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McF Album song lyrics and explanatory notes
Scroll down for the various McF albums - they are order, most recent first ...

                         dMb electric band - 'Poachers Bold'             dMb acoustic band - 'Marked Out In Pegs'
                         dMb electric band - 'All Rogues & Villains'       dMb electric band - 'Woodshed Boys'
                         Duncan 'solo' - 'Bed of Straw'                 Duncan 'solo' - Miscellaneous works
(such as 'Not PC')
 

'Poachers Bold' - the Duncan McFarlane Band (electric)   2012-2013
 

The Blacksmith - ’You can’t sing that, Dunc, that’s a woman’s song’, the folk-pedants scold!
But wait! Notice my use of ’She said’ and ’She cried’ - Why… now it’s a chap telling the tale - phew!
Sampled 'blacksmith striking his anvil' sounds opening and throughout this one - and plenty of DMcF riffs to augment the Trad song.

The Blacksmith (Trad arr D McFarlane)
She said a blacksmith courted me nine months or better
He fairly won my heart, wrote me a letter
With his hammer in his hand he looked so clever
And if I were with my love I would live forever

She said O where has my love gone with his cheeks like roses
He is gone across the sea gathering primroses
I'm afraid the shining sun will scorch his beauty
And if I were with my love I would do my duty

Strange news is a-come to town, strange news is carried
Strange news flies up and down that my love is married
Oh I wish them both great joy, though they don't hear me
And may love reward them well for the slighting of me

She said what did you promise me when you lay beside me
You said you'd marry me and not deny me
If I said I'd marry you twas only to try you
So bring your witness love and I'll not deny you

Welcome you home - 2012 saw many of our Armed Forces returning to the UK - street parties and grateful welcoming-home parties and more formal ceremonies took place - Then the Olympics happened, with many a street party to welcome back local winners - the news was full for months showing folks getting a 'welcome' home from their neighbourhoods - so it was, noodling away on my newly purchased mandolin (handmade, like my acoustic guitars, by our own nearby Leeds firm 'Oakwood Instruments', I found myself writing this one.

Welcome you home (D McFarlane)
So glad that you made it
So grand you are home at last
So glad all your effort was worth all the pain
We’ll be sharing this night with friends
One big family gathered here
We’re ready to celebrate with you
We’re ready to welcome you home - Welcome you home

We’ve been putting up bunting
We’ve put up our flags for you
There’s food on the tables and everyone’s calling your name
We’re raising our glasses
There’s a smile upon every face
We’re ready to party here with you….
We’re ready to welcome you home - Welcome you home

Round the Hornpipe / Bear Dance ((D McFarlane / Trad arr D McFarlane)
Steve came and played me a hornpipe and also the 'Bear Dance' onto my home recording gear. 'Can you do summat wi’ these trad tunes?' he said. So I spent hours on the arrangement and we mixed it onto the first few copies of the CD - only then did the beggar turned round and tell me he'd found out the hornpipe was a modern composition! So I kept the backing track, as was, and recorded a new mandolin tune based 'Round the Hornpipe' - then got Anne, Steve & Geoff to add their new parts on...
Phew - saved the whole thing!

Cold, Haily, Windy Night - My first ever Folk Club trip was at the Old Fire Engine House in Ely; Approx 1972 I think . A certain Mr Carthy sang this one. Of late, I’ve added my own ‘tunettes’ to it  to bulk  and beef it up.

Cold Haily, Windy Night (Trad arr D McFarlane)
Oh m' hat it is frozen to m' head - M' shoes lay like a lump lead
I’m standing here half drowned half dead - Standing at your window
Won’t you let me in the soldier cried - It’s a cold, haily, windy night oh
Won’t you let me in the soldier cried for I’ll not go back again, no

Oh m' mother she watches down on the street, m' father, the chamber, keys do keep
and the doors and the windows they do creak and I dare not let you in, no
Won’t you let me in the soldier cried - It’s a cold, haily, windy night oh
Won’t you let me in the soldier cried for I’ll not go back again, no

Now she's rose up and she's let him in, she’s kissed her true love cheek and chin
Then gone in between the sheets again and she’s opened and she’s let him in, oh
Then she has blessed the rainy night - cold, haily windy night  oh,
then she has blessed the rainy night she opened and she let him in oh

'Soldier, soldier stay with me, soldier soldier won’t you marry me?'
'Oh no, no, no this ne’er can be so fare thee well forever'
Then she has wept for the rainy night, cold, haily windy night
oh, then she has wept for the rainy night she opened and she let him in oh.

Now he's jumped up all out of the bed and he’s put his hat all on his head
for she had lost her maidenhead - Her mother, she’s heard the din, oh
Then she has cursed the rainy night - cold, haily windy night 
oh, then she has cursed the rainy night she opened and she let him in oh

Billy Boy
- Another song I believe I first heard sung when I saw Martin Carthy at Ely Folk Club ; 
Once again, my own ‘tunette’ inserts find their way into my ‘Trad Arrangements’.

Billy Boy (Trad arr D McFarlane)
Where have you been all the day/ bonny boy Billy Boy

O me dear darling Billy O

Oh I have been all the day walking with a lady gay
Isn't she a young thing lately from her mummy O
Is she fitting for your wife bonny boy Billy Boy
She's as fit to be me wife as the heart is to the knife
Did she ask you to sit down bonny boy Billy Boy
Well she asked me to sit down then she curtsied to the ground
Did she light you up to bed bonny boy Billy Boy
Yes she lit me up to bed with a nodding of her head
Did she lie so close to you bonny boy Billy Boy
Yes she lay so close to me as the bark is to the tree
Do you want to know her age bonny boy Billy Boy
She is twice six seven she is twice twenty and eleven

For Jane (Tomlinson) - Whilst working as a ‘traffic light controller’ for Leeds City Council I had the honour to control a ‘green wave’ for a very special lady’s funeral cortege. To witness this sad occasion via multiple screens, with no sound, gave it an eerie feel; Tears rolled down my face as the crowd applauded, in waves, as she passed. RIP Jane - may your fundraising legacy live on… and benefit many.

For Jane - for Jane Tomlinson (D McFarlane)
Just got knocked down with a feather
Stunned when they told me the news
Thought that you’d go on forever
in a race you were always to lose
We’ll always remember, we’ll carry it on forever
I watched as they led you away
They applaud as they lead you away
We’ll always remember, oh-oh, you

(She said) Death doesn’t arrive with prognosis
Determined & selfless & brave
Setting the pace with her actions
so that more in her wake might be saved
We’ll always remember, carry it on forever
I watched as they led you away
They applaud as they lead you away
We’ll always remember, oh-oh, you

We shall remember a mother we will remember a wife
making the most of each second
Celebrating each breath of a life

We’ll always remember, carry it on forever
I watched as they led you away
They applaud as they lead you away...
The least I could give was a wave, for you

Boys of Bedlam - I’ve written a new, original tune for these Trad lyrics because I got the composing credit for this wrong once before, believing like everyone else does, that the well-known tune was Trad!  So just to avoid any further confusion, I thought myself ‘mad enough’ to compose a new tune for it! The main riff was written on a miniature electric guitar tuned in D modal!

Boys of Bedlam (Trad arr D McFarlane)
To see Fat Tom of Bedlam ten thousand miles I’d travel
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes to save her shoes from gravel
And it’s still I sing bonny boys, bonny mad boys Bedlam boys are bonny
For they all go bare and they live by the air and they want no drink, want no drink nor money


I went down to Satan’s kitchen to get my food one morning
And there I got souls piping hot all on a spit a-turning

Oh me spirits white as lightning would on m’ travels guide me
The moon would shake and stars l would quake whenever they espied me

& when that I have beaten the man in the moon to a powder
His staff I’ll break and dog I’ll shake and I’ll yell ‘demon’ louder   

Ribbons Fall - Military aircraft, armed & ready for take off, apparently have ribbons dangling from the primed armament on their wings. A BBC Radio Four interview of Anti-War Protesters outside a UK American Airbase made me aware that the prompt for them to go over/under/through the wire and stand in the way of any take-off’ was ‘when the ‘ribbons fall’.

Ribbons Fall
(D. McFarlane)
I still see you as a girl - Party frock and hair in curls
Then the ribbons fall, then the ribbons fall
And from innocent and pure - Growing stronger, so mature
As the ribbons fall, as the ribbons fall
And I’m proud that you are there
Side by side with those who care
My eyes are welling up as I recall
How your voices speak so loud
Shouting silence from the crowd
And I thank God that someone cares at all


They have bombs and misery poised to fly far overseas
When the ribbons fall, when the ribbons fall
Where’s the love if just one dies? There’s no peace if no one tries
When the ribbons fall, when the ribbons fall...

Now you stand beside the wire - Voices raised, dissenting choir
Till the ribbons fall, till the ribbons fall
Then you’ll break through if you can - Block their runways, make a stand
When the ribbons fall, when the ribbons fall...

Rufford Park - Another classic example of how I just can’t help but ‘insert’ my own wee ‘tunettes’ in any given Trad piece. Some folk like this habit of mine, others don’t! I learnt the trad song via Nic Jones’ ace rendition.

Rufford Park (Trad arr D McFarlane)
A buck or doe believe it so, A pheasant or a hare
Were set on earth for everyone quite equal for to share

So poacher bold, as I unfold keep up your gallant heart
& think about those poachers bold that night in Rufford Park


They say that forty gallant poachers they were in distress
They'd often been attacked when their number it was less...

Among the gorse to settle scores those forty gathered stones
To make a fight for poor men's rights & break the keepers' bones...

The keepers went with flails against the poachers and their cause
So no man there again would dare defy the rich man's laws...

Upon the ground with mortal wound Head keeper Roberts lay
He never will rise up until the final judgement day...

Of all that band who made a stand to set a net or snare
The four men brought before the court were tried for murder there...

The Judge he said "For Robert's death Transported you must be
To serve a term of forty years In convict slavery"
So poacher bold, your tale is told keep up your gallant heart
& think about those poachers bold that night in Rufford Park


The Weight of it All - I personally believe our Armed Forces are unnecessarily suffering, tragically in the physical sense, but also mentally, in overseas conflicts. My own feelings are - bring them home... now!

The Weight of of it all (D McFarlane)
It’s sad but you won’t take advice or listen at all
You’re mad they say and I have to agree
You work so hard, no luck no joy Won’t take assistance from me

I’m glad that you try all the time and struggle on so
We care about you and I have to admit
I wish so much success for you But your resistance is so low
Can’t you see how you’re starting to shake from the weight of it all?
Can’t you see how you’re starting to break from the weight of it all?


Too bad, now you’re paying the price, it’s taken its toll
So bad they say, and I have to agree
Somehow I think you won’t get up Without assistance from me

Can’t you see how you’re starting to shake from the weight of it all?
Can’t you see how you’re starting to break from the weight of it all?
Can’t you see how little you take from the weight of it all?


It’s sad but you won’t take advice or listen at all
You’re mad they say and I have to agree
You work so hard, no luck no joy Won’t take assistance from me

Harvest Home / K2 (Trad arr D McFarlane / D McFarlane) - Anne’s usual Trad sound-check-piece promoted here - then one of my own tunes was tacked on. I wrote the tune way back, for my young daughter Kiera, whilst camping at Whitby Festival one year as a father/daughter bonding thing! I bought us a penny whistle each, then this tune 'K2' resulted from a mealtime break we took at the campsite. It was the second tune I ever wrote for her - 'K1' being on my first album 'Bed of Straw'.

To the Chevin - A song for all of you out there who have suffered from any form of bullying.
The original demo featured Dunc imitating the melodeon on a melodica - just so Steve could get the gist of the solo!
Oh, how he chortled on hearing my efforts!

