All Lyrics to CD Album “Songs”

Here are all the Lyrics to our debut album, Songs.

Please take these songs, and make them yours, and your friends’ and childrens’.

Keep them, and give them away. Learn them, sing them, change them.

In the shower, while washing up, to the stars and starlings, please sing them.

And if you don’t already have a copy…


ed-and-will-at-home

home’s where the song is sung

1.    Ryb an Avon

This song’s title is Cornish for “Beside the waters”, or at least that’s what the oral tradition of East Cornwall informed us. Because its title seems so disconnected from the lyrics, we ponder whether this song has come from the combination of an old melody, a Cornish air of unknowable antiquity, and a natty new set of lyrics about love and madness.

Like a pedigree dog, this current ‘setting’ of melody and lyric have become established together, and now look natural. And who are we to argue?

The decision to start the album with this song was kindly and fairly made by Ed and Ginger’s mum.

Abroad, as I was walking,
One evening in the spring,
I heard a maid in Bedlam, so sweetly for to sing,
Her chains she rattled with her hands,
And thus replied she,
“I love my love, because I know
My love loves me.”

“But O, my cruel parents,
They have been too unkind,
They drove and banished me,
And tortured my mind,
Although I’m ruined for his sake,
Contented will I be,
I love my love because I know
My love loves me.”

“Should I become a swallow,
I’d ascend up in the air,
And I f I lost my labour,
And should not find him there,
I quickly would become a fish
And search the flowing sea,
I love my love, because I know
My love loves me”

Just as she was sat weeping,
Her love came on the land,
Hearing she was in Bedlam,
Well he ran straight out of hand,
And as he entered in the gates,
He heard her sigh and say,
“I love my love, because I know,
My love loves me.”

He stood and gazed upon her,
Hearing his love complain,
His feet could stand no longer,
For he bled in every vein,
He flew into her lily white arms,
And thus replied he,
“I love my love, because I know
My love loves me.”

2. Tom o Bedlam

A second song of madness…

For to see mad tom of Bedlam,
10,000 miles I’ll travel,
Mad maudlin goes on dirty toes,
To save her shoes from gravel,

Still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonny,
For they all go bare, and live by the air,
And they want no drink nor money.

My staff has murdered giants,
By bag a long knife carries,
For to cut mince pies off of children’s thighs,
With which to feed the faeries,

Still…

Spirits clear as lightning,
shall on my travels guide me,
The moon would quake and the stars would shake,
Whenever they espied me,

Still..

It’s when next I have murdered
The Man in the Moon to a powder,
His staff I’ll break, his dog I’ll bake,
There’ll howl no demon louder

So drink to Tom of Bedlam,
He’ll fill the seas in barrels,
I’ll drink it all, all brewed with gall,
With Mad Maudlin I’ll travel.

Still…

3. Spenser the rover

A Copper Song, about Spenser and his journeys.
These words were composed by Spenser the rover
Who travelled Great Britain and most parts of Wales.
He had been so reduced, which caused great confusion,
And that was the reason he went on the roam.

In Yorkshire, near Rotheram, he had been on his rambles,
Being weary of travelling he sat down to rest,
At the foot of yonder mountain, there runs a clear fountain
With bread and cold water he himself did refresh.

It tasted more sweeter than the gold he had wasted,
More sweeter than honey and gave more content,
Butt he thoughts of his babies lamenting their father
Brought tears to their eyes, which made him lament

And the night fast approaching, to the woods he resorted,
With woodbine and ivy, his bed for to make,
There he dreamt about sighing, lamenting and crying,
“Go home to your family, and rambling forsake.”

On the 5th of November, I’ve a reason to remember,
When first he returned to his family and wife,
They stood so surprised, when first he arrived,
To behold such a stranger once more in their sight.

His children gathered round him with their prattle-prattling stories,
With their prattle prattling stories, to drive cares away,
Now they are united, like birds of one feather,
Like bees in one hive, contented they’ll be.

So now he’s a living in his cottage contented,
With woodbine and roses growing all around the door,
He’s as happy as those that have thousands of riches,
Contented he’ll stay, and go a rambling no more.
4. Harvest song

This is to wake up the harvesters, and is indeed a bracing morning number.

We gets up in the morn
And we sound the harvest horn
Our master has orders for to mind,
First thing we take in hand,
Is the stopper from the can,
That each man can drink
Until the bottom be found
Then each man may do his part,
And may work with hand and heart,
While the glorious sun do shine, do shine,
While the glorious sun do shine.

Our master brings the can,
O he’s a jolly hearted man,
Come on me lads
and take a drop of the best,
But don’t you stand and prattle
when you hear the wagons rattle,
For the sun he is a drawing to the west, to the west,
For the sun he is a drawing to the west.

