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Lyr Req: Witch of the West-Mer-Lands (A Fisher)

28 May 98 - 07:53 PM (#29577)
Subject: Witch of the West-Mer-Lands

I am trying to find the lyrics for this folksong. Unfortunatley I cannot tell you the artist. If anyone has any info regarding this song, please email me. Thanks, Steve

28 May 98 - 08:16 PM (#29580)
Subject: RE: Witch of the West-Mer-Lands
From: root

Great song, written by Archie Fisher. It appears on "Man With a Rhyme." The lyrics are in the database. Let me see if I have them handy somewhere . . .

28 May 98 - 08:20 PM (#29581)
Subject: RE: Witch of the West-Mer-Lands
From: Grubby

Steve, You can also pick up the lyrics and chords from the OLGA site under Stan Rogers

Regards Grubby

28 May 98 - 08:20 PM (#29582)
Subject: Lyrics: Witch of the West-Mer-Lands
From: root

Here they are. If you look in the database, I believe there's a little information about the history of the song.

(Archie Fisher)

click here to get to the lyrics in our database

17 Aug 00 - 07:48 PM (#279860)
Subject: Witch of the West MerLands
From: GUEST,Steven Post

On Stan Rogers album "Between the Breaks", album notes say that his "Witch of the West Merland" is a version of a much longer song collected or performed (I think) by Archie Fisher. I'd love to see lyrics to the whole thing and or learn how to get it on album. Anyone have it?

- Steven Post,

17 Aug 00 - 07:50 PM (#279862)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: MAG (inactive)

Archie Fisher wrote it, and has recorded it.

17 Aug 00 - 08:03 PM (#279867)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: GUEST,Jerica

You can find the lyrics to this song on Stan Roger's page which is summerfolk something. Just look it up on excite.

17 Aug 00 - 08:16 PM (#279870)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: George Seto -

Here it is in the database.

Song in Database using SuperSearch
If that doesn't work:
Database using regular search
Here it is off-site.
Archie Fisher's Witch of the Westmerlands

17 Aug 00 - 08:26 PM (#279876)
Subject: This is a LYRICS site - post 'em!!!
From: Joe Offer

Well, since Dick Greenhaus isn't here, let me say it for him - you could look in the Digital Tradition. Since the place name could be spelled many ways, it's a good idea to search for an exact phrase from the song that can't be spelled any other way. I put [witch of the] in square brackets in the search box, and this song (click) came right up. I e-mailed the lyrics to the requester.

I don't know what impressions other people have, but it seems that in the last few weeks, we've had a number of non-answers to song requests. People tell people they might be able to find the song in such-and-such a songbook which they might be able to find online for a hundred dollars if they're lucky. Somebody said that a song called "A-Rovin" is in the John Jacob Niles Ballad Book, but they neglected to tell what name Niles called it. Somebody asked for a gypsy song, and somebody responded that we should stop attacking gypsies - not knowing whether the song attacked gypsies or not. Other people are reluctant to post lyrics because maybe we're afraid that Harry Fox doesn't want us to post lyrics any more.
I think that if somebody requests lyrics that we have, we should provide a link or tell people exactly how to find the song. If we don't have the requested lyrics here at Mudcat, then we should post them.
At least, that's what I think. End of rant.
-Joe Offer-

(And I see that while I was ranting, Good Old George posted links to where the lyrics can be found, which is exactly what the rest of us should be doing.)

17 Aug 00 - 10:16 PM (#279936)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: Jeri

Er, Joe and everybody - CLICK HERE - it's in the DT. Hehehe...
Er, Jeri... See my link in the message above yours? See George's link in the message above mine? See the link in your message? Hey, they're all the same! Great minds think alike, eh?
-Joe Offer-

17 Aug 00 - 10:18 PM (#279940)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: Jeri

Sorry - the "hehehe's" on me - George already posted the lyrics. I just hate it when I'm trying to be a smartass and wind up looking stupid!

17 Aug 00 - 11:10 PM (#279985)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: Sandy Paton

If you'd like to hear Archie Fisher performing the ballad, which he wrote, it's on his Folk-Legacy CD, The Man With a Rhyme, CD-61. CLICK HERE . I hope this blickey works; I'm still a cyberklutz. It ought to take you to our "Scots Music" page. Scroll down to the second CD listed there. Click on the image, and you will be shown the traycard with all the titles, etc. You might even want to look around a bit more while you're there.

