Henry's Songbook

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The Blacksmith

  • Trad

    A blacksmith courted me nine months and better
    He fairly won my heart, wrote me a letter
    With his hammer in his hand he looked quite clever
    And if I was with my love I'd live for ever

    But where is my love gone with his cheeks like roses
    And his good black billycock on decked round with primroses
    I'm afraid the scorching sun will shine and burn his beauty
    And if I was with my love I'd do my duty

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

    Don't you remember when you lay beside me
    And you said you'd marry me and not deny me
    If I said I'd marry you, it was only for to try you
    So bring your witness, love, and I'll not deny you

    Oh witness have I none save God Almighty
    And may He reward you well for the slighting of me
    Her lips grew pale and wan, it made her poor heart to tremble
    To think she loved the one and he'd proved deceitful

    As sung by Planxty

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1959:] The faithful 'hero' of this song is just as often a shoemaker as a blacksmith. Both metre and tune are rather unusual, recalling the well-known Brisk Young Widow [...] and Brave Wolfe [...]. The opening of the 'strange news' verse also appears in some sets of Brave Wolfe. The Blacksmith (or Shoemaker) has been reported from Sussex, Essex, Herefordshire, Somerset, and Dorset. (EFS111)

  • [1979:] Also known as The Shoemaker, it was first reported in Sussex, Herefordshire and Dorset in around 1900. The lyrics were matched to various tunes. (Loesberg II, 65)

  • [1982:] Blacksmiths were popular folksong heroes. Perhaps because of their characteristic physique, or because of the usefulness of the hammer and anvil as sexual symbols, they had a reputation for ardour and staying power which earned them a place in many a song. [...] A gentler blacksmith is portrayed in A blacksmith courted me, though he lets his girl down by joining the army. One version of this song was collected in Herefordshire by Vaughan Williams, who later used the tune as the basis of Monksgate, the familiar setting of Bunyan's hymn To be a pilgrim. (Pollard, Folksong 30)

  • [1992:] Collected in 1909 by Ralph Vaughan Williams from a Mrs Powell in Herefordshire. The theme is common enough in English folk song, but the metre and the rather noble melody are not. (Paul Adams, notes 'Voices')

  • [2000:] It's also related to the song "Our Captain Cried," which some folklorists think is the male response part to another song from which both songs derive. (Nigel Sellars,, 29 Dec)


Quelle: England

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