Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Kishmul's Galley

Kishmul was legendary pirate or "riever" who plied his trade in the 14th century on the north east coast of Scotland, among the Hebrides. In some stories he appears as a sort of sea-faring Robin Hood...stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. The Bennachie is a range of hills northeast of Aberdeen.

High on the Benachie
On that day of days, seaward I gaze
Watching Kishmul's Galley sailing

Ah-hee Ah-hoo-oh
Vall-eee Ah-hoo-oh

Bravely against wind and tide
They have brought us to 'neath Kishmul's walls
Kishmul's castle of ancient glory

Ah-hee Ah-hoo-oh
Vall-eee Ah-hoo-oh

Homeward she bravely battles,
'Gainst the hurtling waves,
Nor hoop nor yards,
Anchor, cable nor tackle has she.

Ah-hee Ah-hoo-oh
Vall-eee Ah-hoo-oh

Here's red wine, a toast to heroes
And harping too, and harping too
Watching Kishmul's galley sailing

Ah-hee Ah-hoo-oh
Vall-eee Ah-hoo-oh
The Mountains Of Mourne
Percy French

Oh Mary, this London's a wonderful sight,
With people here working by day and by night.
They don't sow potatoes nor barley nor wheat
But there's gangs of them diggin' for gold in the street.
At least, when I asked them that's what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin' for gold;
But for all that I've found there, I might as well be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I believe that when writin' a wish you expressed
As to how the fine ladies of London are dressed.
Well if you believe me, when asked to a ball
They don't wear no tops to their dresses at all.
Oh, I've seen them myself and you could not, in thrath
Say if they were bound for a ball, or a bath,
Don't be startin' them fashions now, Mary Machree,
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

I've seen England's king from the top of a bus
And I've never known him, but he means to know us.
And tho' by the Saxon we once were oppressed,
Still I cheered, God forgive me, I cheered with the rest.
And now that he's visited Erin's green shore
We'll be much better friends than we've been heretofore
When we've got all we want, we're as quiet as can be
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

You remember young Peter O'Loughlin of course
Well now he is here at the head of the Force.
I met him today, I was crossing the Strand
And he stopped the whole street with a wave of his hand.
And there we stood talking of days that are gone
While the whole population of London looked on;
But for all these great powers, he's wishful, like me
To be back where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea.

There's beautiful girls here --- Oh, never you mind ---
With beautiful shapes nature never designed.
And lovely complexions all roses and cream,
But O'Loughlin remarked with regard to the same
That if at those roses you venture to sip
The colors might all come away on your lip
So I'll wait for the wild rose that's waitin' for me
Where the Mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

All For Me Grog
words and music Traditional

Well it's all for me grog, me jolly jolly grog
It's all for me beer and tobacco
For I spent all me tin with the lassies drinking gin
Far across the western ocean I must wander

Where are me boots, me noggin', noggin' boots?
They're all gone for beer and tobacco
For the heels they are worn out and the toes are kicked about
And the soles are looking out for better weather

Where is me shirt, my noggin', noggin' shirt?
It's all gone for beer and tobacco
For the collar is all worn, and the sleeves they are all torn
And the tail is looking out for better weather

I'm sick in the head and I haven't been to bed
Since first I came ashore with me slumber
For I spent all me dough on the lassies movin' slow
Far across the Western Ocean I must wander

Where is me bed, me noggin' noggin bed
It's all gone for beer and tobacco
Well I lent it to a whore and now the sheets are all tore
And the springs are looking out for better whether.

