Folk Events

Sunday 3rd June 2018  from 3pm – upstairs at the Old Fitzroy Hotel, Dowling Street, Wooloomooloo and the theme is Songs of the Watersons. Lots of opportunity for joining in and adding harmonies. Here’s some of the titles of some of the songs that might be included, followed by the full lyrics:

BOSTON HARBOUR
BRAVE WOLFE
COUNTRY LIFE
DIDO, BENDIGO
FATHOM THE BOWL
GOOD OLD WAY

HAL-AN-TOW

HERE WE COME A-WASSAILING
HOLMFIRTH ANTHEM
JACOB’S WELL
JOLLY WAGGONER
THE KING

PACE-EGGING SONG
THE POACHER’S FATE
SEVEN VIRGINS
SHEPHERDS ARISE

SLEEP ON BELOVED
STARS IN MY CROWN
THIRTY-FOOT TRAILER
 
THREE SCORE AND TEN
TWANKY-DILLO
THE WHITE COCKADE

Many lyrics available from:
https://mainlynorfolk.info/watersons/songs/index.html


 

BOSTON HARBOUR

From Boston Harbour we set sail
When it was blowin’ the devil of a gale,
With the ring-tail set all avast the mizzen peak
And Rule Britannia ploughin’ up the deep.

With a big bow-wow! Tow-row-row!
Fol de rol de ri do day!

Then up come the skipper from down below,
It’s “Look aloft, lads, look alow!”
And it’s “Look alow!” and it’s “Look aloft!”
And “Tie up your ropes, lads, fore and aft!”

Then down to his cabin well he quickly crawls,
To his poor old steward bawls,
“Go and mix me a glass that will make me cough
For it’s better weather here than it is on top.”

Now there’s one thing that we have to crave:
That the captain meets with a watery grave.
So we’ll throw him down into some dark hole
Where the sharks ‘ll have his body and the devil have his soul.

BRAVE WOLFE

One Monday morning as we set sail
The wind did blow a pleasant gale,
To fight the French, it was our intent
Through smoke and fire, through smoke and fire
And it was a dark and a gloomy night.

The French were landed on mountains high,
While we poor souls in the valley lie,
“Cheer up, me lads,” General Wolfe did say,
“Brave lads of honour, brave lads of honour,
Old England, she shall win the day.”

The very first broadside we gave to them
It wounded a hundred and fifty men,
“Well done, me lads,” General Wolfe did say,
“Brave lads of honour, brave lads of honour,
Old England, she shall win the day.”

But the very next broadside they gave to us
It wounded our general in his right breast,
And from his breast precious blood did flow,
Like any fountain, like any fountain
And filled our hearts with grief and woe.

“Here’s a hundred guineas, all in bright gold,
Take it, part it, for my blood runs cold,
And use your men as you did before,
Your soldiers all, your soldiers all,
And they will fight forevermore.”

“And when to England you do return,
Tell all my friends that I’m dead and gone,
And tell my tender old mother dear
That I am dead, oh, that I am dead, oh,
And never shall return no more.”

COUNTRY LIFE

I like to rise when the sun she rises
Early in the morning,
I like to hear them small birds singing
Merrily upon their laylum.
And hurrah for the life of a country boy
And to ramble in the new-mown hay.

In spring we sow, at the harvest mow,
And that is how the seasons round they go.
But if all the times if choose I may
‘t would be rambling in the new-mown hay.

In winter when the sky is grey
We hedge and ditch our times away;
But in the summer when the sun shines gay
We go rambling in the new-mown hay.

DIDO, BENDIGO

As I was a-walking one morning last Autumn,
I’ve overheard some noble foxhunting
Between some noblemen and the Duke of Wellington
So early before the day was dawning.

There was Dido, Bendigo, Gentry he was there-o;
Traveller he never looked behind him.
There was Countess, Rover, Bonnie Lass and Jover:
These were the hounds that could find him
.
Well the first fox being young and his trials just beginning,
He’s made straight away for his cover.
He’s run up yon highest hill and gone down yon lowest gill,
Thinking that he’d find his freedom there forever

Well the next fox being old and his trials fast a-dawning,
He’s made straight away for the river.
Well the fox he has jumped in but an hound jumped after him;
It was Traveller who strided him for ever.

Well they’ve run across the plain but they’ve soon returned again,
The fox nor the hounds never failing.
It’s been just twelve months today since I heard the squire say,
“Hark forward then my brave hounds forever!”

FATHOM THE BOWL

Come all you bold heroes, give an ear to me song;
I’ll sing in the praise of good brandy and rum:
There’s a clear crystal fountain near England shall roll.
Give me the punch ladle, I’ll fathom the bowl.

I’ll fathom the bowl, I’ll fathom the bowl,
Give me the punch ladle, I’ll fathom the bowl.

