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Isolation Sessions #2

by Piers Cawley

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When I was young and scarce eighteen I drove a roaring trade And many’s the sly trick have I played On many’s the pretty maid But my parents saw it would not do I soon would spend their store So they resolved that I should go On board a man of war Well a bold press gang surrounded me And their warrants they did show They swore that I should go to see And face a daring foe So it’s off they dragged me to the boat And there I cursed my fate It’s there I found that I should float On board a 98 When first I put my foot on board How I did stamp and stare But our admiral he gave the word There is no time to spare So we raised our anchors shook out sails And off they bore me straight To fight the French in storm and gale On board a 98 Well as time fled I bolder grew I hardened was to war I could run aloft with my ship’s crew And value not a scar And so well I did my duty do That I got Bos’un mate And, blast me! Soon got bos’un too On board a 98 Well the years rolled by and at Trafalgar Brave Nelson he fought and fell And when they capsized that hardy tar I took a rap as well So to Greenwich College I came back Because I’d saved my pate They’d only knocked a wing of Jack On board a 98 So now I can my cocoa take My pouch with baccy’s stored In my blue coat and three-cocked hat I’m happy as a lord For I’ve done my duty, served my king And now I bless my fate But, blast me, I’m to old to sing I’m nearly 98!
Come in 'tis now September The hunters' moon begun And from the wheat and stubble Is heard the frequent gun The leaves are turning yellow And fading into red And the ripe and bearded barley Is hanging down his head Chorus: All among the barley, Who would not be blythe While the ripe and bearded barley Is smiling on the scythe The Spring is like a young thing That does not know their mind The Summer is a tyrant Of a most ungracious kind While Autumn is the old friend Who as the leaves down fall Will bring the ripened barley To glad the heart of all All among etc. The wheat is like rich man All sleek and well to do The Oats are like a pack of kids All giggling and dancing too The rye is like a miser All sulky, lean, and small While the ripe and bearded barley Is monarch of them all All among etc.
I must away now, I can no longer tarry This morning's tempest I have to cross I will be guided without a stumble Into the arms I love the best And when he's come to his true love's window He's knelt down gently all on a stone And through the window has whispered softly "My darling dear, do you lie alone?" She's raised her up from her down soft pillow And snowy were her milk white breasts And through the window, she's whispered softly, "Who's that disturbing my long night's rest?" "'Tis I your love, but don't discover "I bid you rise love and let me in "For I am went love, and very weary "Yes I am wet unto my skin" She's raised her up with the greatest of pleasure Thrown open the window, she's let him in And there they've kissed and embraced each other Through that long night they lay as one And when that long night was passed and over And when the small birds began to sing He's raised him up, they've kissed and parted He's mounted his steed and away did ride
Bill Norrie 04:35
Young Bill Norrie's a fine lad and he lives like the wind, Eyes shine like the silver or gold in morning sun. “Oh friend John, and dear John, and do you see what I see? Yonder stand the first woman that ever loved me.” ”And here's a glove, a glove John, it's lined with the silver grey, Give it to her and tell her to come to her young Billy.” “And here is a ring, a ring John, it's all gold but the stone, Give it to her and tell her to ask for leave of none.” “Oh friend Billy, dear Billy, you know my love for thee, I'll not go to nobody to steal their wife away.” “Oh Friend John, dear John, swim not against the tide, Be with me in the stream John for I will be obeyed.” John ran down to the high house and he rang low at the door, Who was there but this woman to let young Johnny in. “Here is a glove, a glove lady, lined with silver grey, Bids you come into greenwood to meet your young Billy.” “And here is a ring, a ring lady, all gold but the stone, Bids you come into greenwood and ask for leave of none.” But her husband stood in the shadow and an angry man was he, “I never thought the man lived my love loved more than me.” So he's gone down to her room and he dressed in her array Like some woman he's rode out to meet with young Billy.” Young Billy sat in the greenwood and he whistled and he sang, By there comes the woman that I have loved so long.” And Billy's run down and down there to meet her where she came, But oh the sight that he saw his heart grew still as stone. Yes Billy's run down and down there to help her from the horse, “Oh and oh,” he cries out, “A woman was never so gross.” And the husband he had a long knife, it hung down his knee, He's taken Billy's head right off of his fair body And he's ridden home and home there and down into the hall, He's thrown the head to her, crying, “Lady catch the ball.” And she's picked up the head there, she's kissed it cheek and chin, “Better I love this dead boy than all my kith and kin.” Yes she's taken up the head there, she's clasped it to her womb, “Once I was full of this boy as the plum is of the stone. For when I was in my dad's house with my virginity, A young man come to my room and we got young Billy. And I've bore him in my room in secrecy and shame, I loved him in the greenwood out in wind and rain. And I will kiss his clay cold lips and I will kiss his chin, I will vow and stay true and I'll never kiss man again I'll make vow and I'll stay true I will never kiss man again.” And up then spoke the husband and a sad sad man was he, “If I had known he was your son he would not be killed by me, If I had known he was your son he would never've been killed by me.”
I am a brisk lad and my fortune's quite bad Indeed I am wondrous poor But I do intend my whole life for to mend I shall build an house down on the moor, my brave boys I shall build me an house down on the moor My father he do keep fat oxen and sheep And a neat little nag on the downs And in the middle of the night when the moon's shining bright There's a number of jobs to be done, my brave boys There's a number of jobs to be done Yes I'll rove around in some other man's ground I shall take a fat yow from the flock And with the aid of my knife I shall shorten it's life And I'll carry it home on my back, my brave boys I shall carry it home on my back Then my children shall pull the skin from the wool And I'll carve it up to the bone And when the constable do come I'll stand there with my gun And I'll swear all I have is my own, my brave boys I shall swear all I have is my own For I am a brisk lad and my fortune's quite bad Indeed I am wondrous poor But I do intend my own life for to mend I shall build me an house down on the moor, my brave boys I shall build me an house down on the moor