To the Chevin (D McFarlane)
When life feels desperate and walls are closing in you cry for some way through – you pray for an escape.
Out there, there are liars, there are cheats who couldn’t care if they destroy someone – it’s always been this way
So let’s go to the Chevin, climb up to the top
we’ll look down on them - down on them.
Up there the view is clear and skylark never stops
we’ll look down on them - down on them

When your chest is tightening and panic fills your lungs
you cry for some way out – you hope you’ll find a way.
out there, there are bullies taking pleasure from the way
they can destroy someone – it’s always been this way...
So let’s go to the Chevin, climb up to the top
we’ll look down on them - down on them.
Up there the view is clear and skylark never stops
we’ll look down on them - down on them
And we’ll look down on you, we’ll look down on you - We’ll look down
We’ll look down on you, we’ll look down on you - We’ll look down

I hope one day you find you feel so much better
Find some peace of mind – some sense in what I say
There’s friends and family who will rally to your side
if you just let them in – don’t let the bastards win the day
So let’s go to the Chevin, climb up to the top
we’ll look down on them - down on them.
Up there the view is clear and skylark never stops
we’ll look down on them - down on them
And we’ll look down on you, we’ll look down on you - We’ll look down
We’ll look down on you, we’ll look down on you - We’ll look down

Drinking Song / Stool of Repentance (D McFarlane) - It’s now become a bit of a tradition that McF Band CDs end with a light throwaway bit of fun! So here’s my tribute to the demon ‘drink’ and all who take a drop too much.
It ends with a Neil Gow tune that Anne provided via her Scottish upbringing. In days of old, drunkards were made to sit on the ‘repentance stool’ on a Sunday morning , no doubt nursing an ‘awfy sair heid’ and well placed for a mighty admonishing from the Minister.
My  'Drinking Song' punch-line comes from remembering an old Dave Allen joke that stuck with me all these years!

Drinking Song / Stool of Repentance (D McFarlane)
There’s some round here been drinking Mixed up as they could be
Some can barely look ahead - some can hardly see
There’s some propped up against the wall – or clinging to the bar
There's some round here been drinking and we all know who they are

Who they are, are, are - Who they are, are, are
There's some round here been drinking and we all know who they are
Who they are, are, are - Who they are, are, are
There's some round here been drinking and we all know who they are

There’s some round here been drinking, had far more than they planned
There’s some can barely sit up straight -  some can hardly stand
There’s some that cant see anything & some that just see stars
There's some round here been drinking and we all know who they are...

There's a couple here been drinking, their words mixed up and slurred
To her he looks much better now the booze has made him blurred
He’s leaning close-up to her face  and yet she seems so far
There's some round here been drinking and we all know who they are...

There’s some round…. drinking   But who never bought a round
They’ve short arms and deep pockets, not even spent a pound
And yet they’ve downed some gallons - It’s really quite bizarre
There's some round here been drinking and we all know who they are...


Your friends say ‘Get it down you, matey - a drop is good for you
Soon we’ll be on top o’ th’ world - when we have supped a few
But later in the evening – when it all comes back to you - They say
'Bring it up again laddie, you’ll feel better when you do'

Thanks go to our families for ’putting up’ while we have fun with it all ; To all that have bought this special edition - you can use this numbered CD to claim your free glass-mastered copy when it’s released; To artist & good pal Duncan Storr for the ace cover  pic ;
But most of all, huge thanks to
Geoff Taylor for all the effort he made with the recording, engineering & production at Long Fox Studios
-
Dunc xxx

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Duncan McFarlane Acoustic Band CD - 'Marked Out In Pegs'
Complete lyrics & ‘embellished’ sleeve notes for the album.

We recorded this as a band, in one-take, until we canned a collective thumbs-up version of each. A few ‘corrections’ and additional tweaks later, we owe huge thanks to 'Magnificent' Matt Nelson, who not only recorded, produced & mixed the album, but even added a touch of mandolin when our backs were turned! Many thanks, Matt, we love you!
The band 'dressed up' in the front room of the Green Dragon, at Hardraw Gathering, in July 2010, for a photo shoot to emulate the old pic shown below - thanks to our favourite landlord, Mark Thompson, for the room - and to the wonderful Ani McNeice for the photo shoot!
We managed to procure a really old pegboard from the wonderful
www.retonthenet.co.uk Bless 'em all!
Anne looked a real 'Female Drummer Boy' in the period military costume! It's a shame the bright red of her cap and leg-stripe have been sacrificed for the b/w image on the traycard - but that's the way things went - sorry!

Superb service for the mastering & duplication of this album from
www.clipstore.co.uk namely the brilliant Tony Bonner & Warwick Pilmer. Sleeve notes & CD artwork design by Duncan. Peace & love to Pamela, Kay, Mona, Matt's dad,Chris Nelson and most especially, to Mark Longster who sadly passed away almost a year ago (from time of writing). If Mark hadn't accepted me so warmly and readily, then provided me with advice, encouragement - not to mention my first ever support spot after a few months of mentoring! - then I'd not have carried on in this 'ere folk world. RIP peace Mark.

 

British Man Of War (Trad Arr D.McFarlane)
Recent years have unearthed new-found friends for me, often resulting in ‘album swaps’ to help discover one-another’s taste and origins. As a result of just such exchanges, I learned this song from an old ‘Halliard’ album. Thank you , Nic & Nigel!
Nigel keeps in regular touch via email, and we keep threatening to organise his playing mandolin with us one day. We both hope this will actually transpire! Nic? Well, here's a tale rather apt to this CD considering its artwork theme... the wily ol' so-and-so comprehensively stuffed me so many times at chess, that I wouldn't play him anymore and walked him down to his local pub for relief! There, we got the dominos out and I reckoned that with a few pints down us it would surely being much more down to 'chance' - that I might finally win at something. No way! The wise old rascal beat me at 'fives and threes' every time - relentlessly, right up to closing time!

Down in yonder meadows, I carelessly did stray
There I beheld a lady fair all with a sailor gay
He said ‘My lovely fair maid, oh, I soon must leave this shore
to cross the briny ocean on a British Man-of-War’

On a British Man-of-War, on a British Man-of-War
Sailing off to China on a British Man-of-War
 

Susan fell to weeping, ‘Oh, Young sailor’ she did say,
How can you be so venturesome as to throw your life away?
It’s when I’m one and twenty, oh I shall receive my store
So sailor, do not venture on a British Man-of-War’

‘Susan lovely Susan, oh, the time will quickly pass
Come to the Ferry-House and take a parting glass
Ship-mates they are ready for to row me from this shore,
And it’s off for England’s glory on a British Man-of-War’

He’s then took out his handkerchief and he’s tore it clean in two,
Saying ‘You keep half for me m’ dear and I’ll keep half for you
And bullets may surround me and cannons loudly roar
But I'll fight for fame and Susan on a British Man-of-War’

*****************************************

Turn the Bones Around (D.McFarlane)
At West Leeds Boys High School in the seventies, dominos was the game of choice for the Science Deparmentt to fill their one-hour lunch breaks!  As the ‘junior’ of this elite band, my task was to beat the Maths Dept’s charge to ‘own’ the domino-table. Five minutes before the lunch-bell the order was barked… ‘Duncan, nip upstairs, turn the bones around!’  It was akin to getting up early on holiday and setting towels down on the choice sun beds!

The 1940s peg board we usedcame from
www.retonthenet.co.uk
– many thanks to them!
Pic by DMcF

Our work is done we’ll end our day - Turn them over, spin ‘em round
Here at the table we shall play - turn the bones around
Fine conversation we’ll have here
All washed down with pints of beer
Good company we hold so dear - turn the bones around
Turn the bones around - turn the bones around

Each new life starts out as the ‘drop’
There’s twists and turns e’er we can stop
This board of oak we understand
It’s liken to our way on land
Things might not turn out how we planned - turn the bones around

We may have laughter, may have song
We’ll take some knocks before too long
Our day’s frustrations fade away
Though some a shorter time will play
Some live to fight another day - turn the bones around 

Our measured progress here is shown
We vie for place, the race is on
No two paths e’er can run the same
Marked out in pegs, display your fame
Until the dead-hole ends your game - turn the bones around

Good friends let’s sit here at our ease
Enjoy life’s simple fives and threes
And even when we’ve had our fill
There’s more to do if you’ve the will
Make time for yet another still - turn the bones around

*****************************************

Cold, Haily, Windy Night (Trad Arr D.McFarlane)
There are certain times you never forget; And this is one of them for me! Dashing into the sixth form common room clutching Steeleye’s latest vinyl ‘Please to See the King’, I threw off the record that was playing, yelling at ’em, ’You lot have GOTTA hear THIS!’

‘Oh, m’ hat it is frozen to m’ head, m’ feet lay a-like a lump of lead
And me shoes are frozen to me feet with a-standing at your window
Won’t you let me in’ the soldier cried, ‘it’s a cold, haily, windy night
Won’t you let me in’ the soldier cried ‘for I’ll not go back again-oh’ 

‘Ah, m’ mother she watches down on the street
M’ father, the chamber keys do keep
And the doors and the windows they do creak and I dare not let you in, oh’
‘Won’t you let me in’ the soldier cried, ‘it’s a cold, haily, windy night
Won’t you let me in’ the soldier cried ‘for I’ll not go back again-oh’ 

Ah, she rose up and she’s let him in
And she’s kissed her true love cheek and chin
Then gone in between the sheets again
She’s opened and she’s let him in-oh
Then she has blessed the rainy night cold, haily, windy night
Then she has blessed the rainy night that she opened and she let him in, oh

‘Soldier, soldier stay with me – Soldier, soldier won’t you marry me’
‘Oh no, no, no, this ne’er can be – so fare thee well forever’
Then she has wept for the rainy night – it’s a cold, haily, windy night
Then she has wept for the rainy night she opened and she let him in-oh

He’s jumped up all out of the bed; he’s put his hat all on his head
For she had lost her maidenhead and her mother she’s heard the din, oh
Then she has cursed the rainy night – it’s a cold, haily, windy night
Then she has cursed the rainy night that she opened and she let him in-oh

*****************************************

Mist Covered Mountains (Trad Arr D.McFarlane)
From Archibald Sinclair's "The Gaelic Songster.An t-̉ranaiche" (Glasgow, 1879). Sinclair notes that the tune is called "Johnny stays long at the Fair," and that it was written on the first day of autumn, 1856, by Iain Camaron.

Despite being a 'child of the RAF' - with all the resultant moving here and there all through my first 18 years - I still spent a deal of glorious, wonderful quality time in the hills of Scotland as a boy.
Every school holiday we'd be sent to stay with our grandparents in Ayrshire; One set lived in the big 'town' of Ayr, the other, in a wee coal mining village in the hills. My brother, Donald, always opted for the town, I'd always opt for the countryside - my maternal grandparents tiny rented 'hoose' - The pit village consisted of just a few rows of semi-detached buildings divided into four dwelling; Each 'semi'  a ground floor, four-room affair, with another family occupying the equivalent 'upstairs', which was accessed by a seperate stairway with its own ouside door. While staying there, I’d collect brandling wurrums, fae th’ midden, to catch brown trout - best reults when the 'burn' was in full spate, ‘tickling’ them, when there was no bait to be had, particularly in the finer, summer weather. I'd trek home with several wee 'troot', once caught, carried home in rather gory fashion on a stick (with a side shoot to provide a 'stop') which was passed through the gills and out the mouth! The very idea sends shudders through me these days - but as a wee boy, the traditional way of carrying home one's prizes never worried us for a moment! On other sunny days. along with the local children, we'd help dam the burn with large stones, then sods of turf to make a ‘dookie hole’ for swimming in. We'd have to wait a day or so for the mud to settle and the water run clear afore we could make the first plunge!
My mother's sister, our Auntie Anna (Morrison, married name) would lead us, of an evening, on her rampant piano-accordion; We made our own entertainment in those days! Ha! Twas party-piece time!  ‘Come on now Donald & Duncan, stand up and gie us a song!


pic of Jura taken by DMcF (note: not my home! Just mist covered on visiting!)