From France we get brandy, from Jamaica comes rum;
Sweet oranges and lemons from Portugal come.
Good beer and strong cider are England’s control.
Give me the punch ladle, I’ll fathom the bowl.

My wife she comes in when I sit at my ease,
She scolds and she grumbles and does as she please.
She may scold and may grumble ’til she’s black as the coal.
Give me the punch ladle, I’ll fathom the bowl.

My father he lies in the depths of the sea
With no stone at his feet, what matters for he?
There’s a clear crystal fountain for him doth roll.
Give me the punch ladle, I’ll fathom the bowl.

THE GOOD OLD WAY

Lift up your hearts, Emmanuel’s friends
And take the pleasure Jesus sends
Let nothing cause you to delay
But hasten in the good old way

For I have a sweet hope of glory in my soul
I have a sweet hope of glory in my soul
For I know I have, and I feel I have
A sweet hope of glory in my soul.

Our conflicts here thought great they be
Shall not prevent our victory
If we but strive and watch and prey
Like soldiers in the good old way

Though Satan may his powers employ
Our happiness for to destroy
Yet never fear, we’ll gain the day
By marching in the good old way.

Yea valiant souls for Heaven contend
Remember, glory is at the end
Our God will wipe our tears away
When we have run the good old way

And far beyond this mortal shore
We’ll meet with those who have gone before
And shout to think we’ll gain the day
By marching in the good old way


HAL-AN-TOW  

 

Take no scorn to wear the horn
It was the crest when you was born
Your father’s father wore it
And your father wore it too

Hal-an-tow, jolly rumble O
We were up long before the day O
To welcome in the summer,
To welcome in the May O
The summer is a-coming in
And winter’s gone away O

What happened to the Spaniards
That made so great a boast O?
Why they shall eat the feathered goose
And we shall eat the roast O

Robin Hood and Little John
Have both gone to the fair O
And we will to the merry green wood
To hunt the buck and hare O

God bless Aunt Mary Moses
And all her power and might O
And send us peace to England
Send peace by day and night O


HERE WE COME A-WASSAILING

Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green
Here we come a-wandering so fairly to be seen
Now is winter time, strangers travel far and near
And we wish you, send you a happy New Year

Bud and blossom, bud and blossom, bud and bloom and bear
So we may have plenty of cider all next year
Hatfuls and in capfuls and in bushel-bags and all
And the cider running out of every gutter hole

We hope that all your barley will prosper fine and grow
So that you’ll have plenty and a bit more to bestow
We hope your wethers they grown fat and likewise all your ewes
And where they had but one lamb we hope that they’ll have two

Down here in the muddy lane there sits an old red fox
Starving and a-shivering and licking his old chops
Bring us out your table and spread it if you please
And bring us hungry wassailers a bit of bread and cheese

I’ve got a little purse and it’s made of leather skin
A little silver sixpence would line it well within
Now is winter-time, strangers travel far and near
And we wish you, send you a happy New Yea

 

 

 

HOLMFIRTH ANTHEM

# Abroad for pleasure as I was a-walking
On one summer summer’s evening clear #
There I beheld a most beautiful damsel
Lamenting for her shepherd swain  x 2

# The fairest evening that e’er I beheld thee
Evermore with the lad I adore #
Wilt thou go fight the French and the Spaniards
Wilt thou leave me thus my dear?  x 2

# No more to yon green banks will I take thee
With pleasure for to rest myself and view the lambs #
But I will take you to yon green garden
Where the pretty pretty flowers grow x2
JACOB’S WELL

At Jacob’s well, a Stranger sought
His drooping frame to cheer x 2
# Samaria’s daughter little thought
That Jacob’s God was near.#

This had she known, her fainting mind
For richer draughts had sigh’d; x 2
# Nor had Messiah, ever kind,
Those richer draughts denied.#

This ancient well, no glass so true,
Britannia’s image shows:  x 2
# Now Jesus travels Britain through,
But who the Stranger knows?#

Yet Britain must the Stranger know
Or soon her loss deplore; x 2
# Behold the living waters flow!
Come drink, and thirst no more.”


JOLLY WAGGONER

When first I went a-waggoning, a-waggoning did go
Well, it filled my poor old parents’ hearts with sorrow, grief, and woe
And many are the hardships that since I’ve undergone.

Sing whoa my lads, sing whoa, drive on my lads, drive on
Who wouldn’t be for all the world a jolly waggoner.

When it’s pelting down with rain, my lads, I get wetted to the skin
But I bear it with contented heart until I reach the inn
And I sit down a-drinking with the landlord and his kin.

Well, things is greatly altered now and waggons few are seen
The world’s turned topsy-turvy, lads, and things is run by steam
And the whole world passes before me just like a morning dream.

