Mike Batt Lyrics
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Steeleye Span 'All around my hat' & 'Rocket Cottage' ... here you are

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Steeleye Span - All around my hat (1975)

Produced by Mike Batt
Recorded at Air Studios, London, July '75
Engineers: Geoff Emerick and Mike Stavrou
Mixed at Wessex Studios
Re-mix Engineer: Mike Thompson
Sleeve designed and painted by John O'Connor

Musicians:
Maddy Prior, vocals;
Peter Knight, fiddle, mandolin, backing vocals;
Tim Hart, guitar, backing vocals;
Bob (Robert) Johnson, guitar, backing vocals;
Rick Kemp, bass;
Nigel Pegrum, drums
 

Side 1 Side 2
  1. Black Jack Davy (4:15)
  2. Hard times of old England (5:10)
  3. Cadgwith anthem (2:45)
  4. Sum waves (4:00)
  5. The wife of Ushers Well (4:32)
  1. Gamble gold (Robin Hood) (3:40)
  2. All around my hat (4:06)
  3. Dance with me (3:51)
  4. Bachelor's hall (5:45)
Black Jack Davy
(Trad. arr. Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

Late last night when the squire came home
Enquiring for his lady
Some denied and some replied
She's gone with the Black Jack Davy

Go saddle to me the bonny brown steed
For the grey was never so speedy
I'll ride all day and I'll ride all night
Till I catch that Black Jack Davy

Chorus:
He rode up hills and he rode down dales
Over many a wild high mountain
And they did say that saw him go
Black Jack Davy he is hunting

He rode east and he rode west
All in the morning early
Until he spied his lady fair
Cold and wet and weary

Why did you leave your house and land
Why did you leave your baby
Why did you leave your own wedded lord
To go with the Black Jack Davy

Chorus

What care I for your goose feather bed
With the sheets turned down so bravely
Well I may sleep on the cold hard ground
Along with the Black Jack Davy

Then I'll kick off my high healed shoes
Made of the Spanish leather
And I'll put on my lowland brogues
And skip it o'er the heather

Chorus

Hard times of old England
(Trad. arr. Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

Come all brother tradesmen that travel along
O pray come and tell me where the trade is all gone
Long time have I travelled and I cannot find none

Chorus:
And sing O the hard times of Old England
In Old England very hard times

Provisions you buy at the shop it is true
But if you've no money there's none there for you
So what's a poor man and his family to do

Chorus

You must go to the shop and you'll ask for a job
They'll answer you there with a shake and a nod
Well that's enough to make a man turn out and rob.

Chorus

You will see the poor tradesmen a walking the street
From morning 'till night for employment to seek
And scarce have they got any shoes on their feet

Chorus

Our soldiers and sailors have just come from war
Been fighting for Queen and country this year
Come home to be starved better stayed where they were

Chorus

And now to conclude and to finish my song
Let us hope that these hard times they will not last long
I hope soon to have occasion to alter my song

And sing O the good times of Old England
In Old England jolly good times

Cadgwith anthem
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

Come fill up your glasses and let us be merry,
For to rob bags of plunder it is our intent.

Chorus:
As we roam through the valleys
Where the lilies and the roses
And the beauty of Kashmir lay drooping his head
Then away, then away
To the caves in yonder mountain
Where the robbers retreat

Hush, hush in the distance there's footsteps approaching
Stand, stand and deliver it is our watch cry.

Sum waves
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

The wife of Ushers Well
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

There lived a wife in Ushers Well
A wealthy wife was she
She had three stout and stalwart sons
And sent them o'er the sea
They had not been from Ushers Well
A week but barely one
When word came to this carlin wife
That her three sons were gone

I wish the wind may never cease
Nor flashes in the flood
Till my three sons return to me
In earthly flesh and blood

It fell about the Martinmas
The nights were long and dark
Three sons came home to Ushers Well
Their hats were made of bark
That neither grew in forest green
Nor on any wooded rise
But from the north side of the tree
That grows in Paradise

Blow up the fire my merry merry maidens
Bring water from the well
For all my house shall feed this night
Since my three sons are well

Then up and crowed the blood red cock
And up and crowed the grey
The oldest to the youngest said
It's time we were away
For the cock does crow and the day doth show
And the channerin worm doth chide
And we must go from Ushers Well
To the gates of Paradise

I wish the wind may never cease
Nor flashes in the flood
Till my three sons return to me
In earthly flesh and blood
Gamble gold (Robin Hood)
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

There chanced to be a pedlar bold
A pedlar bold he chanced to be
He rolled his pack all on his back
And he came tripping o'er the sea

By chance he met two troublesome blades
Troublesome blades they chanced to be
One of them was Robin Hood
The other was little John so free