There will I see the place of my birth
And they’ll give me a welcome, warmest on earth
So loving and kind, full of music and mirth
In the sweet sounding language of home

Ho-ro, soon shall I see them and ho-ro, see them, oh, see them and
Ho ro, soon shall I see them, the mist covered mountains of home

There I’ll converse with my warm-hearted mother
Play a few tunes with my white-headed father
Light is my heart as I turn my steps nearer
The mist covered mountains of home

There I shall gaze on the mountains again
And the fields and the woods and the burns in the glen
And away ’mongst the corries, beyond human ken
In the haunts of the deer I shall roam 

Hail to the mountains with summits of blue
And the glens and the meadows full of sunlight and dew
To the women and men ever faithful and true
Ever ready to welcome you home
 

*****************************************

Out on ye (D.McFarlane) 
I noticed the ‘Penny Hedge’ when staying in Whitby; After reading the plaque by the River Esk, I headed for the nearby bookshop’s ‘local interest’ section. There I found ‘Foul Deeds & Murder on the North York Moors’ which contained the story of 'Richard of Veron' - how he gave away his wealth to the Abbey and became a hermit - how he probably became the first 'hunt protester'! - As a result of the research, I went back one year to watch the annual ceremony in Whitby, that takes place every year on Ascension Eve; Then, I just couldn’t resist turning the tale into a song!

pics taken by DMcF 

Here’s the tale of hunting men, high-born men I’m sure
With staves in hand and hounds a-foot out searching of wild boar
Before too long, the hounds full cry in Eskdale forest rang
As the great boar fled the grass stained red and men with blood lust sang
Come now officer blow your horn - Out on ye, out on ye
 

On a hill a man sat so deep in prayer and the beast ran by his side
Through the open door of the chapel ran the boar and exhausted fell to die
Well Brother Jerome, he’s barred the way and the hounds at bay, without
And the gentlemen they’ve come fast to the brow to call that hermit out 

Well he’d not give way and they’ve broke in, in a fury they did fly
And they wounded him sore with the long boar-staves and surely he will die
And to a church in Scarbro’ they did run and there sought sanctuary
But the Abbot, him being a friend of the King, called ‘bring them back to me’

Brought back to face Brother Jerome, on his deathbed where he lay
‘I am sure to die of these wounds you gave’ - And the Abbot said ‘So must they!’
‘No, forgive them Lord, a penance I’ll call - in lieu of life and land
On Ascension Eve a hedge they’ll build by their own, or their own kin’s hand
At nine of the clock with yethers & stakes - by the edge of the Esk morn-tide
Stout struthers set, or lose all yet, to stand against three tides’

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Circle for Danny (D.McFarlane)
Daniel McCurdie, my maternal grandfather, spent his working life in the pit village of Rankinston, Ayrshire. He worked down the mine five and a half days  a week. He smoked incessantly; He liked a bet on the races - dogs, horses - made no difference - he'd sit on the back step and study form for hours! He also loved a wee dram now and again! Ever present on his head, Danny always wore his ‘bunnet’ - at all times, outdoors and indoors - even while bathing! But best of all, for my part, he kept racing pigeons! The whole village seemed to be involved in this pastime, sending baskets of them away on a lorry to be released hundreds of miles away. The anxious wait for their arrival back, the grabbing of the first 'in' to get the racing 'ring' from its leg and rush it to the official race-recorder was a very tense and exciting time.
My ‘Papa’, to be up for early shift, slept in the spare room whilst I slept top-to-tail wi’ m’ Grannie. The opening lines of this song are the two most common phrases she'd growl at me, the wriggling, talkative wee schoolboy that never wanted to go to sleep whilst staying up there - the time had to be made the most of! As a son of  an RAF serviceman, I never stayed anywhere permanent; Yet here I got to stay up to twelve weeks a year… fishing, helping look after his racing ‘doos’. I never had a happier, carefree time.


This is my Papa, Danny McCurdie - and that's wee Duncan on his knee!       Littlemill Pithead, Rankinston, Ayrshire - Danny worked below!
                                                                            

Haud yer whischt now, lie at peace
Early morn he’ll hew the seams
Let him lie for in his dreams they
Circle round for Danny - circle round for Danny

Shift on shift, year on year
O’er the bing tae pithead gear
Till the best of days appears and they…

And when at last the rest day ’s come
The vibrant wicker baskets have gone
His pride and joy fast winging home will…

Wi’ a Racing Post on doorstep sits
Braces dangling at his hips
Woodbine e’er glued to his lip, as they…

Calmly opens wooden frame
Softly calls to first yin hame
Up the brae I run with the ring, as they…

Full Hard work life, kept clothed & fed
But came the day, left open shed
Angels gently overhead…

So haud yer whischt now, lie at peace
No early morns, no more the seams
Evermore now in his dreams, they’ll circle round for Danny

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Rakish Young Fellow (Trad Arr D.McFarlane) - Roud 829, Sharp 228
Popular with Victorian broadside printers - Walter Pardon's set is close to the printed versions - though not frequently collected, apparently. 
Cecil Sharp noted a couple of versions at the beginning of the 20th century and Elizabeth Bristol Greenleaf included a set in her
'Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland', published in1939.
The original song has no chorus - and the Yo-Ho one we sing, given here, is entirely of my own invention.
There are further 'notes' on this song in the 'All Rogues and Villains' CD  song section, below - which raises a point that some folks have raised... Yes, there are some songs on this 'acoustic band' album that have already appeared on previous McF albums. The answer is quite simple - there's a good number of dMb 'acoustic' fans (knowing we were to record an acoustic band CD) that actually asked us to record these particular versions of such songs - often citing that they 'prefer' our acoustic outfit's arrangements to those found on the 'electric' ban's CDs, or the more sparse version on my 'solo' CDs. Who are we to disappoint our fans!?!
                 
My ship she is lying at anchor, I’ve arrived safely on shore
God bless me for now I’ll give o’er and I’ll not go to sea anymore
I am but a rakish young fellow, never took care of my life
and I’ve sailed the oceans all over - In every port I found, I found a wife
Singing ‘Yo Ho Ho-oh-oh-oh     

I have sailed through stormy weather, travelled though hot and through cold
And I ventured my life on the ocean - And I ventured it all just for gold
So send for friends & relations - for two or three gallons of beer
And let’s drink to our wives and to sweethearts - Drink to them everyone, everyone here

And when I am dead and I’m buried send for a good cask of rum
And I’ll never go sobbing or sighing, so drink up until it’s all gone
I’ll never go sobbing and sighing, but just one last favour I crave
Wrap me up in a tarpaulin jacket and fiddle and dance around my grave

Get six jolly young men to carry me - Let them all get roaring drunk
And as they are bearing me onwards, let them all fall down on my trunk
And let there be laughter and singing, like so many men who’ve gone mad
And give each one a drink o’er my coffin saying here’s to the jolly, to the jolly young lad

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I Held Your Hand (D.McFarlane) - instrumental
This was supposed to be a song! I just couldn’t make it happen without it sounding all ‘twee’.
It should have described one evening in March, snow falling, my daughter, Kiera, newly born. Verses should have described my first seeing her face; Described how, in that reflex action that all wee babies have, her tiny hand grasped and clung on to my extended finger…
Kiera, I will write you those verses one day! - Dad x

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Prickilie Bush (Trad Arr D.McFarlane) - Child #95
Variants of the ‘Hangman’ story abound. Mine, as you’d probably expect by now, comes from hearing the peerless Nic Jones sing it!
We change tempo right at the end as I envisage the poor soul that escapes the noose, in the final verse, promptly legs-it over the horizon before they changed their minds!


First three verses are virtually the same, but with minor variations...

‘Hangman, stay your hand. Won’t you stay it for a while?
I think I see my brother/sister/mother coming; (s)he's all over yonder stile.
Brother/sister/mother did you bring me gold or silver to pay my fee?
And did you come to save me from hanging all on the gallows tree?’
‘No, I didn't bring you gold or silver to pay your fee
but I have come to watch you hanging all on the gallows tree’
And it’s oh, the prickilie bush, how you prick my heart full sore
And if ever I get out of the prickilie bush, I'll never get in it any more
Never any more….

Final verse...

‘Hangman, stay your hand. Won’t you stay it for a while?
I think I see my true love coming; she's all over yonder stile.
True love, did you bring me gold or silver to pay my fee?
And did you come to save me from hanging all on the gallows tree?’
‘Yes, I have brought you gold and silver to pay your fee;
And I have come to save you from hanging all on the gallows tree’
And it’s oh, the prickilie bush, how you pricked my heart full sore!
And now that I'm out of the prickilie bush, I'll never get in it any more
Never any more….Never any more….

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Hurry On Home (D.McFarlane) 
First performed ‘live’ on the BBC this one, oh, a good few years back!
A more recently added ‘tunette’ has revived it a tad. It’s a reminder to my daughter that, though she’s left the nest now, there’s always a place ‘back home’ when needed.


When the storm begins to break, hurry home to me
If you’ve had all you can take, hurry home to me
When you feel the pressure’s on
All your strength and hope near gone
Hurry on home to me, hurry on home

When the dawn won’t seem to rise, hurry home to me
Or salty tears they burn your eyes, hurry home to me
When you need a helping hand
Somewhere gentle, safe to land
Hurry on home to me, hurry on home

There’s a fireside all a-glow
Come; sit awhile with those you know
Hurry on home to me, hurry on home 

When the light just can’t be found, hurry home to me
And darkness folds it cloak around, hurry home to me
A few more steps now, soldier on
There’s a shoulder here to rest upon
Hurry on home to me, hurry on home

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Three Gypsies (Trad Arr D.McFarlane)
Three Gypsies – a variant of ‘THE WRAGGLE-TAGGLE GYPSIE’S . Dorothy Scarborough in her "Song Catcher from the Southern Mountains" says that in the earliest edition of the ballad, the gypsy is called Johnny Faa, a name common among gypsies. When the gypsies were banished from Scotland in 1624, Johnny Faa disobeyed the decree and was hanged. This, though, is not that version!
The tune of ‘Jacky Tar’ provides this well-known tale with a new lease of life; The three gypsies, by the end, danced to a different tune, too!

There were three gypsies came to the door, none of then lame or lazy-O
One sang high, the other he sang low and one sang bonny Biscay-O
The Lady came down in silken gown and the shoes of Spanish leather-O
Says ‘This night, I will ride, travel with the raggle-taggle gypsies-O’

It was late that night the lord he came home, enquiring of his Lady-O
Servants cried on every side ‘She’s gone with raggle-taggle gypsies-O’
‘Come saddle for me my milk-white steed, bridle me my pony-O
For this night I’ll seek my bride, who’s gone with the raggle-taggle gypsies-O’

And he’s rode high, and he’s rode low, rode through the woods and copses, too
At last he’s come to a broad open field and it’s there he spied his lady-O

‘What made you leave your house and land? What made you leave your money-O?
What made you leave your new-wedded Lord to travel with raggle-taggle gypsies-O?’
‘Well what care I for my house and land? What care I for money-O?
What care I for m’ new-wedded Lord? I would travel with the raggle-taggle gypsies-O’

‘Well last night you slept in a goose-feather bed, sheets turned down so bravely-O
Tonight would you lie in a cold, open field in the arms of a raggle-taggle gypsy-O?’
‘Well what care I for a goose-feather beds or sheets turned down bravely-O
Tonight I would lie in a cold, open field in the arms of m’ raggle-taggle gypsy-O’

There were three gypsies all in a row, none of them lame or lazy-O
They were hang-ed side by side for stealing the Earl O’Castle’s Lady-O
 

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Drinking Song (D.McFarlane)
We’ve all been there, we all know them! We all pretend this isn’t us! And all the band look sheepish when we do this one!!!
The picture shows
the famous drinking scene that most of us are familiar with - Otley, on a folk club night!

There’s some round here been drinking, mixed up as they could be
Some can barely look ahead and some can hardly see
There’s some that’s propped up against the wall or clinging to the bar
There’s some round here been drinking and we all know who they are

There’s some round here been drinking, had far more than they planned
Some can barely sit up straight and some can hardly stand
There’s some that can’t see anything while others just see stars
There’s some round here been drinking and we all know who they are

There’s a couple here been drinking, their words mixed up and slurred
To her, he looks much better now the booze has made him blurred
He’s leaning close-up to her face and yet he seems so far….
There’s some round here been drinking and we all know who they are

Now there’s some round here been drinking, but who’ve never bought a round
They’ve short arms, deep pockets, not even spent a pound
And yet they’ve downed some gallons - It’s really quite bizarre!
There’s some round here been drinking and you all know who you are 

Friends say ‘Get it down you, matey, ’cause a drop is good for you
And soon we’ll be on top o’ the world when we have supped a few
But later in the evening – when it all comes back to you
They say bring it up again laddie, you’ll feel better when you do! 