Where is me wench, me noggin' noggin' whence
She's all gone for beer and tobacco
Well her (clap) is all worn out and her (clap) is knocked about
And her (clap) is looking out for better whether.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

(Anon / Hamish Henderson)

Come all you true-born Glasgow boys
And listen to my song
I'm going to speak of Hogmanay
It won't detain you long
I've made this little tune for you
I've laid it on my whistle
And I think the name I'll gi'e to it
Is The Shamrock and the Thistle

Aboard the Royal Ulsterman
We had a dram or twa
When daylight broke we all awoke
And saw the Broomielaw
The journey o'er, we went ashore
Our friends all raised a cheer
And soon the word was going round
The Irishmen are here

We were not rash, we wore no sash
We sang no party lay
For we had come to join the fun
A real Scotch Hogmanay
We marched up to Argyle Street
Bought whisky, stout and rum
And the songs we sang were Sweet Strabane
And Britain Here We Come

A welcome rare we soon got there
It was a glorious fair
Bill Thompson cried, Get that inside
I see you're needing fare
So when we'd had a tightener
And feeling in good trim
Bill said, Come on, I'm for the Tron
So we went along wi' him

Many's the hoolie we've been at
At home across the sea
And at New Year wi' stout and beer
We'd go upon the spree
And the Scots they don't just make whoopee (?)
Or drink with Mum and Dad
At the thirty-first of December, boys
They all go ravin' mad

Forgive me, friends, for being rude
I'm not, you will agree
The Irish too are a crazy crew
Just look at Bob and me
For a Scotsman seeing the New Year in
Is a sight for gods and men
And it takes an Irish Paddy, boys
To be equal to him then

For the Scotsmen have their thistle
And the Welshmen have their leek
The English have a rose, my boys
And lots of flamin' cheek
The Irish have their shamrock and
They hold it very dear
But you'll find it wi' the thistle
In auld Glasgow at New Year
The Highwayman
Phil Ochs
(An arrangement of a poem by Alfred Noyes)

The wind was a torrent of darkness
Among the gusty trees
The moon was a ghostly galleon
Tossed upon cloudy seas
And the road was a ribbon of moonlight
Over the purple moor
And the highwayman came riding, riding, riding
Yes, the highwayman came riding
Up to the old inn door

Over the cobbles he clattered
And clashed in the darkened yard
And he tapped with his whip at the window
But all was locked and barred
So he whistled a tune to the window
And who should be waiting there
But the landlord's black eyed daughter
Bess the landlord's daughter
Plaiting a dark red love knot
Into her long black hair

One kiss, my bonny sweetheart
For I'm after a prize tonight
But I shall be back with the yellow gold
Before the morning light
Yet if they press me sharply
Harry me through the day
Oh, then look for me by moonlight
Watch for me by moonlight
And I'll come to thee by moonlight
Though Hell should bar the way

He did not come at the dawning
No, he did not come at the noon
And out of the tawny sunset
before the rise of the moon
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon
Looping the purple moor
Oh a redcoat troop came marching, marching, marching
King George's men came marching
Up to the old inn door

And they bound the landlord's daughter
with many a sniggering jest
And they bound the musket beside her
With the barrel beneath her breast
Now keep good watch and they kissed her
She heard the dead man say
"Oh look for me by moonlight
Watch for me by moonlight
And I'll come to thee by moonlight
Though Hell should bar the way"

Look for me by moonlight
Hoof beats ringing clear
Watch for me by moonlight
Were they deaf that they did not hear
For he rode on the gypsy highway
She breathed one final breath
Then her finger moved in the moonlight
Her musket shattered the moonlight
And it shattered her breast in the moonlight
And warned him with her death

Oh he turned; he spurred on to the west
He did not know who stood
Out with her black hair a flowing down
Drenched with her own red blood
Oh not 'til the dawn had he heard it
And his face grew gray to hear
How Bess the landlord's daughter
The landlord's black eyed daughter
Had watched for her love in the moonlight
And died in the darkness there

Back he spurred like a madman
Shrieking a curse to the sky
With the white road smoking behind him
And his rapier brandished high
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon
Wine red his velvet coat
When they shot him down on the highway
Down like a dog on the highway
And he lay in his blood on the highway
With a bunch of lace at his throat

And still on a winter's night they say
When the wind is in the trees
When the moon is a ghostly galleon
Tossed upon cloudy seas
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight
Over the purple moor
Oh the highwayman comes riding, riding, riding
Yes the highwayman comes riding
Up to the old inn door.