Archive for the 'Irish/british' Category



Cupid’s Garden


h1 Monday, May 1st, 2017

This traditional song (Roud 297) is about an 18th century tea garden located on the south side of the River Thames in London. It was named after Abraham Boydell Cuper. It became known as “Cupid’s Garden because of the questionable morals of its visitors and as a result, lost its licence in 1736.

Lyrics:

[G] ‘Twas down in Cupid’s [D] Garden I [C] wandered for to [D] view
[G] The sweet and lovely [D] flowers [C] that in the [D] garden [G] grew,
[G] And one it was sweet [D] jasmin, the [C] lily, pink and [D] rose;
[G] They are the finest [D] flowers [C] that in the [D] garden [G] grow
[C] that in the [D] garden [G] grow.

I had not been in the garden but scarcely half an hour,
When I beheld two maidens, sat under a shady bower,
And one it was sweet Nancy, so beautiful and fair,
The other was a virgin and did the laurels wear
and did the laurels wear.

I boldly stepped up to them and unto them did say,
“Are you engaged to any young man, come tell to me, I pray?”
“No, I’m not engaged to any young man, I solemnly declare;
I mean to stay a virgin and still the laurels wear”
and still the laurels wear.

So, hand in hand together, this loving couple went;
To view the secrets of her heart was the sailor’s full intent,
Or whether she would slight him while he to the wars did go.
Her answer was, “Not I, my love, for I love a sailor bold”
for I love a sailor bold.

It’s down in Portsmouth Harbour, there’s a ship lies waiting there;
Tomorrow to the seas I’ll go, let the wind blow high or fair.
And, if I should live to return again, how happy I should be
With you, my love, my own true love, sitting smiling on my knee
sitting smiling on my knee.

Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms


h1 Sunday, January 1st, 2017

“Roll In My Sweet Baby’s Arms” is a traditional folk song often recorded by bluegrass and country artists. It was derived from a cowboy song titled “My Lula Gal” which was taken from an old British song “Bang Bang Rosie.”

Lyrics:

[G] Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s [D] arms
[G] Lay around the shack ’til the [C] coal train comes back
[D] And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s [G] arms

[G] I ain’t gonna work in the city
I ain’t gonna work on the [D] farm
[G] Lay around the shack ’til the [C] coal train comes back
[D] And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s [G] arms

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

Now you ought a see my baby
She’s so sweet and kind
I take her every place I go
I never would leave her behind

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

I know her parents they like me
They welcome me in their door
Invite me to a real fine meal
And ask if I want any more

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Roll in my sweet baby’s arms
Lay around the shack ’til the coal train comes back
And I’ll roll in my sweet baby’s arms

(c) McGuinn Music /
New Lyrics By Roger McGuinn

The Belle of Belfast City


h1 Friday, July 1st, 2016

This is a well known children’s song from the 19th century. It is in the Roud Folk Song Index as number 2649. It’s been collected in various parts of England and Ireland. When sung in Northern Ireland it’s known as “The Belle of Belfast City.” There is a game associated with this song. Children form a ring by joining hands while one child stands in the middle. When asked “Please tell me who they be?” The child in the middle gives the name or initials of a child in the ring and after the rest of the lyrics are sung the named child goes in the middle.

Lyrics:
[G] I’ll tell my ma [C] when I get home,
[G] The boys won’t leave [D] the girls alone
[G] They pull my hair and [C] stole my comb
[D] But that’s all right [G] till I go home

[G] She is handsome, [C] she is pretty,
[G] She is the Belle of [D] Belfast city
[G] She is a courtin’ [C] one, two, three,
[D] Please won’t you tell me [G] who is she

Albert Mooney says he loves her,
All the boys are fightin’ for her
Knock at the door and ring at the bell,
Saying oh my true love, are you well

Out she comes as white as snow,
Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes
Ould Johnny Morrissey says she’ll die
If she doesn’t get the fella with the roving eye

Let the wind and the rain and the hail blow high
And the snow come travellin’ through the sky
She’s as sweet as apple pie,
She’ll get her own lad by and by

When she gets a lad of her own
She won’t tell her ma when she gets home
Let them all come as they will
For it’s Albert Mooney she loves still

My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean


h1 Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The subject of this song was probably Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) who was defeated at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. He was forced into exile in Europe, changing aliases and disguises for the rest of his life. His supporters could have pretended it was simply a love song.

I was unable to sing today because of a cold I caught on our last concert tour so I used the other voice I’m known for (that of the Rickenbacker 12-string.)

Lyrics:
[G] My Bonnie lies [C] over the [G] ocean
My Bonnie lies over the [D] sea
[G] My Bonnie lies [C] over the [G] ocean
[C] Oh, bring back my [D] Bonnie to [G] me

Chorus:
[G] Bring back, [C] bring back
[D] O,Bring back my Bonnie [G] to me, to me
[G] Bring back, [C] bring back
[D] O,Bring back my Bonnie to [G] me

Last night as I lay on my pillow
Last night as I lay on my bed
Last night as I lay on my pillow
I dreamt that my Bonnie was dead

Oh blow the winds o’er the ocean
And blow the winds o’er the sea
Oh blow the winds o’er the ocean
And bring back my Bonnie to me

This Old Man


h1 Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

This is an English language children’s counting, nursery rhyme listed in the Roud Folk Song Index: number 3550. Nobody knows who composed it but it was said to have been learned from a Welsh nurse in the 1870s.

