Tales from the Crow Man

by Damh the Bard

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    Welcome traveller. It’s a beautiful Summer’s day, just right to sit here in this field of corn and listen to the voices of the past...

    These songs (apart from the Green Fields of France and Wild Mountain Thyme) are modern interpretations of classic folk songs. The source of these songs lay with the great folk song collectors such as Cecil Sharp, Francis James Child, and the Copper family. These are songs that were transmitted through word of mouth, songs of the lower classes, music with no known composer.
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  • Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 8 Damh the Bard releases available on Bandcamp and save 20%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Sabbat, Antlered Crown and Standing Stone, As Nature Intended - LIVE, Herne's Apprentice, The Hills they are Hollow, The Cauldron Born, Spirit of Albion, and Tales from the Crow Man. , and , .

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released October 31, 2009

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Damh the Bard Brighton

Damh the Bard – is a modern-day Bard whose spirituality and love of folk tradition is expressed through his music, storytelling and poetry. Drawing on the Bardic tradition, his performances are both entertaining and educational, speaking directly to the heart, and never without a good splash of humour. ... more

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Track Name: The Crow Man
Don’t be afraid,
Don’t be afraid when I open my eyes,
And you catch my gaze.

An age has past since I was born,
As Guardian to John Barleycorn,
I have seen Albion change,
I have seen its people change,
But through it all constant I have been,
For there is nothing I have not seen.

Whispered secrets, voices long gone,
You will hear within my songs,
2 Ravens, and a murdered knight,
Lord Donald’s servant, taking flight,
Morris bells on Beltane morn,
Pipes and Drums as the Sun is born,
So raise your voices, dance, and sing,
And let the Crow Man’s tales begin...
Track Name: Twa Corbies
As I was walking all alone,
I heard two ravens cry and moan;
One said to the other did say o,
"Where shall we go and dine today o?"

"Up behind that old high dyke,
I know there lies a murdered knight;
And no one knows that he lies there o,
But his hawk, and his hound, and his lady fair o."

"His hound is to the hunting gone,
His hawk to bring the wild-fowl home,
His lady loves another Knight o,
So we may make our meal tonight o."

"You will sit on his white thigh,
And I'll peck out his bonny blue eye;
And with a lock of his golden hair o
We'll fix our nest when it grows bare o."

"Many a one for him does moan,
But no one knows where he is gone;
O’r his bones, where they are bare o,
The wind will blow for evermore o."
Track Name: Patapan
Patapan
(Traditional)

William, bring your rounded drum;
And you long flute Robin come;
And be merry while you play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan,
Come be merry while you play,
Let us make our Solstice day!

When the men of olden days
To the Son of Suns gave praise,
On the flute and drum did play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan,
On the flute and drum did play,
So their hearts could be glad today!

Sun and Earth have now become
More in tune than flute and drum,
So be merry while you play,
Tu-re-lu-re-lu,
Pat-a-pat-a-pan,
So be merry while you play,
Sing and dance this Solstice day!
Track Name: The Cutty Wren
The Cutty Wren
(Traditional)

Oh where are you going said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We're off to the woods said John the Red Nose
We're off to the woods said John the Red Nose.

And what will you do there said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
We'll hunt the Cutty wren said John the Red Nose.
We'll hunt the Cutty wren said John the Red Nose.

And how will you shoot her said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
With bows and with arrows said John the Red Nose.
With bows and with arrows said John the Red Nose.

Oh that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will you do then said Festel to Fose
With guns and great cannon said John the Red Nose.
With guns and great cannon said John the Red Nose.

And how will you cook her said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
In pots and in pans said John the Red Nose
In pots and in pans said John the Red Nose

Ah that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will do then said Festel to Fose
Bloody great brass cauldron said John the Red Nose
Bloody great brass cauldron said John the Red Nose

Oh who will get the portion said Milder to Moulder
Oh we may not tell you said Festel to Fose
Give it all to the nobles said John the Red Nose
Give it all to the nobles said John the Red Nose



Ah that will not do said Milder to Moulder
Oh what will do then said Festel to Fose
We'll give 'em all to the poor said John the Red Nose.
We'll give 'em all to the poor said John the Red Nose.
Track Name: Matty Groves
Matty Groves
(Traditional)

A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year.
Lord Darnell's wife came into church, the gospel for to hear.
And when the meeting it was done, she cast her eyes about,
And there she saw little Matty Groves, walking in the crowd.
"Come home with me, little Matty Groves, come home with me tonight.
Come home with me, little Matty Groves, and sleep with me till light."
"Oh, I can't come home, I won't come home and sleep with you tonight,
By the rings on your fingers I can tell you are Lord Darnell's wife."
"What if I am Lord Darnell's wife? Lord Darnell's not at home.
For he is out in the far cornfields, bringing the yearlings home."

