Pete Coe

backbone

Backshift Music BASH CD57

Lyrics

1. Byker Hill  (trad. arr. Pete Coe, Chris Coe, Johnny Adams - Backshift)
2. Fair Margaret & Sweet William (trad. arr. Pete Coe - Backshift)
3. The Recruiting Officer & The Roman Wall (trad. arr. Pete Coe, Chris Coe, Johnny Adams - Backshift)
4. Wife Of Usher’s Well (trad. arr. Pete Coe, Chris Coe - Backshift)
5. Monday Morning (Cyril Tawney - Gwyneth Music Ltd)
6. Flora, The Lily Of The West (trad. arr. Pete Coe - Backshift)
7. Poor Old Horse (trad. arr. Pete Coe - Backshift)
8. Sheffield Apprentice (trad. arr. Pete Coe - Backshift)
9. Blind Man He Can See (trad. arr. Pete Coe - Backshift)
10. Cruel Mother (trad. arr. Pete Coe, Chris Coe, Johnny Adams - Backshift)
11. Gånglåt från Mockfjärd & Efterkälken (arr. Pete Coe, Chris Coe, Johnny Adams - Backshift)
12. Light From The Lighthouse (Bob Zentz)
13. Sound Of Hohner ( Pete Coe - Backshift)

 


Track 1   BYKER HILL  ( Trad)


If I had another penny
I would have another gill
I would make the piper play
The 'Bonny Lads o' Byker Hill

Chorus
Byker Hill and Walker Shore
Collier lads for ever more!
Byker Hill and Walker Shore
Collier lads for ever more!

When first I came down to the dirt
I had no coat and no pit shirt
Now I've gotten two or three
Walker Pits' done well by me

The pitman and the keelman trim
They drink bumble made from gin
Then to dance they do begin
To the tune of "Elsie Marley".


The poor coalcutter gets two shillings
The deputy get half a crown
The overman gets five and six
Just for riding up and down

Geordie Charlton had a pig
He hit it with a shovel and it danced a jig
All the way to Walker Shore
To the tune of "Elsie Marley".

There’s no Byker Hill, no Walker Shore
The collier lads they are no more
It’s been that way since ‘84
So farewell Elsie Marley.

Track 2   LADY MARGARET & SWEET WILLIAM  (Trad)

Lady Margaret sat in her bedchamber combing her long yellow hair
She saw Sweet William & his new wed bride as they came riding there

She threw down her ivory comb and up she tied her hair
L ady Margaret left her bedchamber and never more went there

It was lately, lately in the night , when all were fast asleep
Lady Margaret came all dressed in white & stood at his bed’s feet

How do you like your bed she said & how do you like your sheet
How do you like your new wed bride that lies in your arms asleep

Very well do I like my bed he said, very well do I like my sheets
But best of all is the pretty fair maid who stands at my bed’s feet

Sweet William arose in he middle of the night unto his lady did say
I must go find Lady Margaret by the leave of you lady

For I dreamed a dream such a terrible dream such dreams they are no good
I dreamed my halls were full of wild swine & my bridesbed filled with blood

He rode & he rode to Lady Margaret’s hall & so loudly he tirled at the pin
There was none so ready as her seven brothers to rise & let him in

Is she in her bedchamber or is she in the hall
She’s lying in her cold coffin with her face turned to the wall

Fold down fold down those lily white sheets made of the linen so fine
Today they lie over Margaret's corpse, tomorrow they hang over mine

First he kissed her on the cheek then he kissed her on the chin
Then he kissed her clay cold lips that often had kissed him

Lady Margaret she died like it might be today Sweet William he died on the morrow
Lady Margaret she died for pure pure love Sweet William he died of sorrow

 

Track 3  TUNES

 

Track 4   THE WIFE OF USHERS WELL  (trad)

There lived a wife at Usher s Well
And a wealthy wife was she;
She had three stout and stalwart sons
And sent them o’er the sea.
They had not been a week from her,
A week but barely one,
When word came to the carline wife
That her three sons were gone.

They had not been a week from her
A week but barely three,
When word came to the carline wife
That her sons she'd never see
“I wish the wind may never cease
Nor fishes in the flood,
Till my three sons come home to me
In earthly flesh and blood!"

It fell about the Martinmas,
When nights are long and dark
The carline wife's three sons came home
And their hats were of the birk.
It neither grew in syke nor ditch,
Nor yet in any sheugh,
But at the gates of Paradise
That birk grew fair enough.

"Blow up the fires, my maidens fair!
Bring water from the well!
For all my house shall feast this night
Since my three sons are well!"
And she has made for them a bed
She’s made it long and wide;
And she's taken her mantle round about,
Sat down at their bedside.

Up then did crow the red, red cock
And up and crew the grey;
The eldest to the youngest said,
“‘Tis time we were away.”
The cock he had not crowed but once
And clapped his wings so wide
When the youngest to the eldest said,
No longer can we bide

The cock doth crow, the day doth dawn
The chunnerin worm doth chide;
“If we be missed out of our place,
A sore pain we must bide.
Fare you well, my mother dear!
Farewell to barn and byre!
And fare you well, the bonny lass
That kindles my mother's fire!”