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The Stool of Repentance (Trad Arr D.McFarlane) - instrumental
Anne brought this tune to the fore, as it aptly fitted with our ‘Drinking Song’ so well!

Persons guilty of adultery, drunkenness and other such misdemeanors were frequently placed on the repentance stool at the front of many a Kirk. The minister would berate them in front of the assembled congregation. This ordeal was a most trying one. What better way to round off our Drinking Song’s accusatory tone, then?


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The Duncan McFarlane Band CD - 'All Rogues & Villains'
Complete lyrics & ‘embellished’ sleeve notes for the album.

Botany Bay (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane plus additional music D.McFarlane)
A fine Trad song with varying opinion on origin and many place names appearing depending on where you hear it sung.
I took the liberty of inserting passages from an instrumental of mine ‘Feeling the Ceiling’.
Apt really, Geoff and I have been guitar-sparring for 30 years together and that piece was on our first album together in 1977!
But the main purpose it’s in there is to give this poor vocalist a breather when we do the song ‘live’!
The musical journey to the Bay gets a good trade-wind blow from Steve’s melodeon left hand in the
extended (third) instrumental section! I love it! Tony being unavailable for a studio session or two,
I nipped in and grabbed the chance to play bass on this one! Sorry Tony! 

Come all you bold and rambling men a warning take from me
If you go night a-roving then shun bad company
It’s son, oh son, what have you done you’re bound for Botany Bay

I was born and bred in Anytown and raised most honestly
Then I became a roving lad it proved my destiny
Son, oh son, what have you done – you’re bound for Botany Bay

I broke into a stately house after the hour of three
Two guards were stood behind the door and they soon had a hold on me
Son, oh son, what have you done – you’re bound for Botany Bay

It was at the courthouse sessions the judge to me did say
The jury found you guilty you’re bound for Botany Bay
Son, oh son, what have you done – you’re bound for Botany Bay

Well I’ve seen my aging father there a-trembling at the bar
Likewise m’ dear old mother tearing her white hair
Son, oh son, what have you done – you’re bound for Botany Bay

It was on the twenty-eighth of June from England we made way
And as we passed the Weymouth Bridge I heard those sailors say
Son, oh son, what have you done – you’re bound for Botany Bay
 

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Rakish Young Fellow - Roud 829, Sharp 228 (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane plus additional music D.McFarlane)
I’m always envious of those able to say’ I learned this from the singing of….’
The nearest I can ever get to those grand old singers is to hear recordings made of them.
One much played source for me is a double CD of Harry Cox, ‘The Bonny Labouring Boy’ – my starting point for this song.
Okay, I own up to a boyhood obsession with Pirates! After growing up reading ‘classics’ like Treasure Island, Swiss Family Robinson, Swallows & Amazons – and slaked by Sunday Matinees in black and white on TV – there had to be a ‘Yo-ho-ho’ drawn out of me some time!
Popular with Victorian broadside printers - Walter Pardon's set is close to the printed versions - though not frequently collected, apparently. Cecil Sharp noted a couple of versions at the beginning of the 20th century and Elizabeth Bristol Greenleaf included
a set in her Ballads and Sea Songs of Newfoundland, published in 1939.
  
My ship she is lying at anchor I’ve arrived safely on shore
God bless me for now I’ll give o’er I’ll not go to sea anymore
I am but a rakish young fellow I never took care of my life
I’ve sailed the oceans all ov’r in every port I found a wife (singing)
Yo ho ho -oh-oh-oh

I have sailed through stormy weather travelled though hot and through cold
I ventured my life on the ocean I ventured it all just for gold
So send for my friends and relations for two or three gallons of beer
We’ll drink to our wives and to sweethearts, drink to them, everyone here

And when I am dead and I’m buried oh send for a good cask of rum
I’ll never go sobbing and sighing just drink up until it’s all gone
I’ll never go sobbing and sighing but just one last favour I crave
Wrap me up in my tarpaulin jacket and fiddle and dance round my grave

Get six jolly young men to carry me, let them all get roaring drunk
And as they are bearing me onwards let them all fall down on my trunk
And there shall be laughter and singing like so many men who’ve gone mad
Give each one a drink o’er my coffin saying here’s to a jolly young lad

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Band O’ Shearers (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane)
Learned from the singing of an Otley FC stalwart, one Ian Hill; if I’ve got this right, he’s a North-Easterner of Irish descent
that more than raised an eyebrow that this Yorkshire resident - a Midlands-born nomad of Scottish descent
– had never heard the song before! This version based on the one from the Willie Scott Songbook.

When summer days and heather bells
Come reelin ower yon high, high hills
There's yellow corn in a' the fields
And autumn brings the shearin'

Bonnie lassie, will ye gang
And shear wi' me the hale day lang?
And love will cheer us as we gang
Tae join yon band o' shearers

And if the weather is o’er hot
I'll cast my cravat and my coat
And shear wi’ ye among the lot
As we join yon band o’ shearers.

And if the thistle be ower strang
An' pierce your lily, milk white hand
It's wi' my hook, I'll cut it doon
As we join yon band o’ shearers.

An' if the folk that's passing by
Say there is love 'tween you and I
O we will proudly pass them by
Tae join yon band o' shearers.

When the shearin' is a' done
An’ slowly sets th’ evenin’ sun
We'll hae some rantin', roarin’ fun
An' forget the toils o' shearin'.

So bonnie lassie, bricht and fair
Will ye be mine forever mair?
If ye'll be mine, then I'll be thine
We'll gang nae mair tae th’ shearin'.

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Bed of Straw (D.McFarlane)
In the Yorkshire Evening Post publication 'Memory Lane Volume Two' I saw a photo of two skulls and read the
accompanying paragraph which stated....
‘In Crown Court, an alleyway between Kirkgate and the Corn Exchange in Leeds there are two stone skulls set high on a wall of a former stable. These are to commemorate two men who were press ganged (crimped) into the army at the time of the Peninsula war (1803-14). They were locked overnight in a stable where they sank, all too comfortably, into a bed of straw and suffocated’. Further research revealed….
They were asphyxiated by the ammonia gas given off by the rotting hay and the military authorities had the skulls carved and placed on the building “pour encourager les autres” The stone skulls, once on the walls on Ion Dyson Ltd, were removed in 1974 when the firm moved to
Buslingthorpe and they incorporated them in the wall there, two miles out, and to rather an inappropriate setting and location in my opinion!


You revellers, drink your beer rally round, come listen to me
Come over and lend an ear it’s all of a bed of straw
Two travellers came to town rally round, come listen to me
In a tavern did sit down by the fire to keep warm

Ch. God bless this army, God bless this war
God bless the sergeant for he gave ‘em a bed of straw

To Leeds they came that day rally round, come listen to me
Lookin’ for work, somewhere to stay, hungry and weary and cold
Suddenly up a shout rally round, come listen to me
Hurry on boys ‘Crimpers’ about , some of ‘em comin’ this way

Jump up boys, it’s time to go rally round, come listen to me
The sergeant says ‘You’ve been too slow, we’re lookin’ for fellas like you.
We need you in foreign lands rally round, come listen to me
He’s pressed a shillin’ into their ‘ands, nothin’ these fellas could do

From Kirkgate they were marched a-right rally round, come listen to me
Locked in a stable for the night, all on a bed of straw
They left ‘em with ale and bread rally round, come listen to me
Says Jack ‘At least we’re warm and fed, the King’ll take care of us now’

Mornin’ come they found ‘em there rally round, come listen to me
They’d sunk right in, were lost for air, all in a bed of straw
Now high on a wall is found rally round, come listen to me
Two skulls of stone starin’ down, look for a bed of straw

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Spadge (D.McFarlane)
I used to get House Sparrows in my garden. Used to, but no longer!
A few years back I read an article in my quarterly RSPB magazine which discussed reasons for their decline in the UK.
There was also a poem by one John Marshall. I remembered various phrases for some time and built the lyric round
that memory, hope that’s OK John? Wherever you are, I owe you a pint at least!
Some of the old names for ‘sparrow’…. (England) spadge, spadger, spug, spuggy, sprog, spadgick (Orkney) sprog, speug, sparrag, sporrow; (Shetland) spuggie, sparky, spjugg, sporra, sporrow; (Middle English) sprewe; (Old English) sparwa, spearwa
Oh, a fank is a sheep pen (enclosure)

There were those I knew never had a song
From clad-ivy walls & eave they would raise their young
Puddle-fluttering fun, after dust bath play
They’d fall on grain we’d spill in our working day.

Old friends, once so familiar, so close to everyone
Where have they gone? Where have they gone?
The widespread, once abundant - it seems their time has flown
What have we done? What have we done?

Not so long ago - In the ripening corn
They’d rise up ahead in flocks as you walked along
From the town-crowd pave or the midden high
In a swirling, chattering throng they’d pass you by

‘Tween the new sew-stacks and the old mill door
Where once new-threshed we’d drag the sheaves of straw
From the paddock fank to the urban sprawl
From wood to city street can you hear them call?

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Anna Morrison / Karine / Atholl Highlanders (D.McF / D.McF / Trad. Arr. D.McF)
Anna was a 4/4 instrumental written to try and recreate the kind of tunes my dear departed Auntie Anna (Morrison)
used to play me on her piano accordion when I was a wee lad up in Scotland. She was a grand player! Bless.
Later, working at a school, a French Mistress (not my mistress I must point out!) had me ‘make up’ a piece
on guitar for her students during a ‘form period’. The class asked for the title and I (silver tongued as ever)
told them it was called after her, Karine (LeBot) – yep a French Mistress in an English school that was actually French!
I never realised for some time that I’d merely written a variation of Anna M in 6/8. What a numpty!
Atholl High was added to the set after re-listening to an old Swarb recording.

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Lord Franklin (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane plus chorus from ‘North West Passage’ - Stan Rogers Arr. D.McFarlane)
Lady Franklin, some versions call it; certainly, the last verse is her thoughts put into words. The narrative also has one verse apparently from an ordinary seaman dreaming concerning the ill-fated gent.
I’ve added Stan’s chorus after singing along with it that way at a Nottingham Folk Club way back; seemed very appropriate. 
Sir John Franklin set out to find the Northwest Passage in 1845 - skeletons were found in 1859.

We were homeward bound one night on the deep
Swinging in my hammock I fell asleep
I dreamed a dream and I thought it true
Concerning Franklin and his gallant crew

With a hundred souls on board we sailed away
To the frozen ocean in the month of May
To seek a passage around the pole
Where we poor sailors do sometimes roll

Through cruel misfortune they vainly strove
Their ships on mountains of ice were drove
Where the Eskimo with his skin canoe
He was the only one that could ever come through

In Baffin's Bay where the whale fish blow
The fate of Franklin no man may know
The fate of Franklin no tongue can tell
Lord Franklin among his sailors do dwell

And now my burden it gives me pain
For my long lost Franklin I would cross the main
Ten thousand pounds I’d freely give
To know that here on earth my Franklin do live

Ah for just one time I would take the Northwest passage
To find the hand of Franklin reaching for the Beaufort Sea
Tracing one warm line through a land so wild and savage
And make a northwest passage to the sea

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The Lowlands of Holland (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane)
Annie gets a run out at lead vocalist once more. Not before time!
One of the songs we first learned together and always a great ‘live’ gig favourite.


The love that I have chosen and therewith be content
Oh the salt sea shall be frozen before that I repent
Repent it shall I never until the day I d’e
But the lowlands of Holland has twined my love and me

My love lies in the salt sea and I am on the side
It's enough to break a young girl's heart that lately was a bride
But lately was a bonny bride with pleasure in her e'e
The lowlands of Holland has twined my love and me

My love has built a bonny ship and set her on the sea
With seven score good mariners to bear her company
But there's three score of them is sunk and three score lost at sea
And the lowlands of Holland has twined my love and me

My love has built another ship and set her on the main
Wi’ nane but twenty mariners all for to bring her hame
But the weary wind began to rise, the sea began to roll
And my lover and his bonny ship turned withershins around.

Then shall nae a quiff come on my head nor comb come in my hair
And shall neither coal nor candlelight shine in my bower mair.
And neither will I marry until the day I d’e
For I never had a love but ane and he's drowned in the sea.

