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Lyrics - Near Far

Fisher Lassies

Fisher Lassies
 

Come all you fisher lassies, it’s come awa with me
From Cairnbulg and Gamrie and from Inverallochy
From Buckie and from Aberdeen all the country round
We’re awa to gut the herring, we’re awa to Yarmouth town

 

You wake up in the morning with your bundle in your hand
Be at the station early or you’ll surely have to stand
Take plenty to eat and a kettle for your tea
Or you maybe die of hunger on the way to Yarmouth Quay


Now the journey it’s a long one, it takes a day or two
And when you reach your lodging, sure it’s soon asleep you fall
and you rise at five with the sleep still in your eye
You’re awake to find the gutting yards along the Yarmouth quay


Well, it’s early in the morning, it’s late into the night
Your hands are cut and chappit and they look an ugly sight
And you greet like a ween when you put ‘em in the bree
You wish you were a thousand miles away from Yarmouth Quay


Now there’s coopers, there is curers, there’s buyers, canny chiels
There’s lasses at the pickle and there’s others at the creels
And you wish the fish had all been left at sea
By the time you finish guttin' herring on the Yarmouth quay


Now we’ve gutted fish in Lerwick, in Stornaway and Shields
We worked along the Humber ‘mongst the barrels and the creels
Whitby, Grimsby, we’ve traveled up and down
But the place to see the herring is the quay at Yarmouth Town

Written by Ewan MacColl to a traditional melody // if the rightful owner requests the removal of these lyrics, we will do so immediately

Lang Road Doon
 

Far are ye gan the day, my Willie-o

Far are ye gan the day, sae blithe and bonnie

Gan o'r the knowe and doon the brae

Tae serve the king you were bound away

Fan will ye come hame tae your Jamie

 

Do ye mind how all the winter's nichts

Ye'd keep me frae hairm

The lang warm days in the summer's licht

Doon on Hully's fairm

Fan you an me would be sae free

Frae thochts and frae cares

'Til the sairgeant, he cam roond

And took ye frae ma airms

 

Ye mind the day ye first came by

Ye came for the shearing

Do ye mind how I caught yer roving eye

But noo I'm left here fearin

For no the da ken fan we'll be

Back again thegither

You are far now o'er the sea

Fan will oor bairnie see his faither?

 

I saw ye tak the lang road doon

Yer claes all in a bundle

Soon lost the sound o yer trampin shoon

Ma hert’s in a tumble

As I saw yer heid gang oot a sicht

As I looked across the Mearns

Fa will bide wi me the nicht

Fa will I haud ma bairn

Written by Steve Byrne // if the rightful owner requests the removal of these lyrics, we will do so immediately

The Farewell

It was a' for our rightful King

We left fair Scotland's strand

It was a' for our rightful King

We e'er saw Irish land my dear

We e'er saw Irish land

 

Now all is done that men can do

And all is done in vain

My love and native land, farewell

For I must cross the main, my dear 

For I must cross the main

 

A soldier from the war returns

A sailor from the main

But I have parted from my love

Never to meet again, my dear

Never to meet again

 

He turned him right and round about

Upon the Irish shore

And gave his bridle reins a shake

With adieu for evermore, my dear

With adieu for evermore
 

When day is done, and night has come

And all folk bound to sleep

I think on him that 's far away

The lee-lang night, and weep, y dear

The lee-lang night, and weep

Words written by Robert Burns, music written by Margot Merah

Rivers Run
 

This weary earth we walk upon

She will endure when we are gone

While kingdoms come and kingdoms go

Rivers run and rivers flow

 

You know I don't believe it's true

That in this world there's nothing new

For darling you have just begun

Rivers flow and rivers run

 

And if the rivers should ever run dry

Somewhere the rain will still fall

Will still fall from the sky

 

When I'm beguiled by the fear

That darker days are drawing near

My darling, you seduce the sun

Rivers flow and rivers run

 

This wounded earth we walk upon

She will endure when we are gone

But still I pray that you may know

How rivers run and rivers flow

 

I cross my heart and hope to live

Just long enough that I can give

It all to you, my darling one

Rivers flow and rivers run

Written by Karine Polwart​ // if the rightful owner requests the removal of these lyrics, we will do so immediately

Mingulay

What care we how white the Minch is

What care we boys, for wind and weather

When you know boys, every inch will

Bring us closer to Mingulay

 

Heel ya ho boys, let her go boys

bring her head round into the weather

Heel ya ho boys, let her go boys

Sailing homeward to Mingulay

 

Wives are waiting at the pier head

Looking seaward from the heather

And you know boys candles glow boys

By the windows of Mingulay

 

Far beyond the straits of Coolin

I can see our homeland of heather

Bring her ‘round boys and we’ll anchor

‘Ere the sun sets on Mingulay

 

Traditional, arrangements by Margot Merah and Sophie Janna

Falkirk
 

Come, bonnie lass, lie near me, and let the brandy cheer ye

For the road frae Fife to Falkirk's long and cold and wet and dreary

My trade it is the weaving in the bonnie town of Leven

So we'll drink a health to the farmers' wives who'll buy our cloth the morn

 

And you can see them all, lads of the fair, lads frae the Forth and the Carron water

Working lads and lads wi' gear, lads who'd sell you the provost's daughter

Soldiers back from the German war, peddlers up frae the border

And lasses with an eye for mair than the kye, at the trysting fair in Falkirk

 

