SING-ALONG-A-KIMBERLEYS

The Whitsun Dance

It's fifty-one springtimes since she was a bride 
But still you may see her at each Whitsuntide
In a dress of white linen and ribbons of green
As green as her memories of loving

The feet that were nimble tread carefully now
As gentle a measure as age do allow
Through groves of white blossom by fields of young corn
Where once she was pledged to her true love

The fields they stand empty, the hedgerows grow free
No young men to tend them or pastures go see
They have gone where the forests of oak trees before
Have gone to be wasted in battle​

Down from the green farmlands and from their loved ones
Marched husbands and lovers and fathers and sons
There's a fine roll of honour where the maypole once was
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun

There's a row of straight houses in these latter days
Covering the downs where the sheep used to graze
There's a field of red poppies and a wreath from the Queen
But the ladies remember at Whitsun

And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun

The Doffin Mistress

O do you know her or do you not
That new doffin' mistress we have got?
Elsie Thompson it is her name
She fights for her doffers at every frame

Fal-de right-full-ree

Fal-de right-full-rae

On Monday morning when she comes in
She hangs her coat on the highest pin
Turns around just to greet her friends
Crying, “Hey there, doffers, tie up your ends”

Sometimes the boss he walks in the door
“Tie your ends up, doffers,” he will roar
Tie up our ends we will surely do
But for Elsie Thompson and not for you

Oh Elsie Thompson are you going away?

Will it be tomorrow or today?

Are you going for to break our hearts?

There is no one left here to take our parts

Tam Lin

“I forbid you maidens all who wear gold in your hair
For to go to Carterhaugh, for young Tam Lin is there

Them that go by Carterhaugh but they pay him a pledge
Either their mantle green or else their maidenhead”

Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she

​“Why come ye to Carterhaugh without command from me?”
“I'll come and go,” young Janet said, “and take no leave of thee”

Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to her father as fast as go can she

​So spoke up her father dear, he spoke so meek and mild
“Well alas, Janet,” he said, “I think you go with child”

“If that be so,” young Janet said, “myself shall bear the blame
There's not a knight in all your halls shall get the baby's name

​For if my love were an earthly knight, but he's an elfin grey
I'll not change my own true love for any knight you have”

Janet tied her kirtle green a bit above her knee
And she's gone to Carterhaugh as fast as go can she

“Tell me, Tam Lin,” she said, “why came you here to dwell?”
“The Queen of Fairies caught me from when my horse I fell

And at the end of seven years she pays a tithe to hell
And I so fair and full of flesh and fear it is myself

But tonight is Halloween and the fairy court does ride
Those who would let true love win at Mile's Cross must hide

First let pass the horses black and then the horses brown
Quickly run to the white steed and pull the rider down

For I'll ride on the white steed, nearest to the town
For I once was an earthly knight, and they give me that renown

They will turn me in your arms into a newt or snake
Hold me close and fear not, for I'm your baby's father

​And they will turn me in your arms into a lion bold
Hold me close and fear not and you will love your child

And they will turn me in your arms into a naked knight
Cloak me in your mantle green and keep me out of sight”

And in the middle of the night she heard the bridle ring
She heeded what he did say and young Tam Lin did win

So spoke up the Fairy Queen, an angry queen was she
Woe betide her ill-far'd face, an ill death may she die

“Oh, had I known, Tam Lin,” she said, “what this night I would see
I'd have looked him in the eye and turned him to a tree”

Elsie Marley

Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey

The wife who sells the barley

She lost her pocket and all her money

The back o' the bush in the garden, honey

 

Elsie Marley's grown so fine

She can't get up to serve the swine

But lies in bed till eight or nine

Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey

 

Elsie Marley is so neat

It's hard for one to walk the street

But every lad and lass they meet

Cries "Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey?"

 

Elsie Marley wore a straw hat

But now she wears a velvet cap

The Lambton lads dun pay for that

Di' ye ken Elsie Marley, honey?

Elsie keeps rum, gin and ale

In her house below the dale

And every tradesman, up and down

Does call to spend his half-a-crown

 

The farmers they all come their way

They drink with Elsie every day

And call the fiddler for to play

The tune of Elsie Marley, honey

The sailors they all call for flip

As soon as they come from the ship

And they begin to dance and to skip

To the tune of Elsie Marley, honey

 

The gentlemen who go so fine

They treat her to a bottle of wine

And gladly they do sit down to dine

Along with Elsie Marley, honey

Sally Gardens

Down by the sally gardens

My love and I did meet

She passed the sally gardens

On little snow-white feet

She bid me take life easy

As the leaves grow on the tree

But I was young and foolish

With her did not agree

In a field down by the river

My love and I did stand

And on my leaning shoulder

She laid her cold white hand

She bid me take love slowly

As the grass grows on the weirs

But I was young and foolish

And now am full of tears

The Smart Schoolboy

“Where are you going?” said the knight on the road
“I'm going to school,” said the boy as he stood

And he stood, he stood, and it’s well that he stood

“I'm going to school,” said the boy as he stood
 

“And what do you there?” said the knight on the road
“I read from me book,” said the boy as he stood

And he stood, he stood, and it’s well that he stood

“I read from me book,” said the boy as he stood

“And what have you got?” said the knight on the road

“It's but bread and cheese” said the boy as he stood

And he stood, he stood, and it’s well that he stood

“It's but bread and cheese” said the boy as he stood

“Oh pray give me some” said the knight on the road

“Oh no, not a crumb”  said the boy as he stood

And he stood, he stood, and it’s well that he stood

“Oh no, not a crumb”  said the boy as he stood

“I hear your school bell,” said the false knight upon the road
“It's ringing you to hell,”  said the boy as he stood

And he stood, he stood, and it’s well that he stood

“It's ringing you to hell,”  said the boy as he stood

Pleasant and Delightful

It was pleasant and delightful one midsummer's morn
To view the fine meadows all covered with corn
The blackbirds and thrushes sang on every green spray
And the larks they sang melodious at the dawning of the day
   

A sailor and his true love were walking one day 
Said the sailor to his true love "I'm bound far away
I’m bound for the East Indies where loud cannons do roar
I must go and leave you Nancy you're the girl I adore​"

The ring from off her finger she instantly drew
Saying "Take this dearest Billie, my heart will go too"
And as she embraced him tears from her eyes fell
Saying, "May I go along with you?" "Oh no me love farewell"

"So it's fare thee well my Nancy, I'm bound far away
The ship she is a-waiting out there in the bay
The anchor is hoisted she waits the next flowing tide
And if ever I return again I will make you my bride"

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