Oh haud your tongue my daughter dear, be still and be content
For there's men enough in Galloway, thou need n’ sair lament.
Oh there's men enough in Galloway, alas there's nain for me
For I never had a love but ane and he's drowned in the sea.

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The Sheepstealer (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane plus additional music D.McFarlane)
Henry Hammond collected a version of The Sheepstealer from Edith Sartin of Corcombe Dorset.
I picked it up from an old vinyl LP ‘Nonesuch for Dulcimer’ by Roger Nicholson (credited sung by none other than a pre-Steeleye 'Robert Johnson' I believe) which was on Leader Sound Ltd, Trailer LER 3034 - released in 1972 I think!
Being meddlesome-me, I had to insert new sections of music; the band, being the band, had to rock it up some!
I also took the liberty of changing the bulk of the proceedings from a 3/4 or 6/8 feel into basic 4/4

I am a brisk lad but my fortune is bad
And I am most wonderful poor
But now I intend my fortune to mend
And to build a house down on the moor me brave boys
And to build a house down on the moor

In my meadow I'll keep fat oxen and sheep
And a neat little nag on the downs
In the middle of the night when the moon to shine bright
There's a wonder of work to be done me brave boys
There's a wonder of work to be done

I'll ride all around in some other man's ground
Take a fat sheep for my own
And I'll end of its life with the aid of me knife
And then I will carry her home me brave boys
And then I will carry her home

My children will pull the skin from the ewe
But I'll be in a place where there's none
If the Constable come I will stand with m’ gun
And swear all I have is my own me brave boys
And swear all I have is my own

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Mary Read (D.McFarlane)
Here, in just one lady's past, was the lyric of several traditional folk songs - all rolled into one.
I save the full story to tell at gigs, but..... To cut it short....
Raised by her mother as Mark, a boy, to fool her absentee Sea-Captain father, Mary eventually ran off and lived life to the full
as a sailor, soldier, publican (during which time she lived briefly as a woman for the first time when a young soldier had taken
a shine her/him while in the army), sailor again - then pirate!
Captured and condemned to hang along with her pirate companions (lovers?) Anne Bonny and Captain Calico Jack Rackham, the two ladies were given temporary stay of execution as both were pregnant - Jack wasn't so lucky!
Mary made a statement in court saying hanging was right and proper justice without which honest men
could not make a living on the seas. (Her own words virtually wrote the chorus for me).
Her baby was soon born and Mary died of a fever shortly afterwards, escaping the noose after all.
Big thanks to Ellie (Cambs) for sending me the lady’s story with the suggestion I might write about Mary.Thanks, Ellie!
< Mary Read

Is evening come? Heave away, haul away
The setting sun draws veil upon the day
My time is done - Heave away, haul away
The tide has run - Haul away my day

No hardship great to bear - For were this never there
All rogues and villains would so unfit the sea
Then men of courage would starve - This I could never have
Now help my child to stand up tall and think of me

When I was young - Raised as her son to live a lie each day
Away I ran - Became a man
Of love I learned - Loved in return - yet always lost my way
So long I fought - All come to nought

Is evening come? Heave away, haul away
The setting sun draws veil upon the day
My time is done - Heave away, haul away
My tide has run - Haul away my day

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Rawfold’s Mill (D.McFarlane)
This is based on a true account from Luddite Riots near Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire. I read about it in 'Tales from West Yorkshire' by Leonard Markham. I got ‘nabbed’ at a gig by a ‘local’ to the area that insisted I pronounce ‘Hightown’ as ‘Eetown’!
I also had the pleasure of being booked as guest at a folk club, some time after writing it, in the very pub – the Star at Roberttown
– allegedly haunted by those that died there. Oddly enough, the lights there flickered on and off as I performed the song! 

Times were hard and desperate, new machines installed
And loss of work and poverty was all their future held
One secret night in Hightown Spen Valley men did swear
To smash the water-powered devils there in Rawfold’s Mill

They heard of new deliveries, transport wagons came
They ambushed them at Hartshead, wreaked havoc on the frames
And spurred on by victory another aim in sight
Their mind was set all out attack by night on Rawfold’s Mill

The mob charged at the mill now where once they’d been employed
Hurled stones into the windows and fired through the voids
They overcame the sentries then tried to break the door
But withering musket volleys put two men to the floor at Rawfold’s Mill

They dragged the wounded to an alehouse, pulled them both inside
There in the Star at Roberttown first Hartley, then Booth, died
So Cartwright he gave evidence, his battle being won
And William Hall and sixteen more were tried and they were hung for Rawfold’s Mill

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Cuckoo’s Nest/Big Ship (Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane)
Our Steve often set off on this tune set at sound checks, we’d all join in (eventually)
– and so we happened on a chance to let folks hear him to the fore - for once! Yay!

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A-Begging I Will Go (Trad. Arr. D.McF plus additional music & a lyric rewrite - D.McF)
I performed this one-vox-one-guitar on my first solo album. I hadn’t done my homework properly at the time and hadn’t twigged the major rewrite Guv’nor Carthy had given it. So for this version, having gone back to the earliest recorded lyric (and seen just why Martin had revamped it!) - I set about my own rewrite.
My last verse was written originally as.....  ‘you’ll see me everywhere…..not a Big Issue to the state, but a thorn to Mister Blair’
I was trying to maintain Mr C’s trend (he gave Thatcher a mention). But I’ve recently had to alter it to….
‘you’ll see me round the town…..not a Big Issue to the state, but a thorn to Mister Brown’? It’s going to need continual updates, then?

Of all the trades in England beggin' is the best
For when a beggar's tired he can sit him down & rest

Beggin I will go and a-begging I will go

Ina doorway I will pass the night for there I pay no rent
Providence does provide for me and I am well content

I tread the paving of City Square 7 o’clock till one
Then round the back of McDonald’s to scavenge whatever I can

I target women or children, I hassle you passers-by
& I've a bottle of cider hid to drink when I am dry

I've bin begging 4 many a year, money is rollin’ in
Folk they give much more now I’ve a mongrel tied to a string

I still have a go in rain or snow but mostly when it’s fine
I graft away for hours a day to feed this habit of mine

I’m a modern day institution you’ll see me round the town
Not a ‘Big Issue’ to the state but a thorn to Mister Brown

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(Take me down to) Robin Hood’s Bay D.McF - Plus Mrs Macleod’s Reel Trad Arr D.McF
The band has a real soft spot for the Bay – especially for drinking down at the foot of the hill in the Dolphin before starting gigs
at the Grosvenor, back up at the top. As we invariably booked accommodation, therefore negating the spectre of driving,
we soon found the trek (up and down the hill) one much better accomplished with this – our ‘drinking song’!
The lyric for this is a moveable feast – there are verses specially for Christmas – and other occasions!
This particular composite of verses benefited from an expression gleaned from a chap (eating at the next table to us)
at Cleckheaton Fest 07 – the band were having an Italian meal before our gig there and heard him use it!
Cheers matey – Whoever you are - we owe ya a pint! 

Ch.
Take me down to Robin Hood’s Bay... Take me down, roll me down
      Take me down to Robin Hood’s Bay... And roll me down the hill

When we get to Robin Hood’s bay….take me down, roll me down
Push a pint of ale my way….
When we’ve had a pint or two....
take me down, roll me down
I would like another from you....

Oh, roll me down me boys, roll me away
Oh, roll me down me boys, roll me away

When we’ve had a pint or three....
take me down, roll me down
I suppose you’d like another from me? ...well roll me down the hill
When we’ve had a pint or four….
take me down, roll me down
Somebody tell me – which way’s the floor? 
...roll me down the hill

Oh, roll me down me boys, roll me away
Oh, roll me down me boys, roll me away

When y’r sense and y’r speech and y’r legs are gone....take me down, roll me down
And y’ can’t lie down wi’out holdin’ on.....
...well roll me down the hill
When you’re there with a great big grin….
take me down, roll me down
And y’r lights are on but nobody’s in!   
...roll me down the hill

Time will come to leave this shore....
take me down, roll me down
Steve* caught crabs and a whole lot more!  
...well roll me down the hill
That's him (her) over there with the great big grin....
take me down, roll me down
His (her) lights are on, but nobody's in!
   ...roll me down the hill

 *usually substitute name of club organiser

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So why the ‘noises off’?
The ‘away’s and ‘hey’s and ‘ho’s that keep appearing throughout are the typical stage yelps that I use to ‘conduct’ the band onstage ‘live’. When we recorded our first album, many a fan moaned that the songs didn’t sound the same without these ‘trademarks’.
We recorded the songs ‘live in the studio to get as much down in one take as poss – Anne, Geoff, Tony
and myself playing along with Nick for the most part – and, where Tony was absent, with me on bass.
We’d record my vocal as a guide on each track– and, while most of it was discarded later for a full vocal run through,
we left in these relevant ‘yips’.

Instrumentation: To expand on the credits given on the album itself…..
Geoff and I tussled for bragging rights over who would play most instruments on the recordings….
Tony being unavailable for a studio session or two, I nipped in and grabbed the chance to play bass on
Botany, Spadge, Mary Read & Atholl High (though not on the first two tunes of that set – Anna & Karine)
Sorry Tony!
Geoff then turned up with my cittern (he’d kept it at his house for two years!) so once he’d recorded his contribution on it
- and stupidly left it at the studio – I made sure I ticked the list for one more by putting some cittern on too.
Blow me down if he didn’t turn up to play mandolin (quite unexpectedly) on R H Bay!
Not to be outdone, I sneaked in on electric guitar by craftily doing the odd harmony-guitar insert
when he was away – using his gear too! Hah!
As it happens, a last minute afterthought during the mix-down sessions had me play mandolin through
the last time round of each tune on the Cuckoo/Ship set. The artwork had already been sent off for print
by then! The Captain won, then - hands down! (sic!)

Robin Hood’s Bay – Pub reprise
Our ‘Woodshed’ album tailed off with an unaccomp version of ‘Goodnight Song’ – where we got a few mates
into the studio to make it an informal sing-a-long.
This time, we thought we’d maintain the ‘tradition’ we established by having a sing-a-long from
a few more ‘fans’ and a shout or two from Otley Folk Club landlord (at ‘Korks’) Chris.
Numpty (me) should have taken a picture or two of those that turned up on the night – and a list of names!
I’ll add to this list as and when they ‘reveal’ themselves to me over the next months…..
Bernie, Babs S, Sue S, Dave S, Alan, Eric S, Mike W, Longdog Mike (who travelled an hour and twenty mins on the train to be there!), Kay, Dave, Heather, Pam, Max
- eek – I must rack m’ brain more – loads missing! Please email me if you were there & I'll add you – thanks - Duncan

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The Duncan McFarlane Band CD ‘Woodshed Boys’
Complete lyrics & ‘embellished’ sleeve notes for the album.


Bring Em Down - Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane
I‘d only heard one version of this before setting it up for the band via my Eight-Track at home.
Only Steve knew it as a shanty. After we recorded it, I played ‘em my Pint and Dale CD. Jaws dropped!
Oh, and Ally Hulett and I tweaked the lyric some! Ali Russell and Ally H belted out some additional vocals to the band’s efforts for the hook line – Ali R actually providing an ‘echo’ of the hook in two part harmony that we just couldn’t decide whether to use or not.
Thankfully the ‘cut’ was made for us by an oversight on ‘saving’. Many of the extra vocals were housed on a separate device.
Now do I blame the computers? Or shall we call it pilot error?
’Rock apes’, a derogatory term for ‘shore patrol’ or Military Police on Gibraltar - A reference to the Barbary apes that the Rock’s famous for.
Interesting to have the phrase ‘rock and roll’ (the ship’s sea-going motion?) in the original lyric – way before the 1950’s and not a motorbike or quiff in sight!