Track 5   MONDAY MORNING  (Cyril Tawney)

Too soon to be out of me bed
Too soon to be back at this bus-queue caper
Or fumbling for change for me picture paper
On a Monday morning.

Wrong end of the day for a smile
Wrong end of the day for being civil
There’s many a saint would be a devil
On a Monday morning.

Where is the weekend now?
Where is the whisky and beer I’ve tasted?
Gone the same way as the pay I’ve wasted
On a Monday morning.

If only the birds would booze
If only the sun was a party giver
If I could lend someone-else me liver
On a Monday morning.

My lover she lies asleep
My lover is warm and her heart is mellow
I’d trade you the world just to share her pillow
On a Monday morning.

Too soon to be out of me bed
Too soon to be back at this bus-queue caper
Or fumbling for change for me picture paper
On a Monday morning.

 

Track 6   FLORA, LILY OF THE WEST  (trad)

It’s when I came to England some pleasure for to find
There I espied a damsel most pleasing to my mind
Her rosy cheeks & rolling eyes like arrows pierced my breast
And they called her lovely Flora the Lily of the West

Her golden hair in ringlets hung her dress was spangled o’er
She’s a ring on every finger brought from some foreign shore
Would entice both kings & princes so costly was she dressed
And she excels fair Venus she’s the Lily of the West

I courted her awhile in hopes her love to gain
But soon she turned her back on me which caused me grievous pain
She robbed me of my liberty she stole from me my rest
I roam forsook by Flora the Lily of the West

One day as I was walking down in a shady grove
I spied a lord of high degree conversing with my love
She sang a song melodiously whilst I was sore oppressed
And said adieu to Flora the Lily of the West

I walked up to my rival with a dagger in my hand
I seized him from my false love & bid him boldly stand
Then mad with desperation I swore I’d pierce his breast
For I was betrayed by Flora the Lily of the West

Then I did stand my trial & boldly made my plea
A flaw was in the indictment found which quickly set me free
That beauty bright I did adore the judge did her molest
Saying go you faithless Flora the Lily of the West

So it’s now I’ve gained my liberty a roving I will go
I’ll ramble through old Ireland & traverse Scotland through
Although she swore my life away she still disturbs my rest
I must ramble for my Flora the Lily of the West

Track 7   POOR OLD HORSE  (trad)

Once I was a young horse all in my youthful prime
My mane hung over my shoulders my coat did brightly shine
But now I’m getting old my features do decay
My master he looks down on me these words I heard him say
Poor Old Horse Poor Old Horse Poor Old Horse let him die

My master used to ride on me at every chase around
My legs they were so nimble as I galloped o’er the ground
But now I’m getting old scarce able to crawl
My master he looks down on me says I am no use at all

Once all in my stable I ate good corn & hay
That grows in yonder fields & likewise meadows gay
But now I’m getting old I scarce get any at all
I’m forced to nibble the short grass hat grows along the wall

Once all in my stable I as kept so snug & warm
To keep my tender limbs from all aching pains & harm
But now I’m getting old to the open fields must go
Let it hail rain or sunshine the winds blow high or low

My hide to the huntsman so freely I will give
My body to the hounds I would rather die than live
Now nature is all over I have done my best & worst
And all that they can do is to turn me into dust

Track 8   SHEFFIELD APPRENTICE  (Trad)


I was brought up in Sheffield but not of high degree
My parents they both loved me they had no child but me
I rambled in much pleasure where’er my fancy lead
Til I was bound apprentice then all my joys were fled


I did not like my master he did not use me well
I made a resolution not long with him to dwell
Unknown to my poor parents from him I ran away
I steered my course for London O cursed be that day

A lovely handsome lady from Holland she was there
She offered me great wages to serve her for a year
After great persuasion with her I did agree
To steer my course for Holland which proved my destiny

I had not been in Holland a month but two or three
When my lovely handsome mistress grew very fond of me
She said her gold & silver her houses & her land
If I’d consent to marry her they would be at my command

I said dear honoured lady I cannot wed with you both
For lately I have taken & sworn a solemn oath
To wed with none with Polly your lovely chambermaid
Excuse me my dear mistress for she has my heart betrayed

One day as I was walking all in her garden green
The flowers they were blooming delightful to be seen
A gold ring from her finger as she was passing by
She has slipped into my pocket & for it I must die

My mistress swore I’d robbed her which ne’er was my intent
Because I would not marry her she did it from contempt
And from this place of confinement they have brought me to the tree
O woe to be to my mistress for she is the ruin of me

All you who stand around me my wretched fate to see
Don’t you glory in my downfall but rather pity me
Don’t blame me for I am innocent I bid the world adieu
Farewell my handsome Polly I die for the love of you

Track 9   BLIND MAN HE CAN SEE  (Read - Pete Coe)

There was an old woman in Yorkshire in Sowerby Bridge did dwell
She loved her husband dearly but the lodger twice as well

I read it in the Courier & the Yorkshire Post as well

She went round to the doctor to see what she could find
Have you any medicine to make my husband blind?