I am a poor wayfaring stranger Journeying through this world of woe But there's no sickness toil nor danger In that bright land to which I go I'm going there to see my father I'm going there no more to roam I am just going over Jordan I'm only going over home I know dark clouds will gather o'er me I know my way is dark and steep But beauteous fields lie just before me Where God's redeemed their vigils keep I'm going there to see my mother She said she'll meet me when I come I am just going over Jordan I'm only going over home I want to wear that crown of glory When I come home in that bright land I want to shout salvation's story In concert with that blood washed band I'm going there to meet may saviour To sing his praise forever more I am just going over Jordan I'm only going over home
Fair maids are a shining over valleys and towns There lived a fair maiden who's name it was Miss Brown She was courted by a young man so handsome tall and fair His trade long and steady a ships' carpenter Now the Queen she needed sailors for to go off to sea Which made pretty Polly to moan and to grieve "Oh Willy, handsome Willy don't go off to sea Remember the vows love you made unto me." It was early the next morning before the break of day He's up and to her window and this to her did say: "Oh Polly, pretty Polly won't you come along with me Before we are married my friends for to see?" And he's led her through the groves and through the valleys so deep 'Til at length pretty Polly began for to weep "Oh Willy, handsome Willy you've led me astray Through fields and through valleys my life to betray" "It's truth that you say to me, it's just the truth you say Since late late last night I've been digging of your grave Your grave that is open with the spade standing by And into the grave your fair body will lie" And he's stabbed her, he's stabbed her 'til the red bloody did flow And down into the grave her fair body he did throw He's covered her so neatly, he's made the grave so sound Never thinking this murder would ever be found It was early one morning, just at the break of day It's up spoke our captain, and this to us did say: "There's a murderer on board and it's lately been done. Our ship lies in mourning and cannot sail on" And up steps a sailor, "Indeed sir, not I" And up steps another, "Indeeed sir, not I" Then up steps young William to storm, curse and swear "Indeed sir, not I sir, I vow and declare" And has he was returning from the captain with speed He's met pretty Polly, which made his heart grieve She's whipped him, she's stripped him, she's torn him in three Saying "That's for the murder of my baby and me"
As I was a walking one morning in May I met a pretty fair maid and unto her did say "For love I'm inclined, I'm telling you my mind That my inclination lies in your cuckoo's nest" "My darling," said she, "I'm innocent and young And I scarcely believe your false deluding tongue Yet I see it in your eyes, it fills me with surprise That your inclination lies in my cuckoo's nest" Chorus: Some like a girl who is pretty in the face And some like a girl who is slender in the waist Ah but give me a girl, will wriggle and will twist At the bottom of your belly lies the cuckoo's nest "My darling," said he, "I'm telling you no lie I'm thinking of fondness and do not be surprised For I love you my dear, I'll marry you as well, If you'll let me clap my hands upon your cuckoo's nest" "My darling," said she, "I cannot do such thing For my mother often told me it was committing sin For my maidenhead to lose, my sex to be abused So have no more to do with my cuckoo's nest!" Chorus "My darling," said he, "It's not committing sin For common sense should tell you it is a pleasing thing You're brought into this world to increase and do your best And to help a man to heaven in your cuckoo's nest" "My darling," said she, "I cannot you deny For you fairly won my heart by the rolling of your eye And I see it in your eyes, your courage is delight So gently lift your hands into my cuckoo's nest" Chorus This couple they got married and soon they went to bed And now this pretty fair maid has lost her maidenhead In a small country cottage they increase and do their best And he often claps his hand upon her cuckoo's nest Chorus (x2)
Chorus: I’m a Child of the Lib’ry, it made me who I am, It taught me about freedom and the fellowship of Man A sea of story waits for you behind the lib’ry door, Don’t say we can’t afford them any more. The Lib’ry’s where I made some friends I’ve known my whole life through The Walkers and the Blacketts and the Pevensies so true. Simp the canine cannonball, Galadriel the fair. The daughter of a pirate king and Paddington the Bear Chorus I’ve travelled South with Shackleton and all his gallant crew And to the African interior that Mary Kingsley knew I’ve rode the trackless prairie where the bison used to roam And travelled round the Universe, not half an hour from home. Chorus And as I grew the libr’y fed my curiosity, All there for the asking. All of it for free. It’s there I found the stories that I couldn’t find at home. It’s there I learned I was myself and not my father’s clone. Chorus So make friends with your library, don’t let it fade away. Teach your kids the lib’ry’s where you go on Saturday. Don’t let the bastards tell you they will cost to much to save While they’re shovelling your taxes down the hole that COVID made Chorus To the chorus tune: So make a stand for the lib’ry. Stand up while you can. Stand up for your freedom. Stand for your fellow man. Ignorance is never bliss, don’t close the lib’ry door. For a lib’ry lost is lost forever more. Chorus


Isolation Sessions #1. There's an implied series of albums inherent in that little #1, isn't there. Since we're still in isolation and there's nothing much else to do, I pressed 'record' again and recorded another nine songs from my repertoire. It's a similar mix. Murder ballads, smut, a bit hymn, and protest song.


released September 4, 2020

Recorded one afternoon in August 2020 by Piers Cawley


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Piers Cawley Doncaster, UK

A singer for as long as he can remember, Piers (he/they) sings Old Songs with a clarity and conviction that makes them as fresh as paint.

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