Lyrics:
[G] This old man, he played one,
[C] He played knick-knack on my [D] thumb;
[G] With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
[D] This old man came [G] rolling home.

This old man, he played two,
He played knick-knack on my shoe;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played three,
He played knick-knack on my knee;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played four,
He played knick-knack on my door;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played five,
He played knick-knack on my hive;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played six,
He played knick-knack on my sticks;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played seven,
He played knick-knack up in heaven;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played eight,
He played knick-knack on my gate;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played nine,
He played knick-knack on my spine;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

This old man, he played ten,
He played knick-knack once again;
With a knick-knack paddywhack,
Give the dog a bone,
This old man came rolling home.

The Fatal Flower Garden


h1 Friday, January 1st, 2016

This is Child Ballad 155, a good warning not to let your children talk to strangers!

Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year 2016!!!

Lyrics:
[E] It rained, it poured, [B7] it rained so hard,
It rained so hard [E] all day,
That all the boys in [A] our school
[B7] Came out to toss and [E] play.

They tossed a ball again so high,
Then again, so low;
They tossed it into a flower garden
Where no-one was allowed to go.

Up stepped a gypsy lady,
All dressed in yellow and green;
“Come in, come in, my pretty little boy,
And get your ball again.”

“I can’t come in, I shan’t come in
Without my playmates all;
I’ll go to my father and tell him about it,
That’ll cause his tears to fall.”

She first showed him an apple seed,
Then again gold rings,
Then she showed him a diamond,
And that enticed him in.

She took him by his lily-white hand,
She led him through the hall;
She put him into

an upper room,
Where no-one could hear him call.

“Oh, take these finger rings off my finger,
Smoke them with your breath;
If any of my friends should call for me,
Tell them that I’m at rest.”

The Eclipse


h1 Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

Launched from Hall’s yard, Aberdeen, on 3rd January 1867 the ‘Eclipse’ cost almost $12,000, carried eight whale boats and a crew of 55 men.

“The Eclipse” was one of the first seafaring songs to grab my attention. It was on the album “Thar She Blows” By Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd. It tells the true story of three ships whaling in Queen Victoria’s year of Jubilee 1887. The trip was a miserable failure.

A.L. Lloyd commented in the album’s liner notes:

In the year of Queen Victoria’s jubilee, 1887, the steamer Eclipse of Stonehaven went fishing in the Arctic with her sister ships the Eric and the Hope. Her captain, David Gray, was on one of the greatest of nineteenth century whaling skippers. By now the northern waters were nearly fished clean of right whales, and the Scottish fleet was taking whatever it could – white whales, narwhales, bottlenooses (David Gray was the first hunter of bottlenoose whale). The 1887 season was disastrous. The Erik caught one small whale, the Hope none at all. On June 21st, David Gray took a good fat 57-foot cow whose jawbones are still on show in London’s Natural History Museum, but even the Eclipse, that luckiest of whalers, came home light, and with a bonus of only one-and-threepence a ton for oil. Her crew felt the trip had hardly been worth the hardship, and they marched through the streets of Peterhead to tell the owners so. The Eclipse made her first voyage in 1867. When she finished whaling, she was sold to the Russians and, renamed the Lomonosov, she was still being used as a survey ship along the Siberian coast as late as 1939.

Lyrics:
[G] It was the twenty-first of [D] June, me boys it [G] being a glorious [D] day,
[G] The Eclipse she saw a [D] whale-fish and she [Em] lowered all hands away,

Chorus (after each verse):
[G] So blow ye winds of morning, blow ye winds [C] hi-ho,
[G] Clear away your [C] running gear and [G] blow, [C] boys, [G] blow.

The boats they pulled to leeward, went skipping over the sea,
And we killed this noble whale-fish for another jubilee.

Our Captain Davie Gray was kind and he gave his crew a treat,
And that was why we caught this whale that measured fifty feet.

The Eclipse she lies to windward, her colours she does flee,
And the Erik and the Hope also, and this is the jubilee.

The Erik caught a sperm-whale that measured forty-three,
But the Hope has none and shall get none this year of jubilee.

But when this trip is over we’ll not ship for one and three,
Because we didn’t get fair play in the year of jubilee.

We’ll march up to the Custom House where we do all sign clear,
And when we face old Bless-My-Soul we’ll tell him without fear.

We’ll tell him that we’ll never sign again for one and three,
And we’ll march through Commercial Street and sing the jubilee.

Chorus:
And so blew ye winds of morning, blow ye winds hi-ho,
Clear away your running gear and blow, boys, blow.

The Rainbow


h1 Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

This ballad from the 16th century immortalizes a British galleon of the English Tudor Navy named “The Rainbow.” She fought against the Spanish during the “Singeing the King of Spain’s Beard” and the Spanish Armada, including the Battle of Gravelines in 1588.