In Liverpool I was born
Kingston Town my home from home
Learned my trade on the Blackball Line
They’re never a day behind their time - Bring ’em Down
It’s around Cape Stiff we go
Fightin’ on through the ice and snow
Along the coast to Valipo
Northward on to Callio - Bring ’em Down

Callio girls I do adore
They steal your soul come back for more
Callio girls with their long black hair
They’ll rob you blind and strip you bare - Bring ’em Down
When I was young and in my prime
I’d fight them Rock Apes two at a time
Now I’m old and turning grey
It’s rum that beats me every day - Bring ’em Down

We’re in Desolation Bay
Hangin’ around from day to day
Blow you winds long may you blow
Rise up y’ bugger and let us go Bring ’em Down
All the way to Liverpool
Spent my money like a bloody fool
Spend my money in a week on shore
Then go to sea and grab for more Bring ’em Down

Back at home we vote ‘em in
They serve you lies and call it spin
While we work they turn the screw
It’s easy and slow for the chosen few - Bring ’em Down
I’m Liverpool born and bred
Thick in the arm, boys and thick in the head
Rock and roll me over boys
Let’s get this damn job over boys - Bring ’em Down

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Can’t Go There - D.McFarlane
Is there anyone out there that hasn’t felt this way after that one drink too many?
There’s always lots of nodding in agreement in the clubs when I pre-amble this one
- and lots of ladies looking to the man at their side! Ali & Ally augmented our vocals once more.


Now some of you here are just like me
Out of control when you shouldn’t be
Every now and then take a liberty
Can’t go there anymore
You talk from the heart, shoot from the hip
Would  have gone better with a lot less lip
One of these days you’ll get a grip
Can’t go there anymore

Ch. I’m always one to speak my mind
A few home truths can be unkind
And I can’t go there - now I can’t go there
But I can’t go there anymore

I’ve got to slow down, take a little time
Someone else is talking but the words are mine
I could work it out better if I’d had less wine
I can’t go there anymore
Been as uncool as man could be
Shown ‘em a side that they really shouldn’t see
Tried to escape with dignity
And I can’t go there anymore   Repeat Ch.

I try to hang on to every friend
So few left that I didn’t offend
This sort of display won’t buck the trend
Now I can’t go there anymore
Drunk too much - had m' fun
Spoiled the night for everyone
Still unaware of everything I’ve done
Can’t go there anymore   Repeat Ch

Now some of you here are just like me
Out of control when you shouldn’t be
Every now and then take a liberty
Can’t go there anymore
You talk from the heart, shoot from the hip
Would  have gone better with a lot less lip
One of these days you’ll get a grip
Can’t go there anymore   Repeat Ch

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Dee Jig - D.McFarlane – it’s an instrumental – no lyric then!
I could say this was inspired by a lovely part of scenic Scotland, by Anne’s home town.
But let’s play fair! It’s a jig, and it’s in D!
The band have a mneumonic for some of the sections to help ‘em remember how they go.
The first one goes ‘We are the Wombles of Wimbledon Common’ – the second section and third I’ll not print here!
Perhaps when you see us live, you might just catch us mouthing the words we let rip at each other during rehearsals!
 

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The Woodshed Boys  - D.McFarlane

I was present at a festival ‘ interview’ where Tim Laycock and Chris Sugden told the tale that Harry Cox was banished to his woodshed on his own whenever he wanted to sing and play- His wife not wanting to hear that nasty folk music in the house.
In that outbuilding, he played his part in maintaining the tradition, undiscovered, for some twenty or more years.
Not too far away, they said, Walter Pardon and relatives practiced in an outbuilding too.
But they had each other - and plenty of ale by all accounts!
Now I can’t remember who said which line – and Chris told me (when I stalked him at a concert) that he can’t recall the conversation at all! But this how I heard it. . . . .
’What a boy-band they could have formed if only they’d known about each other’
 ‘Yes’ quipped the other ‘they could have called themselves the Woodshed Boys.’
Bing!!! That light bulb appeared above my head and I scribbled the words down on my festival programme straightaway.
More Ali & Ally vocal help on this one.
’What will become of England’ – a reference to a Harry Cox CD – go get it!

So where’d you learn to sing that way?
Where’d you hear those songs you play?
All the words I hear you say
We owe ‘em to the Woodshed Boys
And all the tunes you join in on
Were saved by generations gone
Tradition serving up her song
We owe ‘em to the Woodshed Boys

Ch. The Woodshed boys, the Woodshed Boys
‘You can’t sing here – can’t stand the noise’
All the songs we still enjoy
We owe ‘em to the Woodshed Boys

We’ve lasses all in sailor blue
Poacher’s bold and ploughboys too
Tokens matched and fond adieu
We owe ‘em to the Woodshed Boys
Where’er you be I’ll have you say
From Yarmouth Town to Botany Bay
O’er the hills or far away
We owe ‘em to the Woodshed Boys  Repeat Ch.

Where’d you learn to sing that way?
Where’d you hear those songs you play?
All the words I hear you say
We owe ‘em to the Woodshed Boys
And who will take the mantle when
The cycle must begin again
What will become of England then?
Who will be the Woodshed Boys?  Repeat Ch.

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Canadee-I-O - Trad. / D.McFarlane
The definitive version, for me, is on the wonderful Nic Jones’ Penguin Eggs album. It’s no secret I’m a HUGE fan of his! I wouldn’t want to attempt an acoustic version after that, so here's an electric one.
The original tune housed in the track is mine – still untitled!

It’s of a fair and handsome girl – she’s all in her tender years
She fell in love with a sailor boy – it’s true she loved him well
For to go off to sea with him – like she did not know how
She longed to see that seaport town called Canadee-I-O

She bargained with a young sailor boy – it’s all for a piece of gold
Straightway he led her down – all into the hold
Saying I’ll dress you up sailor’s clothes – your jacket shall be blue
You’ll see that seaport town called Canadee-I-O

Now when the other sailor’s heard the news – well they fell into a rage
And with the whole ship’s company – they were willing to engage
Saying we’ll tie her hands and feet me boys – overboard, her, we will throw
She’ll never see that seaport town called Canadee-I-O

Now when the captain he’s heard the news – well he too fell into a rage
And with the whole ship’s company – he was willing to engage
Saying she’ll stay all in sailor’s clothes – her colour shall be blue
She’ll see that seaport town called Canadee-I-O

Now when they came to Canada – scarcely above half a year
She’s married this bold captain – he’s called her his dear
She’s dressed in silks and satins now – she cuts a gallant show
She’s the finest of the ladies down in Canadee-I-O

Come all you fair and tender girls – where so ever you may be
I’ll have you follow your own true love – when he goes out on the sea
For if the sailors prove false to you – well the captain he may prove true
You’ll see the honour she has gained from the wearing of the blue

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Benjamin Bowmaneer - Trad. / D.McFarlane
Tailors were often ‘figures of fun’ in old songs -  the estate agents of yore perhaps? I learned this song after listening to Eliza Carthy’s Red Rice version – a stark voice and piano only. Beautiful.
 It’s the only version I’ve ever heard – so I’ve no idea what brought this rendition on!
 The original extra tune I added (untitled yet again) was scrapped when the band pointed out I’d ripped off a part of Led Zep’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ - so the present one emerged hastily!
I must confess, I didn’t think the second attempt was as good as the first – now I can’t even remember how the original effort went.
The ‘flea’ mentioned, was supposed to be a put-down of Napoleon’s small stature – and ‘casters away’ a reference to beaver(?)-skinned hats being tossed in the air in a joyous hurrah! There’s a fair bit of speculation on Mudcat if you’d like to search it out.
We started playing this just as Bush and Blair threw us all into conflict. Hmmmm.

Have you heard how the wars began - Benjamin Bowmaneer
Have you heard how the wars began - Casters away
Have you heard how the wars began - when England fought to a man?
And proud tailor rode prancing away

Of his shear board he made a horse - Benjamin Bowmaneer
Of his shear board he made a horse - Casters away
Of his shear board he made a horse - for him to ride across
And proud tailor rode prancing away

Of his scissors made bridle bits - Benjamin Bowmaneer
Of his scissors made bridle bits - Casters away
Of his scissors made bridle bits - to keep the horse in his wits
And proud tailor rode prancing away

As the tailor rode o’er the lea - Benjamin Bowmaneer
As the tailor rode o’er the lea - Casters away
As the tailor rode o’er the lea - he spied a flea on his knee
And proud tailor rode prancing away

Of his needle he made a spear - Benjamin Bowmaneer
Of his needle he made a spear - Casters away
Of his needle he made a spear - to prick that flea through his ear
And proud tailor rode prancing away

Of his thimble he made a bell - Benjamin Bowmaneer
Of his thimble he made a bell - Casters away
Of his thimble he made a bell - to ring that flea’s funeral knell
And proud tailor rode prancing away

Was this how the wars began - Benjamin Bowmaneer
Was this how the wars began - Casters away
Was this how the wars began - when England fought to a man
And proud tailor rode prancing away

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The Twohey Step - D.McFarlane – here again, being an instrumental – no lyric here either!
We’ve usually opened our live sets with this since this band’s first gig with the present line-up in Jan ‘02. We’d previously done two gigs before that, but only Anne, Geoff and myself were on board until then. The band has been stable ever since - ‘cause we’re all mates, love one another, and (above all) this music lark is pure FUN to us.

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Oh Dear Me (Jute Mill Song) - Mary Brooksbank
Oor Anne is Dundee born and bred, and Mary holds a special place in her affections.
I understand that Mary (or her estate) never got anything for this piece despite it being recorded by many – and even that ‘someone else’ has the rights registered (with what claim?).
I do hope that the mess is sorted – and that something will eventually be received by her estate, or perhaps ploughed back into Dundee in some way. My apologies for attempting to spell it how it sounds.

Oh dear me the mill’s gaein fast
An’ the pair wee shifters canna get a rest
Shiftin’ bobbins coorse and fine
They fairly mak y’ work fer yer ten an’ nine
An’ it’s Oh dear me the world is ill-divided
Them that works the hardest are the least provided
But I mon work the harder, dark days are fine
Tae feed an’ claethe ma bairnies affn ten an’ nine

We love to have Anne sing this as a lead into. . . .

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Our Own Hands - D.McFarlane
Thanks Ally H  inspired me to approach lyrics from a different angle.....Something I’ll try to build on.
Ally H and Ali R contribute to the vocals again – Ali R with the high part (ouch!).
I particularly like the free roaming ‘Oh, oh, ohs’ from him on the last time round
.

Stand beside me brother, sister, stand along with me
Shoulder to my shoulder side by side
Time to work together time to make a stand
Our fate held firmly in our own hands

Oh link arms with me sister, brother, sing along with me
We can make things happen if we try
So much latent energy here at our command
Our fate held firmly in our own hands
Oh, Oh, Oh - Oh, Oh, Oh
Our fate held firmly in our own hands

Oh those who hold the money, those who wield the power
For centuries they’ve had it all their way
They will get what’s coming if they step onto this land
We’ve our fate held firmly in our own
Oh, Oh, Oh - Oh, Oh, Oh
Our fate held firmly in our own hands

Ah we have the resources, we have all the skills
But most of all, each other – you and me
Time to grasp the nettle, seize the firebrand
Our fate held firmly in our own hands
Oh, Oh, Oh - Oh, Oh, Oh
Our fate held firmly in our own hands

Ah stand beside me brother, sister, stand along with me
Shoulder to my shoulder side by side
Time to work together, time to make a stand
Our fate held firmly in our own hands
Our fate held firmly in our own . . . . . .

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A Jug Of This - Trad. / D.McFarlane
Just because there’s more than one song on this CD on the subject, don’t get the idea that the demon drink
plays a large part in our lives - just A part - that’s all - honest!
Once again, the band has been very cruel about my added tunette (untitled again, how lazy can one get?),
but this time I’ve stuck with it!

Ye mariners all as you pass by
Come in and drink if you are dry
Just call your drinks and think not amiss
Stick your nose in a jug of this

Ye tippler’s all if you’ve half a crown
You’re welcome all for to sit down
Just call your drinks and think not amiss
Stick your nose in a jug of this

My father told me when I was small
Now you drink this son or not at all
and he held me up, my hand in his
And let me taste a jug of this

When I am old and can scarcely go
With a long grey beard and a head that’s bald
Crown my desire fulfil my wish
A pretty young girl and a jug of this

And when I’m in my grave and dead
All my sorrows have passed and fled
Transform me then into a fish
And let me swim in a jug of this

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Maria’s Gone / Sir John Cope - both are Trad. arr. D.McFarlane
This song has gone full circle - I heard it on Australia’s Margaret Walter’s solo CD, ‘Power in a Song’. She learnt it from the singing of the excellent Peter Bellamy. Anne B played me a few tunes when I needed inspiration for the instrumental break.
I chose Johnny Cope (A part) immediately. The very dab as ma Grannie  used to say!
Margaret has chastised me via email for including another tune at all. I tried various arguments to justify it – she won’t have any of it! Sorry M – it’s in there now. And I didn’t tell her of the wee lyric addition. Eek! Still love me, M?