She gave to her some little white pills & sent her on her way
These will surely make your husband blind if he takes one twice a day

But her husband being a cunning old sod he was up to her tricks before
He took his medicine twice a day & said I can’t see you no more

I’m so depressed her husband said because I’ve lost my sight
I think I’ll go & drown myself if you’ll help me do it right

So hand in hand together ‘til they came to the Calder brim
O love I cannot do the deed unless you shove me in

So she stepped back a yard or two to shove him over the brim
But the old man neatly stepped aside & she went tumbling in

O Lord how she did holler O Lord how she did bawl
But the old man said I am so blind I can’t hear you at all

She bobbed up & she bobbed down to her husband she did turn
O husband dear I cannot swim he said now’s your chance to learn

But he being tender hearted he knew she couldn’t swim
The old man used his little white stick to push her further in

You thought that I was blind he said, you thought that I was dim
But she passed off with aspirins for she thought it was a sin

So this old man he went dancing home and left her there to curse
Now he’s married to the doctor but she’s a bloody sight worse

Now they live upon the south side, high above the ridge
Just a half a mile from the town of Hebden Bridge

Now I can’t tell you the old mans name for fear that he might sue
But just because I made it up doesn’t mean it isn’t true

Track 10   THE CRUEL MOTHER  (trad)

There was a lady lived in York
All alone & aloney
She fell in love with her own father’s clerk
Down by the greenwood sidey

She leaned her back against a thorn
There she has two bonny babes born

And with the blade of her penknife
She’s parted them from their sweet lives

She wiped the blade upon the grass
The more she wiped the more blood there was

She threw the knife so far away
The further she threw it the nearer it came

She washed her hands all in the stream
Thinking to become a maiden again

But when she came back to her father’s hall
She spied two bonny boys playing at ball

O bonny boys if you were mine
I’d dress you in silk & sabeline

O false mother when we were thine
You never gave to us that treatment so fine

With the blade of your penknife
It’s there you twined us of our sweet life

For by the light of yon pale moon
There you laid our two bodies down

And you laid us ‘neath the marble stone
For dukes & lords to walk upon

O bonny boys come tell to me
The kind of death that I must die

O mother dear but hell is deep
And there you’ll enter step by step

Seven long years a bird in the wood
Seven long years a fish in the flood

Seven long years a tongue in the bell
Seven long years in the flames of hell

Track 11   TUNES

 

Track 12   THE LIGHT FROM THE LIGHTHOUSE  (Bob Zentz)

When the daylight fades & the shadows fall
Let the light on the lighthouse shine on me
And the weather-watch spies an incoming squall
Let the light on the lighthouse shine on me
And the sun sinks down into a troubled sea
Let the light on the lighthouse shine on me
When the night winds blow & the rain falls free
Let the light on the lighthouse shine on me

Chorus
Shine on me, shine on me
Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me
Shine on me, shine on me,
Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me

When the clouds boil black & the wind will wail…
When you’re caught in the teeth of a terrible gale…
Then your sailors heart is filled with fear…
When the sound of the surf on the rocks is near…

When the wind drops down & the sea’s becalmed…
Then the fog is thickest before the dawn…
When the new sun burns that fog away…
From the darkest night comes the brightest day…

When you’re safe back home in harbour again…
You can thank the keeper you can thank the flame…

Shine on me, shine on me
Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me
Shine on me, shine on me,
Let the light from the lighthouse shine on me

Bonus Track

Track 13   SOUND OF HOHNER  (Pete Coe)

Hello squeezebox my old friend I’ve come to torture you again
With your bellows softly creaking & your buttons deftly tweaking
Delusions that you planted in my brain drive me insane
And echoes to the sound of Hohner

For endless months I stayed at home restless nights I played alone
Beneath the flicker of a candle more tunes than I could handle
When my ears were stunned by some flash git it makes you spit
The sound of Castagnari

Fools said I you all should know my superior tremolo
You can stuff your Castagnari Salterelle Paoli Soprani
These German ones that were made on the factory floor don’t mention the war
Or the sound of sirens

But the old ones are much finer than the new ones made in China
Hear my tunes that I might reach you take my notes that I might teach you
For these reeds they vibrate like an old church bell falling down a well
It’s the sound of stridence

I was naked when I saw a hundred morris men or more
I heard a million bells a ringing in between excessive drinking
And the tune hat they could play was Shepherds Hey all bloody day
That's the sound of violence

But the dancers bowed & prayed to the ceilidh band they’d made
And the caller gave this warning to the sets that they were forming
He said these dances are written on the marquee walls & village halls
Beneath the PRS license

 


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Contact Pete at:   petecoe@backshift.demon.co.uk

Updated 27th Dec 2010