O It’s the farmer’s daughter dear,
brews us plenty of strong beer,
And cheese enough to cheer up any soul,
Oh then each man may drink and say
Heaven bless this happy day,
When we crown the harvest with the flowing bowl,flowing bowl,
When we crown the harvest with the flowing bowl.

5. Albert Berry and the Coal

This is written by a man called Ted Edwards, who we hope to bump into when we are Lancashire bound. He has written a lovely song, and he was nearly an astronaut.
To the coal went Albert Berry,
Drill of iron in his hand,
Off to fight another battle,
For the people of this land.

Said the coal to Albert Berry,
“For forty years you’ve been a man,
You took away the best part of me,
Today I’ll kill you if I can.”

Albert took his drill of iron
And he drilled himself a hole,
“For forty years you’ve tried to kill me,”
Said Albert Berry to the coal

Said the coal to Albert Berry,
“I have scarred your back with blue,
And your lungs are black and tattered,
Today I’ll make an end of you.”

Albert took the shot and wire,
Plunged them deep into the hole,
“Do your worst, you black old devil,”
Said Albert Berry to the coal

Said the coal to Albert Berry,
As he pushed the plunger deep,
“I will make your wife a widow
I will your children weep.”

A ton of dirt flew down the tunnel,
As Albert crouched into a hole,
“So you didn’t get me this time,”
Said Albert Berry to the coal.

Albert stepped into the tunnel,
But he didn’t hear the sound
As a ton of dirt and rubble
Crushed Albert Berry to the ground.

Said the coal to Albert Berry,
As Albert’s blood seeped to the floor,
“Men have always won the battle
But I will always win the war.”

Said the ghost of Albert Berry,
“Out of every bag of coal,
There’ll be other Albert Berrys,”
Said Albert Berry to the coal.

6 Diggers Song

This is righteous…

You noble diggers all, stand up now, stand up now,
You noble diggers all, stand up now,
The wasteland to maintain, seeing cavaliers by name,
You’re digging does maintain, and persons all defame,
Stand up now, stand up now.

Your house they pull down, stand up now, stand up now,
Your houses they pull down, stand up now,
your houses they pull down, to fright your men in town,
but the gentry must come down, and the poor shall wera the crown,
stand up now, diggers all.

With spades and hoes and ploughs, stand up now, stand up now,
With spades and hoes and ploughs, stand up now.
Your freedom to uphold, seeing cavaliers are bold,
To kill you if they could, and rights from you to hold,
Stand up now, diggers all.

The gentry are all round, stand up now, stand up now,
The gentry are all round, stand up now,
The gentry are all round, on each side they are found,
Their wisdom so profound, to cheat us of our ground,
Stand up now, stand up now.

The lawyers they conjoin, stand up now, stand up now,
The lawyers they conjoin stand up now,
To arrest you they advise, such fury they devise,
The Devil’s in them lies, and hath blinded both their eyes,
Stand up now, stand up now.

The club is all their law, stand up now, stand up now,
The club is all their law, stand up now,
The club is all their law, to keep poor men in awe,
That they a vision saw, to bind us to their law,
Stand up now, diggers all.
7 Lasses from Banyan

This is a paisley pantomime of a song. We like it.
There were two lovely lasses from banyan, from banyan, from banyan,
There were two lovely lasses from banyan,
And I am the best of them all,
O and I am the best of them all,

And my father has 40 white shillings, shillings, shillings,
And my father has 40 white shillings,
And an hook and a goat and a cow,
And a hook and a goat and a cow.

And my mother she says I can marry, marry, marry,
And my mother has said I can marry,
And she’ll leave me her bed when she dies.

And I’m sending my dress to the menders, menders, menders,
And I’m sending my shoes to the menders,
And my petticoat to be dyed green,

And tomorrow morning I shall meet him, meet him, meet him,
And tomorrow morning I shall meet him,
And I shall be dressed like a queen,
O, and I shall be dressed like a queen.

8 Rambling Sailor

It’s the young roving blade, the fellow about town, the rooster out strutting and wandering…

I am a sailor brisk and bold that oft has sailed the ocean,
And I’ve travelled the country far and wide,
For honour and promotion.
My shipmates all, I bid you adieu,
Now I may no longer go along with you,
I’ll travel the country through and through
And they call be the rambling sailor.

And if you want to know my name, my name it is young Johnson,
I’ve got a commission from the king
To court all girls is handsome,
With my false heart, and flattering tongue,
I’ll court them all, both old and young,
I’ll court them all, and marry none,
And they call me the rambling sailor.

Now first I came to Faversham town,
And there were lasses plenty,
I boldly stepped unto a one,
To court her for her money,
Says I, “my dear, be of good cheer,
I will not leave you, do not fear,
I’ll travel the country far and near,
And they call me the rambling sailor.