Ch.(which repeats BEFORE each verse)
Mornin’s come, Maria’s gone
It’s early in the morning

O she’s gone and I can’t go
And it’s early in the morning

Never did I know her mind
And it’s early in the morning

Troubled, troubled is my mind
It’s early in the morning

Trouble, trouble is my name
And it’s early in the morning

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Jigalo - D.McFarlane
Yet another instrumental.
Geoff and I originally recorded it this (on vinyl!) back in ‘77 - and John Peel played it on his BBC Radio One show – as we performed under the name ‘Luigi Anna da Boys’, he introduced us as 'a bunch of itinerate waiters from Leeds' if I remember correctly.

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Goodnight Song - D.McFarlane
On which Maggie Boyle shines! Two vocal parts and flute from her on this. ’There aren’t enough Parting Songs’ she said (as she left)!
We close this album with not a sad song, but a song of hope. Come and see us some time, we’ll be happy to see you too.

And so the time has come
The evening at an end
We must say farewell and go as friends
It seems only right to say
What wond’rous sheer delight
To share such moments here with you tonight

Ch. May you always be happy
Make the most of each new day
May you all help one another on the way
May your journey seem shorter
Than the one that brought you here
May you soon lie in arms of those that you hold dear

We’ve weaved a tale or two
And all have played their part
We’ve sung to raise the rafters from the start
So at this closing hour
Not knowing where or when
One chorus more and we may we meet again  ..... Repeat Chorus - a few times!

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Recorded at Pravda Studios, Leeds, West Yorkshire Jan 2004
Engineer - Matt Peel
Produced by Matt with interference from Rod Holt & The DMcFband

The DMcFband are:
Geoff (now this is a particularly nice wine)Taylor - electric guitar
Nick (the ferret) Pepper – drums & hums
Tony (Norman Castle) Rogerson - bass guitar
Anne (a little more in the monitor please?) Brivonese - fiddle & vocals
Steve (have you ever considered a job in the media?) Fairholme - melodeon & vocal
Duncan (sausage fingers*) McFarlane - acoustic guitar, cittern & vocals

*thus shouts Geoff EVERY time he hears a wee mistake ‘live’ from me!

Our very special guests on this CD are:
Maggie Boyle, Alistair Russell, Alistair Hulett

Our ‘Goodnight’  Drinking-up-time ‘choir’ were Maggie B, Ali R, Ally H,
Anne B, Duncan McF, Steve F, Jim Lawton, Pamela McF and Kaye Brown

Footnote
I just know there’ll be some pedants that will take a few things on the album to task.

Re-writing any part of a trad. lyric seems to knot knickers for some.
Is it OK to do so? Well, anyone who might read the early written versions of a song such as ‘Begging Song’
will find it greatly differs from the re-write given it by Martin Carthy. 
And let’s not forget, those early written versions themselves may have had a tweak when put to paper!
Anyway, the Guv’nor's ploughed the course for us. We'll follow in his wake.

Next, the question of ‘credits’.
I’ve put Trad. Arr. D.McFarlane in some cases and Trad. / D.McFarlane in others. 
I’m not trying to claim any part of writing a Trad song in the latter case. 
It’s merely that there are original tunes of mine wedged in somewhere to form instrumental sections.
I thought of naming them, but on visualizing the titles reading....
‘Canadee-I-O/Ship’s Biscuit or Hard Tack’ - Trad arr D.McFarlane / D.McFarlane (for example)
....decided things might look a little neater, take up less space, and be a little clearer overall
when written on the CD cover if I just stuck to the ‘main’ title.

Finally....
(though that’s tempting fate I guess! - I always remember Steeleye’s wonderful sleeve note regarding the chap
that burst in their dressing room with ‘Oim afraid you’ve got the wrong toitles fur da toons’) 
.....there’s the revamping of songs in the way we’ve done ‘em. Have we done a bad thing?
Take the first track for example – a sea shanty with that typical line-and-response thing going on. We don’t do it in that, more usual, manner! Out go the responses ‘tween every line. No kind of statement being made – we just used the song as a template to head off on a different tack.
We don’t see this version as a replacement for the tried and tested at all. I look forward to attending a sea-shanty session at a festival near me this summer, where I will belt out the accepted trad format with gusto and verve with everyone else
– Thus, I hope, helping preserve the tradition the way some prefer it. Our attempts are merely to run parallel with others.
Not your cup of tea? – fair enough.
If in any way even one soul, that wasn’t into folk (particularly trad) music before, is drawn to explore it further - because our way was closer to the musical style that they prefer – then that’s a result!
I love the Tradition – I sing and play many trad songs in several local folk clubs – acoustically!
And will continue to do so whilst I have the capability – this electric stuff is just there ‘as well’ – don’t take it too seriously.
Most of all, for us, it’s just bloody good fun!

May you always be happy…… Love – Duncan McFarlane

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Lyrics as recorded on DMcF’s solo CD 'Bed of Straw'
With exceptions…. ‘Anderson’s Coast’  by John Warner, and ‘Talking with my father’ by Dougie Maclean
are not mine to reproduce; they are on the CD but I haven’t put the lyrics on here.

Bed of Straw (D.McFarlane)
In the Yorkshire Evening Post publication 'Memory Lane Volume Two' I saw a photo of two skulls and read the accompanying paragraph which stated...
In Crown Court, an alleyway between Kirkgate and the Corn exchange in Leeds there are two stone skulls set high on a wall of a former stable. These are to commemorate two men who were press ganged (crimped) into the army. They were locked overnight in a stable where they sank, all too comfortably, into a bed of straw and suffocated.
It transpires a second version was printed in the actual YEP in the eighties in a nostalgia section under the heading ‘Settle That Argument…’ where a Mr M.A. Green, Moseley Wood Walk, Leeds wrote in to ask 'What happened to the skulls which were once to be seen on the walls of Crown Court, near Leeds Corn Exchange, and what was the legend?'
The reply supplied by the newspaper read....
The stone skulls, once on the walls on Ion Dyson Ltd., were removed in 1974 when the firm moved to Buslingthorpe and they incorporated them in the wall there. Legend has it that at the time of the Peninsula war (1803-14) many soldiers were stationed here and some were billeted at the Crown Inn, opposite the Corn Exchange. Warned that they were about to be drafted to the Peninsula, two soldiers hid themselves in the hayloft of the reconditioned building the skulls were later to adorn.
They were smothered by the hay and the military authorities had the skulls carved and placed on the building “pour encourager les autres”
Not quite the same, but close. Anyway, my version of the tale is thus...

You revellers, drink your beer – rally round, come listen to me
Come over and lend an ear – it’s all of a bed of straw
Two travellers came to town – rally round, come listen to me
In a tavern they did sit down – by the fire to keep warm

Ch. God bless this army – God bless this war
God bless the sergeant for he gave ‘em a bed of straw

To Leeds they came that day – rally round, come listen to me
Lookin’ for work, somewhere to stay – hungry and weary and cold
Suddenly up a shout – rally round, come listen to me
Hurry on boys ‘Crimpers’ about – some of ‘em com’ this way

Jump up me boys, time to go – rally round, come listen to me
The sergeant says ‘You’ve been too slow – we’re lookin’ for fellas like you.
We need you in foreign lands – rally round, come listen to me
He pressed a shillin’ into their ‘ands – nothin’ these fellas could do

From Kirkgate they were marched a-right – rally round, come listen to me
Locked in a stable for the night – all on a bed of straw
They left ‘em with ale and bread – rally round, come listen to me
Says Jack ‘At least we’re warm and fed – the King’ll take care of us now’

When mornin’ come they found ‘em there – rally round, come listen to me
They’d sunk right in, were lost for air – all in a bed of straw
Now, high on a wall is found – rally round, come listen to me
Two skulls of stone a-starin’ down – look for a bed of straw

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The Famous Floating ‘B’ (D.McFarlane)
The government of 1778 decided to send 300 women convicts from the overcrowded gaols
of England to the newly established penal colonies in Australia where the exclusively male population were becoming increasingly unruly! The women were allowed to bring men on board at each port they stayed at on the journey. They used every opportunity to earn money to set themselves up for their new life. The ship therefore became known as The Floating Brothel!
I heard the story of the Lady Juliana – first ship to carry such a cargo – in a book review on ‘Women’s Hour’ (BBC Radio 4). I went out, bought and read the (excellent) book – ‘The Floating Brothel’ by Sian Rees – this song was the result.

Now I’m just an honest sailor – and I’m bound for New South Wales
And we carry the strangest cargo there – since I ever did hoist a sail
From the rankest cells of England – overcrowded as they be
From Warwick, Reading and Newgate gaol they’ve shipped ‘em off to sea 

Ch. Now some may think they’re lucky – but none so lucky as me
Three hundred women & thirty-five crew – on the famous floating ‘B’
Now some may think they’re lucky we've never been so free
On the sleeping shelves of the orlop deck - on the famous floating ‘B’ 

There was many a debtor or coiner- or thieving serving maid
And at least four score or even more – of the oldest working trade
Well the judges showed no mercy – ignored the heart-felt pleas
sent 'em for transportation – To 'Parts Beyond The Seas' 

Well we packed ‘em in at London – even more in Plymouth Bay
Seven months they stayed aboard our ship – before we sailed away
To Tenerife and then Cape Verde – to Recife and Rio too
They’d a good, long stay, made the locals pay – what else were they to do? 

So we made our way to Cape Town – it’s the ‘Tavern of the Seas’
Then the Lady Julian ploughed her course – on the roaring forty breeze
And we rounded to Port Jackson – dropped anchor in the foam
It's taken a year to bring ’em here – for a brand new start and home

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Boys of Bedlam (Lyric, Trad. Tune, Dave Moran/Nic Jones - Arr D.McFarlane)
Which I first heard (and learned) from Steeleye Span's 'Please to see the King' in my last sixth form year! Even though it's the only version I ever heard (my rock years intervened) I've always loved the tune and I couldn't resist trying it out in the guitar style I'd begun to develop over the last two years. I've never heard a solo artist do it - or even an acoustic version! Trad words, but the tune isn’t traditional, it was put together by Halliard members Dave Moran & Nic Jones!