Chorus:
Gentlemen on high born blood
Gamble Gold and Robin Hood

“Oh pedlar, pedlar what's in the pack
Come speedily and tell to me“
“I've several suits of the gay green silk
And silken bow strings two of three“

“If you have suits of the gay green silk
And silken bow strings two of three“
“Then by my body“ cries Robin Hood
“Half your pack belongs to me“

Chorus

“Oh no, oh no,“ says the pedlar bold
“No that can never be
There's never a man in Nottingham
Can take one half my pack from me!“

The Robin Hood he drew his sword
And the pedlar by his pack did stand
They fought 'till the blood in streams did flow
And he cried “Pedlar hold hold your hand“

Chorus

“Oh pedlar, pedlar what's thy name
Come speedily and tell to me“
“I'm Gamble Gold of the gay green woods
I've travelled far beyond the sea“

“If you're Gamble Gold of the gay green woods
Then my cousin you must be
Let us away to a tavern near
And bottles crack most merrily“

Chorus

All around my hat
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

Chorus:
All around my hat I will wear the green willow
All around my hat for a twelve-month and a day
And if anyone should ask me the reason why I'm wearing it
It's all for my true love who's far far away

Fare thee well cold winter and fare thee well cold frost
Nothing have I gained but my own true love I've lost
I'll sing and I'll be merry when occasion I do see
He's a false deluding young man, let him go farewell he

The other night he brought me a fine diamond ring
But he thought to have deprived me of a far better thing
But I being careful like lovers ought to be
He's a false deluding young man, let him go farewell he

Chorus

Here's a half a pound of reasons, and a quarter pound of sense
A small sprig of time and as much of prudence
You mix them all together and you will plainly see
He's a false deluding young man, let him go farewell he

Chorus

Dance with me
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

A knight he rode his lonely way
Thinking about his wedding day
As he rode through a forest near
The elf king's daughter did appear

Out she stepped from the elfin band
Smiling she held out her hand
Welcome Sir Knight, why such speed?
Come with me the dance to lead

Chorus:
Dance, dance, follow me
Round and round the greenwood tree
Dance, dance, while you may
Tomorrow is your dying day
Dance with me, dance with me

Listen Sir Knight come dance with me,
Spurs of gold I'll give to thee
Dance neither I will give nor may
Tomorrow is my wedding day

Please Sir Knight come dance with me
A shirt of silk I'll give to thee
A shirt of silk so white and fine
My mother has bleached in the moon-beams shine

Chorus

Please Sir Knight come dance with me
A crown of gold I'll give to thee
Your crown of gold I'll freely take
But I'll not join your elfin wake

Do you refuse to dance with me
A plague of death shall follow thee
Between his shoulders a blow she dealt
Such a blow he'd never felt

Chorus

Bachelor's hall
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson)

I rode seven horses all to death
I rode them till they had no breath
I wore five saddles to the trees
Non of those girls will marry me.

Those women will fret, those women will fuss
They spend five hours before their glass
The devil take all, I'll have no money at all
Always stay single, keep Bachelor's Hall.
Stay stay close to my door

The women round here, they live by the door
They hear but a word, and repeat it twice o'er
Then they add it as much as they can
Always stay single a bachelor man.

Bachelor's Hall is always the best
If you're sick drunk or sober it's always a rest
No woman to scold you, no children to bawl
Always stay single, keep Bachelor's Hall.
Stay stay close to my door

Bachelor's Hall, Bachelor's Hall,
I'll always stay single, keep Bachelor's Hall

Steeleye Span - Rocket cottage (1976)

Produced by Mike Batt
Recorded at Frans Peters Studios, Hilversum, Holland, June '76

Musicians:
Maddy Prior, vocals;
Peter Knight, fiddle, mandolin, backing vocals;
Tim Hart, guitar, backing vocals;
Bob (Robert) Johnson, guitar, backing vocals;
Rick Kemp, bass;
Nigel Pegrum, drums

Side 1 Side 2
  1. London (4:14)
  2. The Bosnian hornpipes (0:58)
  3. Orfeo / Nathan's reel (6:01)
  4. The twelve witches (4:32)
  5. The brown girl (5:06)
  1. Fighting for strangers (4:26)
  2. Sligo maid (3:44)
  3. Sir James the Rose (6:16)
  4. The Camptown races (2:11)
  5. The drunkard (5:44)
London
(Trad. / Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

Chorus (x2):
There's your lords and ladies fine
Riding in a coach and six,
Nothing to drink but claret wine,
Talking politics.

London is a dainty place,
A great and gallant city!
All the streets are pav'd with gold
And all the folks are witty.