Oh next I come to Canterbury town,
And there were lasses plenty,
And I boldly stepped unto a one,
To court her for her beauty,
Says I, “my dear, what do you choose,
Here’s ale, wine and rum punch too,
Beside a pair of silk satin shoes,
If you’ll travel with the rambling sailor.

well then I rose up with the dawn,
Just as the day was peeping,
And on tiptoes down those stairs I went,
And I left my lover sleeping,
And if she waits, until I come,
Well she may wait right there till the day of her doom,
I’ll court some other girl in her room,
And they call me the rambling sailor.

9 Staines Morris

This is for dancing. Morris is our native Capoeira, a fertility, combat and community ritual.
Come ye young men, come along,
With your music, dance and song,
Bring your lasses in your hands,
For tis that which love commands,

Then to the maypole, haste away,
For tis now our holiday. X2

Tis the choice time of the year,
For the violets now appear,
Now the rose receives its birth,
And the pretty primrose decks the earth,

Then…

Here each batchelor may choose
One that will not faith abuse,
Nor repay with coy disdain,
Love that should be loved again,

Then…

And when you well reckoned have,
What kisses you your sweetheart gave,
Take them all again and more,
It will never make them poor,

Then…

When you thus have spent your time,
And the day be past its prime,
To your beds repair at night,
And dream there of your day’s delight,

And then…x2

10. Oats and beans

This quietens crying kiddies.
Oats and beans and barley grows
As you and I and everyone knows,
O oats and beans and barley grows
As you and I and everyone knows,
A waiting for the partner.

Now you’re married you must obey,
Must be kind in all you say,
Must be kind and must be good
And help your wife to chop the wood,
a-waiting for the partner

oats and beans…rep 1st.

11. Fiddlers green

Death, fish, and optimism. John Connelly’s excellent 60’s song has all.
As I walked by the dockside one evening so rare,
To view the still waters and take the salt air,
I heard an old fishermen, singing this song
O take me away, boys, my time os not long.

Dress me up in my oilskins and jumper,
No more on the dock I’ll be seen,
Just tell me old shipmates I’ve gone for a trip mate,
And I’ll see you someday on fiddler’s green.

O fiddler’s green is a place I’ve heard tell,
Where the fishermen go if they don’t go to hell,
Where the weather is fair and the dolphins do play,
And the cold coast of Greenland is far far away.

Dress me up..

Where the sky’s always clear and there’s never a gale,
Where the fish jump on board with a swish of their tale,
Wher eyou’ll lie at your leisure, there’s no work to do,
And the skipper’s below making tea for the crew.

Dress me up…

When we get to the dock and the long trip is through,
There’s pubs and there’s clubs and there’s lasses there too,
Where the girls are all pretty and the beer is all free,
And there’s bottles of rum growing from every tree.

Dress…

O I don’t want a harp nor a halo not me,
Just give me a breeze on the good rolling sea,
And I’ll play me old squeeze box as we sail along,
With the wind in the rigging to sing me this song,

Dress me up…

12. Topsoil

This is our doing, the odd one in the mix.

And if they were alive today
All of our good kin would be erased,
And closed in doors, under that reign
Each sudden early leaping flame

For here on the topsoil fresh seasons do meet
Feeding and flaying us, dancing through our feet,
And in times like these, folk do merrily greet
All fellow travellers under blessed sol’s heat.

So with hearts atuned to minds we’ll a gather in the time,
I’m told was sweeter in days that aren’t mine,
But I swear to dwell never in such hasty lies,
For now is the fairest time to be alive.

For here on the topsoil old stories still fight,
Playful and bitter, our souls to ignite,
And in times like these manfolk just really might,
Whisper their dark tales to welcome in the light.

O the oldest of law tell us it’s wicked for to love,
Those givers of order who can’t take enough,
They rant at our raves and they huff at our puff,
With smooth bloody promises, the snake eats the dove.

For here on the topsoil sharp spells have been said,
Fact fable fiction blending in this cauldron head,
And in times like these, each folk do really tread,
Most gentle, most certain, on the bones of their dead.

For the ploughshare and the swordblade are one and the same,
Rose petals and iron bombs play but one game,
For the oldest of legends did not hear your name,
And death grows to greet us, that rare tasteless grain.

For here on the topsoil our words gather might
Quicken all hastening never to take fright
And in times like this, dearfolk know well by right,
Each other strange one, near by the nigt.

13. The Hartlake Bridge Tragedy

This happened, musically and historically, which lends some credence to the theory that these old songs are not merely ‘archtypes’, but in fact refer to living folks doing real things.

