Nova Scotia Archives have a 1952 recording by a Jack Thurple of Hants County, Nova Scotia.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: Steve Byrne
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 04:04 PM

I've come across another recording of this song in my Kist o Riches cataloguing work, this time sung by John Argo in Aberdeenshire, (father of Arthur Argo, both descendants of the collector Gavin Greig). It was collected in 1960 Arthur Argo and Kenneth Goldstein, and is in the School of Scottish Studies Archive. I haven't got anything to add in terms of the song's origin at the moment however, I simply wanted to flag it up as a 'new' version for the record!


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Subject: Lyr Add: LONDON LIGHTS
From: Steve Byrne
Date: 22 Sep 09 - 04:05 PM

Ah, and the lyrics! -

LONDON LIGHTS

London lights were brightly burning
Far across yon dreary moor
They are the lights that made me wander
Wander from my mother's door

Sleep on, sleep on, my blue-eyed baby
Food and clothing I've got none
Sleep on, sleep on, my blue-eyed baby
Wandering days will soon be done

My mother she has turned against me
My sisters they have done the same
My father poor old soul he loves me
My mother hangs her head with shame

Sleep on, sleep on, my blue-eyed baby
Food and clothing I've got none
Sleep on, sleep on, my blue-eyed baby
Wandering days will soon be done


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY COLLIER LOVER (from A. L. Lloyd)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 06:49 PM

Maybe not exactly the same song, but a related one:

From Come All Ye Bold Miners: Ballads and Songs of the Coalfields by Albert Lancaster Lloyd (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1952), page 131:

MY COLLIER LOVER

Once I had a collier lover,
And he thought the world of me,
Till one day he met another.
Now he thinks no more of me.

Take this ring from off my finger.
Take this necklace off my neck.
Take it to that other lover,
To the one you love the best.

Brothers, they have all forsook me.
Sisters, they have done the same.
Now there's only Dad who loves me.
Mother hangs her head in shame.

When I'm on my bed of sickness,
When I'm on my bed of shame,
He will come and ask forgiveness.
He will want me back again.

Goodbye, Dad, and goodbye, Mother.
Goodbye, all my mining friends.
Goodbye you, my collier lover.
You have brought me to this end.

If by any chance you'll meet him,
Always greet him with a smile,
Because you know I loved him dearly.
He's the father of my child.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Oct 09 - 06:59 AM

THE SONG IS CALLED MY MOTHERS HOME BY FOSTER AND ALLEN. HOPE THIS HELPS YOU.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST,Anne Butler
Date: 14 Jan 10 - 11:09 AM

Hi My mother sings a song called harbour lights, and its a slightly different version of the one above. Some verses are simular with six in total. If you are still intrested in the words to the version that I have please let me know and I will type them up.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Jan 10 - 02:23 PM

My Mother's Home Foster And AllenMy Mother's Home Lyrics. I stood and watched the lights of London, Shining on the misty foam. It was those lihjts that first enticed me ...
unitedireland.tripod.com/my_mothers_home_foster_allen.html


Lyrics and chords there. Ya have to google it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST,Anne Butler
Date: 15 Jan 10 - 12:12 PM

Same song with different words and more verses to it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Jan 10 - 10:41 AM

london lights,london lights
had a curry got the shites
burnt my hole,poor soul
need ice cubes for my arsehole

written by bob dylan i believe


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST,Pippi
Date: 26 Nov 10 - 03:18 PM

I would like to know your version of harbour lights if its still possible. Do you know if your mother sang it to the same tune as lizzie higgins' london lights?


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Subject: Lyr Add: MY MOTHER'S HOME
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Nov 10 - 10:57 PM

Copied from http://martindardis.com/my_mothers_home_foster_allen.html :


MY MOTHER'S HOME

1. I stood and watched the lights of London,
Shining on the misty foam.
It was those lights that first enticed me
For to leave my mother's home.

CHORUS: O mother, mother, please forgive me.
Let me rest my head once more.
Although you've never turned me from your bosom,
Please don't turn me from your door.

2. Although my clothes are torn and tattered,
Still they'll keep my baby warm.
I'm going home to the one that loves me,
Where once I had a happy home.


WITH CHORDS:

I [A] stood and watched the lights of [E7] London,
[Bm] Shining [E7] on the misty [A] foam.
It was those lights that [A7] first en- [D] ticed me
[E7] For to leave my mother's [A] home.

CHORUS: O [A] mother, mother, please for- [E7] give me.
[Bm] Let me [E7] rest my head once [A] more.
Although you've never turned me from your [D] bosom,
[E7] Please don't turn me from your [A] door.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: London Lights
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 11 - 06:42 PM

See how those London lights are burning
Far across the mystic moon
It was those London lights enticed me
For to leave my mother's home

My sisters they have turned against me
My brothers they have done the same
My father says he will not own me
My mother hangs her head in shame

Oh See how my clothes they are all torn
Still my baby i'll keep warm
Sleep on! Sleep on my blue eyed treasure
For your mother has no home

Oh Mother! Mother please forgive me
Let me rest my head once more
Although you've turned me from your bosom
Please don't turn me from your door

Although you've turned me from your bosom
Please don't turn me from your door.