And a servant who was standing by and hearing what was said,
He swore Lord Darnell he would know before the sun would set.
And in his hurry to carry the news, he bent his breast and ran,
And when he came to the broad mill stream, he took off his shoes and swam.

Little Matty Groves, he lay down and took a little sleep.
When he awoke, Lord Darnell he was standing at his feet.
Saying "How do you like my feather bed? And how do you like my sheets?
How do you like my lady who lies in your arms asleep?"
"Oh, well I like your feather bed, and well I like your sheets.
But better I like your lady gay who lies in my arms asleep."
"Well, get up, get up," Lord Darnell cried, "get up as quick as you can!
It'll never be said in fair England that I slew a naked man."
"Oh, I can't get up, I won't get up, I can't get up for my life.
For you have two long beaten swords and I not a pocket-knife."
"Well it's true I have two beaten swords, and they cost me deep in the purse.
But you will have the better of them and I will have the worse."
"And you will strike the very first blow, and strike it like a man.
I will strike the very next blow, and I'll kill you if I can."

So Matty struck the very first blow, and he hurt Lord Darnell sore.
Lord Darnell struck the very next blow, and Matty struck no more.
And then Lord Darnell he took his wife and he sat her on his knee,
Saying, "Who do you like the best of us, Matty Groves or me?"
And then up spoke his own dear wife, never heard to speak so free.
"I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips than you and your finery."

Lord Darnell he jumped up and loudly he did bawl,
He struck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall.
"A grave, a grave!'' Lord Darnell cried, "to put these lovers in.
But bury my lady at the top for she was of noble kin."
Track Name: Hal an Tow
Hal an Tow
(Traditional)

Take no scorn to wear the horn
it was the crest when you were born
Your father's father wore it
Your father wore it, too

{Chorus}
Hal-an-tow
Jolly-rum-ba-low
We were up
long before the day-o
To welcome in the summer
To welcome in the May-O
For Summer is a coming in
and Winter's gone away-O

Robin Hood and Little John
Have both gone to the Fair-O
and we will to the Merry Green-Wood
to hunt the buck and hare-O

What happened to the Spaniard
That made so brave the boast-O
That they would eat the feathered goose,
And we would eat the roast-O

The Lord and Lady bless you
With all their power and might-O
And bring their peace upon us
Bring peace by day and night-O
Track Name: Bonny Black Hare
Bonny Black Hare
(Traditional)

On the 14th of May, at the dawn of the day
With me gun on me shoulder to the woods I did stray
In search of some game, if the weather proved fair
To see can I could get a shot at the bonny black hare

I met a young girl there with her face as a rose
Her skin was as pale as the lily that grows
I said now young maiden, why ramble you so
Can you tell me where the bonny black hare do go

The answer she gave me, her answer was no
But under me apron they say it do grow
So if you'll not deceive me, well I vow and declare
We'll both go together and hunt the bonny black hare

I laid that girl down with her face to the sky
I got out me ramrod, and me bullets likewise
Saying, Wrap your legs round me, and dig in with your heels
For the closer we get love, the better it feels

The birds, they were singing in the bushes and trees
And the song that they sang was, oh she's easy to please
I felt her heart quiver and I knew what I'd done
I said have you had enough of me old sporting gun

The answer she gave me, her answer was nay
It's not very often sportsmen like you come this way
So if your powder is willing and your bullets are fair
Why don't you keep firing at me bonny black hare

Well me powder is wasted and me bullets all gone
Me ramrod is limp and I cannot fire on
But if your back tomorrow morning, well I vow an declare
We'll both again to hunt the bonny black hare
Track Name: Green Fields of France
Green Fields of France

Well, how do you do, Young Willie McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And rest for awhile neath the warm summer sun,
I’ve been walking all day, and I’m nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the great fallen in 1916,
Well, I hope you died well and I hope you died clean
Or young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the fife lowly?
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?
Did the band play The Last Post and chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

Did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
In that faithful heart are you forever 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed forever behind a glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

The sun now it shines on the green fields of France;
There's a warm summer breeze that makes the red poppies dance.
And see how the Sun shines from under the cloud
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it's still No Man’s Land
The countless white crosses lie mute in the sand
To man’s blind indifference to his fellow man.
And to a whole generation that were butchered and damned.