Aye, things is greatly altered now but then what can us do
The folks in power all take no heed to the likes of me and you
It’s hardship for us workmen, lads, and a fortune for the few.

Well, Martinmas is coming, lads, what pleasures we shall see
Like chaff before the wind, my lads, we’ll make our money flee
And every lad shall take his lass and he’ll have her on his knee.
 

 

THE KING

Joy, health, love and peac
Be all here in this place
By your leave we will sing
Concerning our King

Our King is well dressed
In silks of the best
With ribbons so rare
No King can compare

We have travelled many miles
Over hedges and stiles
In search of our King
Unto you we bring

We have powder and shot
For to conquer the lot
We have cannon and ball
To conquer them all

Now Christmas is past
12-tide is the last
And we bid you adieu
Great joy to the new


 

PACE-EGGING SONG

Here’s one two three jolly lads all in one mind
We are come a-pace-egging and I hope you’ll prove kind
And I hope you’ll prove kind with your eggs and strong beer
For we’ll come no more nigh you until the next year

And the first that comes in is Lord Nelson you’ll see
With a bunch of blue ribbons tied round by his knee
And a star on his breast that like silver doth shine
And I hope he remembers it’s pace-egging time

And the next that comes in it is Lord Collingwood
And he fought with Lord Nelson till he shed his blood
And he’s come from the sea old England to view
And he’s come a-pace-egging with all of his crew

And the last that comes in is Old Tosspot you’ll see
He’s a valiant old man in every degree
He’s a valiant old man and he wears a pigtail
And all his delight is a-drinking mulled ale

Come ladies and gentlemen sit by the fire
Put your hands in your pockets and give us our desire
Put your hands in your pockets and treat us all right
If you give naught, we’ll take naught, farewell and good night

 

THE POACHER’S FATE

Come all ye lads of high renown
That like to drink strong ale that’s brown
And pull a lofty pheasant down
With powder, shot and gun

I and five more a-poaching went
To get some game was our intent
Our money being gone and spent
We’d nothing else to try
.
The keeper heard us fire a gun
And quickly to the spot he run
And swore, before the rising sun
That one of us should die.

The bravest lad in all the lot
‘Twas his misfortune to be shot
His memory ne’er shall be forgot
As long as we have life

For help he cried, but it was denied
He rose again to join the fight
While down upon his gallant breast
The crimson blood did flow

Deep was the wound that the keeper gave
No mortal man his life could save
He now lies sleeping in his grave
Until the judgement day.


 

SEVEN VIRGINS

All under the leaves and the leaves of life
I met with virgins seven.
And one of them was Mary mild,
Our Lord’s best mother in Heaven.

“Oh what are you seeking you seven pretty maids
All under the leaves of life?”
“We are seeking for no leaves, Thomas,
But for a friend of thine.”

“Go down, go down into yonder town,
The city of Galilee,*
And there you’ll see sweet Jesus Christ,
Nailed to a big yew tree.”

So down they went into yonder town
As fast as foot could fall.
And many a bitter and grievous tear
From them virgins’ eyes did fall.

“Oh peace mother oh peace mother
Your weeping does me grieve.
But I will suffer this,” he said,
For Adam and for Eve.”

“Oh how can I my weeping leave
My sorrows undergo?
While I do see my own son die
And sons I have no more.”

He’s laid his head on his right shoulder
And death has struck him nigh.
“The Holy Ghost be with your soul
Sweet mother now I die.”

Oh the rose the gentle rose
The fennel it grows so strong.
Amen, good Lord, your charity
Is the ending of my song

 

 

SHEPHERDS ARISE

Shepherds arise, be not afraid
With hasty steps repair
To David’s city, sing all earth
With our blest infant there (x3)

Sing, sing all earth, sing, sing all earth
Eternal praises sing
To our redeemer, to our redeemer
And our heavenly king

Laid in a manger, viewed a child
Humility divine
Sweet innocence so meek and mild
Grace in his features shine

For us the saviour came on earth
For us his life he gave
To save us from eternal death
And to raise us from the grave

SLEEP ON BELOVED

Sleep on, beloved, sleep and take thy rest,
Lay down thy head upon thy Saviour’s breast.
We love thee well but Jesus loves thee best,
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

Until our shadows from this earth are cast,
Until He gathers in His sheaves at last,
Until the twilight gloom is over past:
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight

Until made beautiful by love divine
Thou in the likeness of thy Lord shalt shine,
And He will bring that golden crown of thine,
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

Until we meet again before the throne
Clothed in the spotless robes He gives His own,
Until we know as we have known:
Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight.

STARS IN MY CROWN

I am thinking today of that beautiful land
I shall reach when the sun goes down
When through wonderful grace by my Saviour I stand
Will there be any stars in my crown?