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Subject: ADD Version: London Lights
From: GUEST,Guest Treasa
Date: 06 Jul 11 - 01:42 PM

My mother sang this song many years ago... she died in 1969 so I didnt get a chance to get all her songs! From memory this was her version:
(I never knew the title!)

LONDON LIGHTS

It was those lovely lights of London
Shining far across the sea,
It was those lights that first enticed me
For to leave my mother's home.

And I had a false young lover,
And young Willie was his name,
He vowed and swore that he truly loved me,
Now he never speaks my name.

All my brothers have turned against me,
All my sisters have done the same
And my father that dearly loved me
Now he hangs his head in shame.

Mother, mother please forgive me
Let me rest my head once more
And though you've turned me from your bosom
Please don't turn me from your door.

Crying good bye friends and fond relations,
Please don't cry one tear for me
For I am going to make my home tonight
At the bottom of the sea.

It was late next day her false young lover,
As he came walking by the sea side
What would he see but his own fond Mary
Come afloating on the tide.

He gently took her lily white hand,
And these words he bitterly cried,
Oh! may the Lord have mercy on you,
You should have been my own young bride.

Crying good bye friends and fond relations,
Please don't cry one tear for me,
For I am going to meet my Mary,
At the bottom of the sea.

Hope this helps! Treasa


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Subject: RE: ADD: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 11 - 02:16 PM

correction of second line: it should be shining far across the foam


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Subject: RE: ADD: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Aug 13 - 09:42 AM

London Lights
See way down London light's are burning
How soft and gentle falls the snow
Twas There my blue-eyed boy had wanted
Me from my happy home to go

Forgive me Mother dear forgive me
And let me rest my head once more



Hi hope this is what you are looking for my Dad was a Minstrel and he sang all of theses songs if it is I have the rest.. but no good adding if it is wrong


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Subject: RE: ADD: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home
From: GUEST,Juf
Date: 11 Dec 14 - 01:44 PM

Maz O'Conner sings lovely version of this song


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Subject: D: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jul 15 - 08:00 PM


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Subject: RE: ADD: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Feb 16 - 11:39 AM

I woke this morning with a profound need to sing this song, remembering how my grandmother Suzie Villa Vicencio sang it to me as a child in the early 1970's in our house in Johannesburg. She was quite old then and struggled to remember the words, she began each section with "See how..." I thought it's how it was written, but from reading the above, I realize that she was merely repeating those lines in order to try and remember the words. I used to make her sing it over and over again, it was oddly comforting, sitting at her knee, listening. I don't remember more than anyone else who have commented above unfortunately. But it is quite special knowing that there is a handful of people who were also touched by this song in the world.

All I remember is:

See how the lights of London burning
soft and gently falls the snow
T'was his blue eyes that once enticed me
From my happy home to roam

Oh forgive me mother dear, forgive me
Let me rest my head once more
Although you've turned me from your bosom
do not turn me from your door

See how my sisters are against me
and my brothers are the same
but my old father he still loves me
Mother hangs her head in shame

See how my clothes all torn and tattered
my baby in my arms...

*It is probably a hodge lodge bastardized version of the real lyrics and also only a small piece, but it's what I remember her singing. I guess it's like oral story-telling that gets passed down through the generations, it changes and metamorphosizes.


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Subject: RE: ADD: London Lights/My Collier Lover/Mother's Home
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 03 Feb 16 - 02:28 PM

Many thanks to Guest above for her remembered version from S.Africa!
I've been looking at versions of this song since I heard a recording of Lizzie Higgins singing it.
Excellent,.. thanks....and today's my 72nd birthday too...what a good b'day present !


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Subject: ADD: London Lights
From: Reinhard
Date: 03 Feb 16 - 04:49 PM

I just got the brand new Songs of Separation CD. On it, Hazel Askew sings London Lights, and she credits her version to Lizzie Higgins:

LONDON LIGHTS

See how those London lights are shining,
Through the frost and falling snow
Sleep on, sleep on my blue eyed treasure
Oh your mother's got nowhere to go

Oh once a young man learned to love me
And he taught me to do the same
And now, oh now he's gone and left me
And on my brow, there's written shame

See how my sisters they despise me
And my brothers do the same
For father says he will not own me
And my mother hangs her head in shame

Oh Mother! Oh Mother please forgive me
Take me in your heart once more
Although you've turned me from your bosom
Please don't turn me from your door

Although my clothes are going ragged
Still they keep my baby warm
Sleep on, sleep on my blue eyed treasure
Oh your wandering days will soon be done


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