Have fun.


18 Aug 00 - 03:45 AM (#280101)
Subject: Lyr Add: WITCH OF THE WESTMORLAND (from S Rogers)
From: Joe Offer

Here's the Stan Rogers version. The version in the database which George, Joe, AND Jeri linked to is the version sung by Archie Fisher, who wrote the song. Stan's version is just a bit different. I have to say I prefer Stan's recording.


(Archie Fisher)
found on:
  • Between the Breaks...Live!

Pale was the wounded knight, that bore the rowan shield
Loud and cruel were the raven's cries that feasted on the field
Saying "Beck water cold and clear will never clean your wound
There's none but the witch of the Westmoreland can make thee hale and soond"

So turn, turn your stallion's head 'til his red mane flies in the wind
And the rider of the moon goes by and the bright star falls behind
And clear was the paley moon when his shadow passed him by
below the hills were the brightest stars when he heard the owlet cry

Saying "Why do you ride this way, and wherefore came you here?"
"I seek the Witch of the Westmorland that dwells by the winding mere"
And it's weary by the Ullswater and the misty brake fern way
Til through the cleft in the Kirkstane Pass the winding water lay

He said "Lie down, my brindled hound and rest ye, my good grey hawk
And thee, my steed may graze thy fill for I must dismount and walk,
But come when you hear my horn and answer swift the call
For I fear ere the sun will rise this morn ye will serve me best of all"

And it's down to the water's brim he's borne the rowan shield
And the goldenrod he has cast in to see what the lake might yield
And wet she rose from the lake, and fast and fleet went she
One half the form of a maiden fair with a jet black mare's body

And loud, long and shrill he blew til his steed was by his side
High overhead the grey hawk flew and swiftly did he ride
Saying "Course well, my brindled hound, and fetch me the jet black mare
Stoop and strike, my good grey hawk, and bring me the maiden fair"

She said "Pray, sheathe thy silvery sword. Lay down thy rowan shield
For I see by the briny blood that flows you've been wounded in the field"
And she stood in a gown of the velvet blue, bound round with a silver chain
And she's kissed his pale lips once and twice and three times round again

And she's bound his wounds with the goldenrod, full fast in her arms he lay
And he has risen hale and sound with the sun high in the day
She said "Ride with your brindled hound at heel, and your good grey hawk in hand
There's none can harm the knight who's lain with the Witch of the Westmorland."

18 Aug 00 - 11:59 AM (#280249)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: MAG (inactive)

Joe, your point about most direct answers to questions is well taken.

I think we have had this discussion before about whether to post when you have SOME information in response to a question; then it gets much greyer.

As a librarian, I can say that answering a question is often like investigative journalism. You have to collect all the clues, or bits of information, that you can. Then you have a better idea where to look. Our collective wisdom often works synergistically to arrive at a correct answer.

(I still say Jim Ballew wrote "Don't Pet the Dog.")

18 Aug 00 - 01:33 PM (#280320)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: Joe Offer

Hi, MAG - when people have SOME information about a song and contribute it, that can be really good. It can be fascinating and very satisfying to watch a number of people get together to find a song, each doing a part of the search. What I object to is when people suggest checking Cowpie without first checking Cowpie themselves to see if the song is there. Or, worse yet, they tell people to check Cowpie when Cowpie doesn't have the song - and ironically it turns out that we have the song right here. Misleading leads can direct people away from what they're seeking.
I think that if people post answers to lyrics requests, they should actively participate in the search and then report what they found or were unable to find. If I say that I searched DigiTrad Cowpie and Levy for "red roses" and couldn't find anything, that's a contribution. If I just tell somebody to try Cowpie and Levy, I'm implying that Mudcat doesn't have the lyrics.
-Joe Offer-

31 Jul 09 - 02:03 PM (#2691171)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Witch of the West MerLands
From: Jon Bartlett

Doesn't this song remind you of the Holy Grail's "moist bint" engaged in a "farcical aquatic ceremony"?

Jon Bartlett