There's your beaux with powder'd clothes,
Bedaub'd from head to chin;
Their pocket-holes adorned with gold
But not one sous within.

Chorus

There your English actor goes
With many a hungry belly,
While heaps of gold are forc'd, God wot,
On Signor Farinelli.

Chorus

London is a dainty place,
A great and gallant city!
Alle the streets are pav'd with gold
And all the folks are witty.

There's your dames with dainty frames,
Skins as white as milk,
Dressed each day in garments gay
Of satin and of silk.

London is a dainty place.

The Bosnian hornpipes
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

Orfeo / Nathan's reel
(Trad. / Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

There was a King lived in the West,
Green the woods so early,
Of all the harpers he was the best,
Where the hart goes yearly.

The King he has a-hunting gone,
Green the woods so early,
And left his lady all alone,
Where the hart goes yearly.

The King of Faerie with his dart,
Green the woods so early,
Has pierced the lady to the heart,
Where the hart goes yearly.

So after them the King has gone,
Green the woods so early,
Until he came to a large grey stone,
Where the hart goes yearly.

Chorus:
And he took out his harp to play.
First he played the notes of pain,
And all their hearts were weary,
Then he played the Faerie reel,
And all their hearts were cheery.

The King of Faerie, with his rout,
Green the woods so early,
Has gone to hunt him all about,
Where the hart goes yearly.

“Come ye into the Faerie hall,
Green the woods so early,
And play your harp amongst us all,“
Where the hart goes yearly.

Chorus:
And he pulled out his harp to play.
First he played the notes of pain,
And all their hearts were weary,
Then he played the Faerie reel,
And all their hearts were cheery.

“Oh what shall I give you for your play?“
Green the woods so early,
“Oh let me take my lady away.“
Where the hart goes yearly.

The Faerie King said “Be it so,
Green the woods so early,
Take her by the hand and go.“
Where the hart goes yearly.

Chorus:
And he pulled out his harp to play.
First he played...

The twelve witches
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

Oh there were twelve witches bold
And they lived in the North,
And their equals were not seen
On the face of the Earth.

The first witch, with her hand,
The storm could hush,
And the second witch could stop
All the torrents rush.

And the third witch, she could strike
Upon the golden lyre,
And she charmed both young and old
Into the dancing fire.

Chorus:
|: Rowan tree, red thread,
Hold the witches all in dread. :|

The fourth witch she could dive
In the sea as a fish,
And the fifth witch she never wanted
Any meat on a dish.

And now the next witch go
Under the earth could she,
And the seventh witch could dance
Upon the rolling sea.

And the eighth witch on her horn
She would blow a blast,
And everyone who heard
Would shudder and stand aghast.

Chorus

Oh the ninth witch she tamed all
That in the greenwood crept,
And the tenth witch, not a nap
She had ever slept.

The eleventh witch, the grisly
Lindworm bound,
And the twelfth witch she could all
Things understand.

And these twelve witches bold,
They all lived in the North,
And their equals were not seen
On the face of the Earth.

Chorus (repeat and fade)

The brown girl
(Trad. / Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

I'm as brown as brown can be,
My eyes are black as sloes,
I'm as brisk as a night-time nightingale
As wild as the forest doe.

My love was high and proud,
A fortune by his side,
But a fairer maiden than ever I'll be
He took to be his bride.

He sent me a letter of love,
He sent it from the town,
He wrote to tell me that his love was lost
Because I was so brown.

I sent back his letter of love,
In anger I wrote down:
“Your love is wasted on such as me
Because I am so brown.“

Chorus:
|: I'll dance upon your grave for twelve months and a day;
I'll do as much for you as any maiden may.
I'll make you rue the very day that you were born;
I'm a bonny brown girl. :|

I heard not another word more
Until six months passed by,
The doctor said he had a broken heart,
Without me he would die.

I went to his bedside,
I walked and never ran,
I laughed so loud and then louder still
All at this love-sick man.

Chorus

“I prithee forget,“ said he,
“I prithee forget and forgive,
Oh, grant to me just a little space
That I may be well and live.“

I'll dance upon your grave
For twelve months and a day.
You'll die for betraying a bonny brown girl
All on one summer's day.
Fighting for strangers
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

Chorus:
What makes you go abroad fighting for strangers?
When you could be safe at home free from all dangers.

A recruiting sergeant came our way
To an inn nearby at the close of day,
He said, “Young Johnny you're a fine young man.
Would you like to march along behind a military band,
With a scarlet coat, a big cocked hat,
And a musket at your shoulder?“
A shilling he took and he kissed the book;
Oh poor Johnny what'll happen to you.