In the story, as was a maritime tradition the captain’s wife bravely took command of the ship after his untimely demise.

Lyrics:
[D] As we were a-sailing out on the Spanish shore
[Bm] The drums they did beat me-boys and loud [D] cannons did [A] roar
[Bm] We spied our lofty enemy come [D] sailing down the [A] main
[D] With her scarves a-still high to our top sails again

Our captain says be ready oh he says me-boys stand true
To face the Spanish enemy we lately did pursue
To face the Spanish enemy they love the ocean wide
And without a good protection boys we’ll take the first broadside

Ah broadside to broadside – to battle then we went
To sink one another it was our intent
The very second broadside our captain he got slain
And his damsel – she stood up in his place to command

We fought for four hours – four hours – so severe
We scarcely had one man aboard – of our ship that could steer
We scarcely had one man aboard who’d fire off a gun
And the blood from our deck me boys – like a river did run

For quarters for quarters those Spanish lads did cry
No quarters no quarters this damsel did reply
You’ve had the finest quarters that I can afford
And you must sink or swim me-boys or jump overboard

And now the battle’s over – we’ll drink a glass of wine
And you must drink to your own-true-love as I will drink
to mine
Here’s health onto the damsel who fought all on the main
And heres to the royal gallant ship the “Rainbow” by name

Paddy and the Whale


h1 Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Ewan MacColl and A.L. Lloyd sang this on their album “Thar She Blows” accompanied by Peggy Seeger doing an amazing 5-string banjo roll.

A.L. Lloyd had this to say about the song:

“From the latter days of whaling is this jokey remake of the Jonah legend. Presumably Paddy and the Whale originated late in the 19th century, though it’s debatable whether it was a sea-song first and a stage-song after, or t’other way round. Irish stage comedians knew it, and perhaps it was one of them who set the words to the tune of The Cobbler’s Ball.”

Lyrics:
[Dm] Well Paddy O’Brian left [C] Ireland in [Dm] glee;
[C] He had a strong notion for Greenland to see;[Dm]
He shipped on a whaler, for Greenland was bound,
[C] And the whiskey he drank made his head go around,

And it’s [Dm] whack, fol da rol doe, [C] fol da rol doe [D] dee lee *

[Dm] Now, Paddy had never been [C] whaling [Dm]before;
[C]It made his heart jump when he heard a loud [Dm]roar;
As the lookout he cried there’s a whale he did spy:
[C]“I’m going to get ate,” says old Pat,”by-and-by”
And it’s [Dm] whack, fol da rol doe, [C] fol da rol doe [D] dee lee

[Dm]O, Paddy run forward [C] caught hold of the [Dm] mast
[C] He grasped his arms round it and held to it [Dm]fast
And the boat give a pitch, and,while losing his grip,
[C]Down in the whale’s belly poor Paddy did slip,
And it’s[Dm] whack, fol da rol doe, [C] fol da rol doe [D] dee lee

[Dm]He was down in the whale [C]for six months and five [Dm]days
[C]Till one day by luck to his throat he made [Dm]way.
The whale give a snort and then he did a blow,
[C]And out on dry land old Paddy did go.
And it’s[Dm] whack, fol da rol doe, [C] fol da rol doe [D] dee lee

[Dm]Now, Paddy is landed and [C]safe on the [Dm]shore;
[C]He swears that he’ll never go whaling no [Dm]more.
And the next time he wishes old Greenland to see,
[C]It will be when the railroad runs over the sea.
And it’s[Dm] whack, fol da rol doe, [C] fol da rol doe [D] dee lee

The Ash Grove


h1 Thursday, January 1st, 2015

The Ash Grove is a 19th century Welsh folk song the tune of which has been set to many different lyrics including hymns and Christmas carols.

At age 17 my first professional show was at Ed Pearl’s Ash Grove folk music club at 8162 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. The venue was named after this song.

I recorded the RCA LP “Tonight in Person” with the Limeliters there in July of 1960. I had my 18th birthday in the club and the servers brought me a cupcake with a candle. It’s a sweet memory!

Lyrics:
[G] Down yonder green valley, where [Am] streamlets [D] meander,
When [G] twilight is [C] fading I [D] pensively [G] rove
Or at the bright noontide in [Am] solitude [D] wander,
[G] Amid the dark [C] shades of the [D] lonely [G] ash grove;
‘T was there, while the blackbird [Am] was cheerfully singing,
[G] I first met that dear one, [A] the joy of my [D] heart!
[G] Around us for gladness the [Am] bluebells were [D] ringing,
[G] Ah! then little [C] thought I how [D] soon we should [G] part.

Still glows the bright sunshine o’er valley and mountain,
Still warbles the blackbird its note from the tree;
Still trembles the moonbeam on streamlet and fountain,
But what are the beauties of nature to me?
With sorrow, deep sorrow, my bosom is laden,
All day I go mourning in search of my love;
Ye echoes, oh, tell me, where is the sweet maiden?
“She sleeps, ‘neath the green turf down by the ash grove.”

Repeat First Verse