Young Willie McBride, I can’t help wonder why
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did they believe when they answered “The Cause?”
Did they really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the killing, the suffering, the glory, the pain
The killing, the dying, was all done in vain,
For young Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.
Track Name: The Two Magicians
The Two Magicians
(Traditional)

The lady sits at her own front door
As straight as a willow wand
And by there come a lusty smith
With his hammer in his hand

Saying bide lady bide
For there's a nowhere you can hide
For the lusty smith will be your love
And he will lay your pride.

Why do you sit there lady fair
All in your robes of red
I'll come back tomorrow
And have you in me bed

Saying. . .

Away away you coal black smith
Would you do me this wrong
For to have me maiden head
That I have kept so long
I'd rather I was dead and cold
And me body in the grave
Than a lusty, dusty, coal black smith
Me maiden head should have

Saying. . .

So the lady, she curled up her hand
And swore upon the mold
That he'd not have her maiden head
For all of a pot of gold.
But the blacksmith he curled up his hand
And swore upon the mast
That he would have her maiden head
For the half of that or less

Saying. . .

So the lady she turned into a dove
And flew up in the air
But he became an old cock pigeon
And they flew pair and pair
So the lady she turned into a mare
As dark as night was black
But he became a golden saddle
And climbed upon to her back

Saying . . .

So the lady she turned into a hare
And ran all over the plane
But he became a greyhound dog
And ran her down again
So the lady she turned into a fly
And fluttered in the air
But he became a hairy spider
And dragged her in his lair

Saying. . .

So the lady she turned into a sheep
Grazing upon the common
But he became a horny ram
And soon he was upon her.
So she turned into a full dress ship
And sailed over the sea
But he became a bold captain
And aboard of her went he

Saying . . .

So the lady she turned into a cloud
Floating in the air
But he became a lightning flash
And zipped right into her
So she turned into a mulberry tree
A mulberry tree in the wood
But he came forth as the morning dew
And sprinkled her where she stood.

Saying. . .

So the lady she ran into the bedroom
And changed into a bed
But he became a green coverlet
And he gained her maidenhead
And once she woke he took her so
And still he bad her bide
For the lusty smith became her love
For all of her mighty pride.
Track Name: Selkie of Sules Skerry
Selkie of Sules Skerry
(Traditional)

An earthly nourris sits and sings
And aye she sings `Ba lily wain
Saying little ken I thy bairn's father
Far less the land that he sleeps in'

Then he arose at her bedfoot
And a grumbly guest I'm sure was he
Saying here am I, thy bairn's father
Although I be not comely

I am a man upon the land
I am a selkie on the sea
And when I'm far and far from land
My home it is in Sules Skerry

And he has taken a purse of gold
And he has lain it upon her knee
Saying give to me my little young son
And take thee up thy nurse's fee

And it shall come tae pass on a summer's day
When the sun shines bright on every stone
I'll come to fetch my little young son
And teach him how to swim the foam

And you shall marry a pround gunner
And a proud gunner I'm sure he'll be
But the very first shot that e'er he shoots
He'll kill both my young son and me.
Track Name: The Parting glass
The Parting Glass
(Traditional)

Of all the money that ere I had, I've spent it in good company,
And of all the harm that ever I've done, alas was done to none but me.
And all I've done for want of wit, to memory now I cannot recall.
So fill me the parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all.

Of all the comrades that ere I had, they're sorry for my going away,
And of all the sweethearts that ere I've loved, they would wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot that I should part and you should not,
I'll gently rise and I'll softly call, Goodnight and joy be with you all.

A man may drink and not be drunk,
A man may fight and may not be slain
A man may court a pretty girl
And perhaps be welcomed back again.

But since it has so ordered been
For a time to rise, and a time to fall
Come fill to me the Parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all.
Track Name: Wild Mountain Thyme
Wild Mountain Thyme
(Traditional)

O the summer time has come
And the trees are sweetly blooming
And wild mountain thyme
Grows around the purple heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

(Chorus)
And we'll all go together,
To pick wild mountain thyme,
All around the purple heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

I will build my love a tower,
By yon clear crystal fountain,
And on it I will pile,
All the flowers of the mountain.
Will you go, lassie, go?

I will wander through the wilds
Through this deep land so dreary
And return with the spoils
To the bower o' my dearie.
Will ye go lassie go ?

If my true love she won't come,
Then I'll surely find another,
To pick wild mountain thyme,
All around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?