Come Geordie, hold the pony, for the path is steep and stony

And it's three lang weeks from the Isle of Skye and the beasts are thin and bony

We'll tak the last of the siller and we’ll buy ourselves a gill or two

And we’ll drink to the lads who'll buy our kye in Falkirk in the morn

 

Stand here and I'll show ye, there's the town below ye

But we best bide here in the field tonight, for the nightwatch dinna know ye

My brother, he's a plowman, and I'm for the selling now man

So we'll drink to the price of the harvest corn in Falkirk in the morn

Written by Brian McNeill // if the rightful owner requests the removal of these lyrics, we will do so immediately
Tune written by Janos Koolen

Jock o'Hazeldean
 

Why weep ye by the tide, lady, why weep ye by the tide

I'll wed you to my youngest son and you will be his bride

And you will be his bride lady so comely to be seen -

But aye she let the tears down fall for Jock o’Hazeldean

 

Now let this woeful grief be done and dry your cheeks so pale

Young Frank is chief of Arlington and Lord of Langleydale

His step is first in peaceful hall, his sword in battle keen -

But aye she let the tears down fall for Jock o’Hazeldean

 

A coat of gold ye shall not lack nor comb to bind your hair

Nor mettled hound nor managed hawk nor palfrey fresh and fair

And you, the fairest of them all will ride, our forest queen -

But aye she let the tears down fall for Jock o’Hazeldean

 

The kirk was decked at morning time, the tapers glimmered fair

The groom and bridesmaid await the bride, and dame and knight were there

They searched for her in bower and hall, the lady wasn’t seen -

She's over the border and away with her Jock o’Hazeldean

Traditional, based on a poem by Sir Walter Scott. Arrangements by Margot Merah and Sophie Janna 

Star of the Bar
 

Oh I'll sing you a song if you'll give your attention

It's no song of pity, it's no tale of woe

And no word of honour or love will I mention

But I'll sing of a lassie I knew long ago

 

No better than most, and no worse as many

And what drew me to her 's not easy to say

She was course, she was heartless, and she wasn’t that bonnie

But she was the star of the bar in her day

 

I've stravaiged the Royal Mile with her, drinking in style with her

Rose Street from end to end often surveyed

Fought and swore in the pubs with her, rolled in the dubs with her

Cadged many's a sub from her never repaid

 

All you young lads with lasses, believe me, love soon passes

And all your bright dreams are but straws in the wind

Better one who'll sit down with you, sing a fine tune with you

Pass the glass 'round with you, drink herself blind

 

Written by Davie Robertson // if the rightful owner requests the removal of these lyrics, we will do so immediately

Fear a' Bhàta

​​I climb the mountain and scan the ocean,

For thee, my boatman, with fond devotion

When shall I see thee, today, tomorrow

O do not leave me in lonely sorrow

 

Fear a’ bhàta na horo eil'e

So fare thee well love where e’er you are

 

You are a rover my friends have told me

But not the less  to my heart i hold thee

And every night in my dream I see thee

And still at dawn will the vision flee me

 

I may not hide it my heart's devotion

Is not a season's brief emotion;

Your love in childhood began to seize me

And ne'er shall pass until death releases me.

 

Written by Sìne NicFhionnlaigh // if the rightful owner requests the removal of these lyrics, we will do so immediately

Skye Boat Song

 

Sing me a song of a lad that is gone,

Say, could that lad be I

Merry of soul he sailed on a day

Over the sea to Skye

 

Mull was astern, rum on the port

Eigg on the starboard bow

Glory of youth glowed in his soul

Where is that glory now

 

Many's the lad fought on that day

Well the claymore did wield

When the night came, silently lay

Dead on Culloden's field

 

Though the waves leap, soft shall you sleep

Ocean's a royal bed

Rocked in the deep, Flora will keep

Watch by your weary head

Traditional, arrangements by Sophie Janna and Margot Merah

Lads Among Heather


Come all ye young lasses, where have you been

So sleepy so drowsy I ken by your e’en

In all the wide world you’ll ne’er find a friend

Like the lads that were reared among heather

         

Gae awa wi your silks, your satins and shawls

Your soirees and parties and your elegant balls

For a dance in the barn is worth ten in the hall

With the lads that were reared among heather

 

When the queen needs good soldiers she knows where to send

To the mountains and valleys, the hills and the glens

With their bonnets and plaids they are true to the end

Are the lads that were reared among heather

 

Fair England can boast of the sweet scented rose

And Ireland is proud of the shamrock she grows

But give me the land where the clear water flows

And the mountains are covered in heather

Traditional, arrangements by Sophie Janna and Margot Merah

May or May Never

Kind friends and companions, come join me in rhyme

And lift up your voices in chorus with mine

Let’s drink and be merry, all grief to refrain

For we may or may never all meet here again

 

Now here’s to the wee lass that I love so well

For style and for beauty there’s none can excel

She looks at me kindly as she sits on my knee

And there’s none in this wide world as happy as me

 

So here’s to the company, likewise to my lass

Let’s drink and be merry, all out of one glass

Let’s drink and be merry, all grief to refrain

For we may or may never all meet here again

 

My ship lies in harbour, she’s ready to sail

God grant her safe voyage, without any gail

And if we should meet again, on land or on sea

I will always remember your kindness to me


Traditional, arrangements by Sophie Janna and Margot Merah

The Farewell
Lang Road Doon
Rivers Run
Mingulay
Falkirk
Star of the Bar
Jock o'Hazeldean
Fear a' Bhàta
Skye Boat Song
Lads Among Heather
May or May Never
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