A recruiting sergeant marched away
From the inn nearby at the break of day.
Johnny went too with half a ring;
He was off to be a soldier, he'd be fighting for the King
In a far off war, in a far off land,
To face a foreign soldier.
But how will you fare when there's lead in the air;
Oh poor Johnny what'll happen to you?

Chorus

Oh the sun shone high on a barren land
As a thin red line took a military stand.
There was sling shot, chain shot, grape shot too,
Swords and bayonets thrusting through.
Poor Johnny fell but the day was won
And the King is grateful to you;
But your soldiering's done and we're sending you home;
Oh poor Johnny what have they done to you.

Oh they said he was a hero and not to grieve
Over two wooden pegs and empty sleeves.
They carried him home and they set him down
With a military pension and a medal from the crown.
You haven't an arm, you haven't a leg,
The enemy nearly slew you.
You'll have to go out on the streets to beg;
Oh poor Johnny what have they done to you.

Chorus (x3)

Sligo maid
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

Sir James the Rose
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

Oh have you heard Sir James the Rose,
The young heir of Loch Laggan?
For he has killed a gallant squire
And his friends are out to take him.

And he's gone to the House of Marr,
The Nurse there did befriend him.
And he has gone upon his knees
And begged for her to hide him.

“Where're you going Sir James?“ she said,
“Where now are you riding?“
“Oh I am bound to a foreign land
But now I'm under hiding.“

Chorus:
Where shall I go?
Where shall I run?
Where shall I go for to hide me?
For I have killed a gallant squire
And they're seeking for to slay me.

Then he's turned him right and round about
And rolled him in the bracken,
And he has gone to take a sleep
In the lowlands of Loch Laggan.

He had not well gone out of sight
Nor was he past Milstrethen
When four and twenty belted knights
Came riding o'er the leathen.

“Have you seen Sir James the Rose,
The young heir of Loch Laggan?
For he has killed a gallant squire,
And we're sent out to take him.“

Chorus

“You'll see the bank above the mill
In the lowlands of Loch Laggan,
And there you'll find Sir James the Rose
Sleeping in the bracken.“

“You must not wake him out of sleep,
Nor yet must you afright him,
Just run a dart right through his heart
And through the body pierce him.“

They sought the bank above the mill
In the lowlands of Loch Laggan,
And there they found Sir James the Rose
Sleeping in the bracken.

Chorus

Then up and spake Sir John the Graeme
Who had the charge a-keeping,
“It'll never be said, dear gentlemen,
We killed him while he's sleeping.“

They seized his broadsword and his targe
And closely him surrounded,
And when he woke out of his sleep
His senses were confounded.

Now they have taken out his heart
And stuck it on a spear,
They took it to the House of Marr
And gave it to his dear.

Chorus

The Camptown races
(Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864))

This is a “live cut“ during the warm-up of the recording session of Rocket Cottage with notes and laughter from the band; recorded by Mike Batt without them knowing.
The track isn't mentioned in the record liner notes; but the LP definitely holds five tracks on side 2!
On the CD, this is one track together with The drunkard

Intro. (Dulcimer) Woooh...

Camptown racetrack five miles long
Doo-dah doo-dah
The Camptown ladies sing this song
Doo-dah doo-dah day

Camptown racetrack five miles long
Doo-dah doo-dah
Camptown ladies sing this song
Doo-dah doo-dah day

Gwine to run all night
Gwine to run all day
I'll bet my money on a bob-tail nag
Somebody bet on the bay

I'm gwine to run all night
Oh, I'm gwine to run all day
I'll bet my money on a bob-tail nag
And somebody bet on the bay

Ending (Fiddle)

[Gwine= Goin']

The drunkard
(Trad. arr. Tim Hart / Peter Knight / Maddy Prior / Robert Johnson / Rick Kemp / Nigel Pegrum)

I will walk the streets up and I'll walk the streets down;
I will see the landlady dressed in a silk gown.
With my elbows all out and my breeches without knees,
You are the biggest vagabond that e'er I did see.

Where I go so raggedy and you go so fine,
It's of the good money you have took of mine.
Ale and tobacco for you I have paid,
If I ain't, you'd have gone in your raggedy ways.

If I had a-listened to my old woman at the first,
I might have had silver and gold in me purse
To maintain my wife and my children so small.
But 'tis I, silly drunkard, have ruined them all.

So I'll cock up my hat as I had on before,
And I'll go home to me wife and I'll love her no more.
The more I will beat her, the more she will cry,
And the more silly drunkard and blackguard am I.

(Repeat first verse)

© Steeleye Span discography by Reinhard Zierke, adapted by Dieter Friedl,  July 20, 2010 / Impressum