For to see mad Tom of Bedlam ten thousand miles I’d travel
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes for to save her shoes from gravel 

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

I went down to Satan’s kitchen for to get my food one morning
And there I got souls piping hot – all on a spit a-turning

Me spirits white as lightning would on me travels guide me
The moon would shake and the earth would quake – when ever they espied me

And when that I got murdered – the man in the moon to a powder
His staff I’ll break and his dog I’ll shake – then I’ll yell demon louder

For to see fat Tom of Bedlam ten thousand miles I’d travel
Mad Maudlin goes on dirty toes for to save her shoes from gravel

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Say You'll Never Leave Me (D.McFarlane)

Say you'll never leave me
Tell me that you'll stay
Never let me down or let mere words get in our way
I think that you've heard all this before
But you know I love you more, so say you'll never leave me
Tell me that you'll stay

Tell me that you want me
Say you'll never go
Tell me all the things I long to hear but I'm last to know
Give me one more chance just give me time
I only want to make you mine, so tell me that you want me
Say you'll never go

I can't believe that you'd walk away without a word
I'm too scared to open up my eyes

Tell me that you need me
Tell me that it's love
Tell me that it's only me that you've been dreaming of
I can't stand a day without you near
I just fade away when you're not here, so
Tell me that you want me
Tell me that you need me
Say you'll never leave me
Tell me that you'll stay

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Begging Song (Trad. Arr M.Carthy & also D.McFarlane)

Of all the trades in England the begging is the best
For when a beggar’s tired he can lay him down and rest

Ch. And a begging I will go and a begging I will go

I got on a train at Carlisle - they kicked me out at Crewe
I’ve slept on every paving stone from there to Waterloo 

I got breakfast on the embankment – I got my lunch and tea
And only the finest cardboard - made a home that was fit for me

We sit on the stair in City Square from seven o’clock till ten
Then round the back of the Hilton - for dinner from out of the bin 

I can rest when I am tired and I heed no master’s bell
Humanity daft to be a King when beggars live so well 

The law came down to see us – they came down three together
They put out the fire – they left us there – O Lord how we did shiver 

I am a Victorian value – you’ll see me everywhere
I’m not a big issue to the state – but a thorn to Mister Blair

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The Americans Have Stolen (Trad. Arr D.McFarlane) 

The Americans have stolen my true love away
And I in old England no longer can stay
I will cross the briny ocean - oh on my sad breast
To find out my true love - who I do love best 

And when I have found him - my joy and delight
I’ll be constant unto him - by day and by night
I will always prove as constant as a true turtle dove
And I never will in no time prove false to my love 

When meeting is a pleasure but partings a grief
And an inconstant lover is worse than a thief
For a thief he will but rob you - take all that you have
But an inconstant lover brings you to the grave 

The grave it will rot you and bring you to dust
There’s not one in twenty pretty ladies can trust
For they’ll kiss you and court you and swear they’ll prove true
And the very next morning they will bid you adieu 

Come all you pretty maidens wherever you be
Don’t settle your mind on yon sycamore tree
For the leaves they will wither - and the branches will die
And you’ll be forsaken - you will know not for why                       

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The Devil and the feathery Wife (Trad. Arr D.McFarlane) 

Now there was a farmer lived over the hill and a poor old fella they say
He was plagued by hunger and a scolding wife and the worst of his fortune that day
But as he cut wood in the forest one day between dark doom and despair
The devil himself he popped out of a bush and he stood before him there

Oh what is the matter the devil he cried you look so discontent
Haven’t you got any money to buy your food or to pay your landlord’s rent
What would you give me the devil he cried if I should end your debate
And I gave you money and gear enough so you’d never more want for meat
But I’ve nothing to give you the old man cried – I’ve nothing right here to my hand
But if you would do what you say for me – then I’d be at your command 

Right then, I’ll make you a bargain the devil he cried –it’s a bargain you just couldn’t miss
You bring me a beast at seven years end – and I’ll try and say what it is
But if that beast I name a-right you mark what I do tell
You’ll have to toddle along with me for to view the ovens of hell 

So the old man trusted and prospered well – it was all gained and spent
Till he came to the end of seven long years – sorely he did lament
Oh what is the matter his wife she cried – you look so discontent
Sure, you’ve got some silly young girl with child – making you sore lament

No, I made a bargain with the devil he cried – it was a bargain I just couldn’t miss
I’ve got to bring him a beast at seven years end – he’s got to say what it is
But if that beast he names a-right – you mark what I do tell
I’ve got to toddle along with him for to view the ovens of hell
Oh never you worry his wife she cried for your cattle you’ll keep and your feed
For the wit of a woman it comes in handy at times in an hour of need 

Go fetch me the droppings from all of our chickens and lay them all over the floor
And naked I will strip myself and roll in it over and all
And fetch me the basket of feathers she cries of the geese that we had for our tea
And I’ll roll and I’ll roll all over in them – till never an inch be free 

So she rolled & she rolled in feathers & droppings from her head right down to her navel
By Christ, he says what an ‘orrible sight –you look far worse than the devil
And when the devil himself came in  - he started to steam and to hiss
By Christ he says  - what an awful sight – I’m damned if I know what it is 

Well’ he started to shake and he started to quake –says have you more of these at home
Oh yes, he cries – I’ve got seven more - that in my forest do roam
If you’ve got seven more of these beasts – that in your forest do dwell
I’ll be good as my bargain and I’m off home for she’s worse than the demons of hell

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The Snow It Melts The Soonest (Trad. Arr D.McFarlane)
Lyrics collected by Thomas Doubleday in 1821 from a street singer in Newcastle, England
 

O, the snow it melts the soonest when the winds begin to sing
the corn it ripens fastest when the frosts are setting in
And when a woman tells me that my face she'll soon forget
Before we part, I’d wager all, she is sure to follow yet 

The snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing
And the swallow skims without a thought as long as it is spring
But when spring goes, and winter blows, my lass, an I'll be fain
For all her pride, to follow me, were it ‘cross the stormy main 

O, the snow it melts the soonest when the wind begins to sing
The bee that flew when summer shined, in winter cannot sting
I've seen a woman's anger melt between the night and morn
And it's surely not a harder thing to tame a woman's scorn 

O, never say me farewell here -no farewell I'll receive
For you shall set me to the stile, and kiss and take your leave
But I'll stay here till the woodcock calls, or nightingale takes wing
Since the snow aye melts the soonest, lass, when the wind begins to sing

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Barrack Street (Trad. Arr D.McFarlane)
I like listening to, and writing songs, that tell a tale. This song is a great story, and that make's it instantly a winner in my book. It's just up my (Barrack) street. Probably my second favourite track off 'Penguin Eggs'. There's a Barrack Street less than a mile from home here in Leeds - and I considered 'dressing-up' in a woman's shirt and apron for a photo by the street sign for the website. Haven't had the bottle yet - but who knows!

You sailors all come to lend an ear - Come listen to me song
A trick of late was played on me - and it won’t detain you long
I come from sea the other day - and a girl I chanced to meet
O me friends will be expecting me to a dance in Barrack Street 

So I said my young fair maid - I cannot dance so well
Besides I am to Windsor band  - where all me friends do dwell
I’ve been to sea these past two years - I’ve saved up thirty pounds
Me friends will be expecting me - this night in Windsor town 

Well of you cannot dance me love - then you shall stand a treat
Have a glass or two of brandy - and there’s something for to eat
At six o’clock this evening oh - I’ll meet you off the train
So don’t forget to give a call - when you come to town again 

At eight o’clock that evening then - the drinking did begin
And when we all had drunk our fill - the dancing did begin
Me and me love danced all around  - all to a merry tune
She says me dear let us retire - to the chamber all alone 

So the dancing being over – well, to bed we did repair
And there then I fell fast asleep - for truth I do declare
Me darling with me thirty pounds, gold watch and chain had fled
And left me here poor Jack alone - stark naked in bed 

So I looked all around me and - there’s nothing I could spy
But a woman’s shirt and apron - all on the bed did lie
I wrung me hands and tore me hair - crying Oh what shall I do?
Fair you well sweet Windsor town - I’m sure I’ll never see you 

Well everything being silent - and the hour but 12 o’clock
I put on me shirt and apron - and I steered for Cronin’s wharf
The captain says now Jack I thought - you were to Windsor bound
You might have got a better suit - than that for thirty pound 

I might have got a better suit - if I’d have got the chance
I met a girl in Barrack Street - she took me to a dance
I danced me own destruction - now I’m stripped from head to feet
And swear that I will go no more – down on Barrack Street 

So all of you young sailor lads – a warning take from me
And beware of all your company - when you go out on a spree
And keep you clear of Barrack Street or else you’ll rue the day
In a woman’s shirt and apron all – they’ll rig you out to sea

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 For The Ladies (D.McFarlane)

It can get so cold on your own
I know this feeling just like winter
As I watch and wait by the window, the voices linger on.

They all sing their songs for the ladies
From the heart I hear them cry
They all sing their songs and the ladies sigh.

If I ever catch you alone I know it's only for a moment
Soon we both will be together
Our bodies move as one.

They all sing their songs for the ladies
From the heart I hear them cry
They all sing their songs and the ladies sigh......

They all sing their songs for the ladies
From the heart I hear them cry
They all sing their songs for the ladies
From the heart I hear them cry
If they can sing their songs for the ladies
Why can't I? 

If I ever catch you alone I know it's only for a moment.....

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Three Drunken Maidens (Trad. Arr D.McFarlane)
This was on a vinyl LP I had back in college ('72?) T'was Tim Hart and Maddy Prior's 'Summer Solstice' 
- it's sort of stuck in there and never gone away! 
Only after working my way into C modal tuning in recent years have I got round to finding a way I can play it! I wish I'd not lost the LP somewhere over the years. Traded it in for 'pence' along with so many albums at a shop opposite the fForde Grene pub in Leeds when I was struggling to make ends meet having run off from college without finishing! Can't remember the shop's name - but many a student (or poor person) used to trade-in their favourites there out of need! Anyone out there know the name? Anyone out there got a copy? I'd really like to hear it again - especially one track that I can only vaguely remember - 'Cannily, Cannily' - I believe - though the spelling might be wrong.

There were three drunken maidens came from the Isle of Wight
They drank from Monday morning, nor stopped till Saturday night
When Saturday night did come me boys, they would not then go out
These three drunken maidens they pushed the jug about 

Then up comes bouncing Sally, her cheeks as red as a bloom
Jump up you jolly sisters - give young Sally some room
For I’ll be your equal before the tweed go out
These four drunken maidens they pushed the jug about

There’s woodcock and pheasant there’s partridge and hare
There’s all sorts of dainties – no scarcity was there
There’s forty quarts of beer, me boys – they fairly drunk them out
These four drunken maidens they pushed the jug about 

But up comes the landlord – he’s asking for his pay
It’s forty pounds the bill, me boys – these girls is forced to pay
That’s ten pounds apiece, me boys – but still they wouldn’t go out
These four drunken maidens they pushed the jug about 

O where are your feathered hats – your mantles rich and fine
They’ve all been swallowed up, me boys, in tankards of good wine
And where are all your maidenheads you maidens frisk and gay
We left them in the alehouse – we drank them clean away

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Misc: Various DMcF songs that I get requests for the lyrics of, while out at gigs... Not necessarily on albums...

Not PC Upgrade 3.1 Version 5  (Duncan McFarlane) - strangely (sadly?) my most requested song! 

As I was once a-walking in me place of work one day
I spied a pretty maiden – she unto me did say
‘If you’ve the time and trouble – then I would have you stand
To help me with me windows, sir – for I could use a hand 

She’d quite a case before her oh, a lovely monitor screen
The contours of her keyboard were the finest I had seen
I leaned to take a closer look – twas then our eyes did meet
She says ‘Why don’t you press control and follow with alt/delete’ 

Well I’m no expert at this lark – in fact I’m quite a dunce
But I can spot an opening – need only asking once
No sooner was I next to her – she this to me did say
‘I hope you’ve got your caps lock on - press insert right away!’ 

She bid me tap on enter – oh, guess then what I found
She had me press on home and then –page up and then page down
I scanned her user area - I could hardly believe my eyes
For she searched right through me files and made me RAM increase in size 

She says, ‘Plug in your flash drive’ – well, I nearly gave a cheer
For she displayed ports USB - both front - and at the rear
She says ‘upload your program, download your data, quick
But just to be quite certain - give m' mouse a double-click’ 

Me system started crashing – this was more than I could take
Now I must shift on out of here - log off now, press escape
I’ve suffered a fatal error - so I’m half afraid to ask
But can I save your document? - It’s time to end the task 

Well, the answer that she gave me – yes it filled me with surprise
‘I see now you’ve a floppy – where you once had a hard drive
But don’t erase your memory – for me favour you did earn
And I’ll be waiting here for you – should ever you return’ 

I’d opened up her folder – I had surfed a little while
She’d been desperate for a defrag – her connection I had dialled
We’d scrolled around for hours, but now this thought’s filled me with fear
I’ll have to have a virus check when I get out of here 

The tune is slightly borrowed – but the words were all from me
I was singing of computers – and it’s def’n’t’ly not P.C.

 

Bring us stars - or Dead Reckoning - (Duncan McFarlane) 

High seas on darkest night
We’re anxiously sailing
Lost souls thinking of
Loved ones, home waiting

Bring us stars, bring us stars
Bring us stars - to light our way home
Bring us stars, bring us stars
Bring us stars - and we’ll find our way home

So far, so far from land
A deep swell    is rolling
Sailors such as we
Are in need of guiding...

Storm passed, we cut and run
Close-hauled we’re beating
Survivors - our thanks we give
We see our horizon...

 

 

 

 

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