Will there be any stars in my crown
When at evening the sun goes down
When I wake with the blest in the mansions of rest
Will there be any stars in my crown?

In the strength of the Lord let me labour and pray,
Shall I watch as a winner of souls
That bright stars may be mine in the glorious day
When His praise like the sea billow rolls?

O what joy will there be when his face I behold
And with gems at his feet to lay down
It would sweeten my bliss in the City of Gold
Should there be any stars in my crown?


THIRTY-FOOT TRAILER  by Ewan MacColl

The old ways are changing, you cannot deny,
The day of the traveller is over;
There’s nowhere to go and there’s nowhere to bide,
So farewell to the life of the rover.

Farewell to the tent and the old caravan,
To the tinker, the Gypsy, the travelling man
And farewell to the thirty-foot trailer.

Farewell to the cant and the travelling tongue,
Farewell to the Romany talking,
The buying and selling, the old fortune telling,
The knock on the door and the hawking.

You’ve got to move fast to keep up with the times
For these days a man cannot dander;
It’s a bylaw to say you must be on your way
And another to say you can’t wander.

Farewell to the besoms of heather and broom,
Farewell to the creel and the basket,
For the folks of today they would far sooner pay
For a thing that’s been made out of plastic.

Farewell to the pony, the cob, and the mare
Where the reins and the harness are idle;
You don’t need a strap when you’re breaking up scrap
So farewell to the bit and the bridle.

Farewell to the fields where we’ve sweated and toiled
At pulling and shoving and lifting,
They’ll soon have machines and the travelling queens
And their menfolk had better be shifting.


THREE SCORE AND TEN

Methinks I see a host of craft spreading their sails a-lee
As down the Humber they do glide all bound for the Northern Sea.
Methinks I see on each small craft a crew with hearts so brave
Going out to earn their daily bread upon the restless wave.

And it’s three score and ten boys and men were lost from Grimsby town.
From Yarmouth down to Scarborough many hundreds more were drowned.
Our herring craft, our trawlers, our fishing smacks as well,
They long did fight that bitter night and battled with the swell
.

Methinks I see them yet again as they leave the land behind
Casting their nets into the sea, the fishing shoals to find.
Methinks I see them yet again and all on board’s all right,
With the sails close reefed and the decks cleared up and the sidelights burning bright.

October’s night left such a sight, was never seen before:
There was masts and spars and broken yards came floating to the shore.
There was many a heart of sorrow, there was many a heart so brave.
There was many a hearty fisher lad did find a watery grave.

TWANKY-DILLO

The life of a shepherd is a life of great care
But my crook and dog Whitefoot I shall drive away fear

Twanky dillo twanky dillo, twanky dillo, dillo, dillo, dillo
And he played on his merry bagpipes made from the green willow

Green willow, green willow, green willow, willow, willow, willow
And he played on his merry bagpipes made from the green willow

Well if ever my sheep go astray on the plain
Why my little dog Whitefoot it’ll fetch em again

Well if ever I meet with the old shepherd’s horse
I shall cut off his tail clean up to his harness

And if ever I meet with the old shepherd’s daughter
I shall block up the hole where she do draw water

Well, things is greatly altered now and waggons few are seen
The world’s turned topsy-turvy, lads, and things is run by steam
And the whole world passes before me just like a morning dream.

Aye, things is greatly altered now but then what can us do
The folks in power all take no heed to the likes of me and you
It’s hardship for us workmen, lads, and a fortune for the few.

Well, Martinmas is coming, lads, what pleasures we shall see
Like chaff before the wind, my lads, we’ll make our money flee
And every lad shall take his lass and he’ll have her on his knee.


THE WHITE COCKADE

‘Tis true, my love’s enlisted and he wears a white cockade.
He is a handsome young lad likewise a roving blade.
He is a handsome young lad, just right to serve a king.
𝄆 Oh my very 𝄇 heart is breaking all for the loss of him.

As I roved out one morning, as I wandered over yon moors
I had no thoughts of ‘listing till a soldier did me cross.
He kindly did invite me to take a flowing bowl.
𝄆 He advanced 𝄇 me the money two guineas and a crown.

My love is tall and handsome and comely for to see
but by a sad misfortune a soldier now is he.
May the man that first enlisted him not prosper night and day!
𝄆 How I wish that 𝄇 he may perish all in the foaming spray!

And may he never prosper and may he never thrive
on that he puts his hands to as long as he’s alive!
May the very ground he treads upon the grass refuse to bloom
𝄆 Since he ‘as been my, 𝄇 only cause of my sorrow grief and gloom!

She’s then pulled out her handkerchief to wipe her flowing tears.
Wipe up, wipe up them mournful tears, likewise them mournful sighs!
And be you of good courage till I return again!
𝄆 You and I love, you and I love, you and I love, you and I love
Will be married when I return again.
I

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