Blacksmith (song)

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Not to be confused with "Song of the Blacksmith", third movement of Second Suite in F for Military Band.

"Blacksmith" (Roud 816) is a traditional English folk song,[1] also known as "A Blacksmith Courted Me". The song was noted down by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1909 from a Mrs Ellen Powell of Westhope near Weobley, Herefordshire. On that occasion it was sung to the tune "Monk's Gate", better known as the tune of "To be a pilgrim", the hymn by John Bunyan. The same tune is sometimes used for the song "Our Captain Cried". There is a setting by George Butterworth (a friend of Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp) in his 1912 collection Folk Songs from Sussex (recorded by Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside in the Naxos English Song Series 8.572426).

The song has been recorded many times. Steeleye Span lead off their first two studio albums Hark! The Village Wait and Please to See the King with different versions of the song as well as on several live albums.[2] Maddy Prior (of Steeleye Span) also sings an a cappella version of the song on her 1993 solo album Year. Planxty sing it on their first album Planxty, Pentangle on the album So Early in the Spring,[2] Loreena McKennitt on Elemental, and Eddi Reader on Mirmama. There are also versions by Martin Simpson and Kathy & Carol, The Critics Group, Shirley Collins,[2] Barbara Dickson on the album Do Right Woman, Phil Cooper on the album Pretty Susan, Scatter the Mud on the album In the Mood. Linda Ronstadt gives an a cappella rendition on the 1990 compilation album Rubáiyát. Barry Dransfield recorded an unusual instrumental version of the tune. Jah Wobble recorded a version of the song on his 1996 album English Roots Music.

For a discography with lyric versions, see Reinhard Zierke's site.[2]

Lyrics[edit]

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 so clever
And if I was with my love
I would live forever.

But where is my love gone
With his cheeks like roses
And his good black Billycock on
Decked around with primroses.
I fear the shining sun
May burn and scorch his beauty
And if I was with my love
I would 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 a poor heart tremble
To think she loved a one
And he proved deceitful.

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 so clever
And if I was with my love
I would live forever.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Origins: The Blacksmith". Retrieved 31 Aug 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "A Blacksmith Courted Me / The Blacksmith". Retrieved 16 Oct 2012.