This is a sad song, sung by Ginger.

Now 7 and 30 strangers, a-hopping they had been,
They were ployed by mr coxes, o near old Golden green,
It was in thaprish of hadlow, that’s near old Tonbridge town,
They heard the screams of those poor souls,
When they were going down.

Now some were men and women, and others gorls and boys,
They kept in contract with the bridge, till the horses they took shy,
They kept in contract with the bridge, till the horses they took shy,
Thy heard the screams of those poor souls, when they were going down.

Now some were men and women, and others girls and boys,
They were ployed near mr coxes, o near old golden green,
It were in the parish of Hadlow, that’s near old Tonbridge town,
That’s where they laid all those poor souls, after they were drowned.

14. The Seven Virgins – The Leaves of Life

A very special song…
All under the leaves and the leaves of life
I met with virgins 7, and one of them was Mary mild,
Our Lord’s best mother in heaven.

O what are you seeking you 7 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,
And sit in the gallery,
O and there you’ll see sweet Jesus Christ,
All nailed to an elder tree.

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

O peace, mother, o peace, mother,
Your weeping does me grieve,
For I must suffer this, he says,
For Adam and for Eve.

O how can I my weeping cease,
my sorrows under gall,
When I must watch 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.

O, the rose, the gentle rose,
The fennel it grows so strong,
Amen, sweet lord, your charity,
Is the ending of my song.

15. My son John

To be whack a diddled out in protest, we say. Youngsters are still being sent away, to return from far lands with metal torn limbs. This is a timely song, and a critical one.
My son john was tall and slim,
And he had a leg for every limb,
But now he’s got no legs at all,
They were both shot away by the cannonball.

With me roo dumma die,
Rubba diddle eye,
Whack for me riddle
With me roo dum die.

O were you drunk, or were you blind,
When you left your 2 fine legs behind?
Or was it sailing on the sea
Wore your 2 fine legs right down to your knee?

With me…

I was not drunk and I was not blind
When I left me 2 fine legs behind.
Nor was it sailing on the sea,
Wore me 2 fine legs right down to me knee,

With me…

For I was tall, I was slim,
I had a leg for every limb,
But now I’ve got no legs at all,
They were both shot away by the cannonball,

With me roo dumma die,
Rubba diddle eye,
Whack for me riddle with me roo dum die,
O with me roo dum die,
Rubba diddle eye,
Whack for me riddle with me roo dum die.,

16. The Barley Mow.

If we ever meet you, please don’t ask us to sing this. It is a headache next day song, and not for dry tongues.

Here’s good luck to the pint pot, good luck to the barley mow,
Jolly good luck to the pint pot, good luck to the barley mow,

O the pint-pot, half-a-pint, gill-pot, half-a-gill,
quarter-gill, nipperkin, and the brown bowl,
Here’s good luck, good luck, good luck to the barley mow.

ADD ON ONE MEASURE PER VERSE,
FOR CHORUS, COUNT THEM ALL DOWN BACKWARDS.

Half-gallon, gallon, half-bushel, bushel, half-barrel, barrel, landlord, landlady, barmaid, brewer, company.

Last chorus:

O the company, brewer, the barmaid, landlady, landlord, barrel, the half-barrel, bushel, the half-bushel, gallon, the half-gallon, pint-pot, half-a-pint, gill-pot, half-a-gill, quarter gill, nipperkin and the brown bowl,
Here’s good luck, good luck, good luck to the barley mow.

The secret track…is a strange little nursery rhyme, set to a razzing pace by ed and will. A fine rhyme, whose last word is root, with which this album ends.

O, the goose and the gander went over the green,
The goose she went barefoot for fear of being seen,
For fear of being seen, boys, for fear of being seen,
And the goose she went barefoot for fear of being seen.

O I had a black hen, and she had a white foot,
And she laid an egg in a willow tree root,
In a willow tree root, boys, a willow tree root,
And she laid an egg in a willow tree root.

DSC_0455

root

4 Responses to “All Lyrics to CD Album “Songs””

  1. laura f says:

    this was a dangerous move! now ill be howling out the songs till i get slapped into silence ( by my mum, sister, boss, neighbours etc)

  2. […] Oats and Beans and Barley O sung by Ed, Will and Ginger and taken from their album Songs […]

  3. Robert Allfrey says:

    Recd your CD anmd was blown away by the quality of the singing and interpretation of the songs. . Love the opening track and Albert & the Coal. If you didnt tell me I would not know that Topsoil ws one of yours! I am sure that your Spencer the Rover would be to the approval of the Coppers. Thank you great CD, I look forward to the next one.

    Robert

  4. Lou Eyles says:

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The neighbours will never forgive us, we’ll be singing our hearts out! Thank you!

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