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Fairport Convention

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fox69

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"Theodore's Song"

"Theodore's Song"


He was an old broom maker
A medicine man
On an old boneshaker
Back in nineteen thirty-nine
No home to go to
Just the open road
Oxen borne
But it never, ever showed
Bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
He could hold the ocean
In the palm of his hand
What he calls emotion
Let time slip like grains of sand
When the music took him
To the streets in town
He could catch a picture
For the price of half-a-crown
Bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
Bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
Now his heart was broken
On a wedding day
Not a word was spoken
'Cause there was nothing left to say
About how he whispered
How he went inside
And he never kissed her
That day he lost his bride
Bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
Oh, bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
Raggle-taggle gypsy
Raggle-taggle mind
That's our world, it saw him
As he would not confined
It was a touch of emotion
That bids his wing
Through the lanes bicycled
To a henhouse where he lived
Bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
Bring me that old wristwatch
Fix it, broke-down man
Trust me, I'm the man
On me you can depend
On me you can depend
On me you can depend
 
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"This Was The Happiest Period In His Life..."
(This was the happiest period in his life. All locked set fair for a career until he was stricken with sickness and invalided out of his chosen niche in life. Reluctantly and unhappily he turned to a number of menial occupations and finally returned to the services of Miss Keyes.)

"This Was The Happiest Period In His Life..."
(This was the happiest period in his life. All locked set fair for a career until he was stricken with sickness and invalided out of his chosen niche in life. Reluctantly and unhappily he turned to a number of menial occupations and finally returned to the services of Miss Keyes.)



A's for the anchor that lies at our bow
B's for the bowsprit and the jibs all lie low
C's for the capstan we all run around
D's for the davits to lower the boat down
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong

E's for the ensign that at our mast flew
F's for the forecastle where lives our crew
G's for the galley where the salt junk smells strong
And H for the halyards we hoist with a song
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong

I's for the eyebolts, no good for the feet
J's for the jibs, boys, stand by the lee sheet
K's for the knighthead where our petty officer stands
L's for the leeside, hard found by new hands
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong

M's for the mainmast, it's stout and it's strong
N's for the needle that never points wrong
O's for the oars of our old jolly boats
And P's for the pinnace which lively do float
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong

Q's for the quarterdeck where our officer stands
R's for the rudder that keeps the ship in command
S is for the stunsells that drive her along
And T's for the topsail, to get there takes long
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong

U's for the uniform, mostly worn aft
V's for the vangs running from the main gaff
W's for water, we're on a pint and a pound
And X marks the spot where old Stormies had drowned
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong

Y's for the yardarm, needs a good sailor man
Z is for Zoe, and I'm her fancy man
Z's also for zero in the cold winter time
And now we have brought all the letters in rhyme
Merrily, merrily
So merry sail we, no mortal on earth like a sailor at sea
Heave away, haul away, the ship rolls along
Give a sailor his grog and there's nothing goes wrong
...

John Lee, your headache's growing, the cold wind's blowing
But the sea's without a ripple
John Lee, your forehead's damp, your muscles cramp
And the sea can't use a cripple
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee

John Lee's been made a freeman, his heart's a seaman
But his flesh won't make a sailor
Working in a big hotel, waiting for the bell
That's ringing for his labour
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee

John Lee, your chances are good, you better touch wood
We think things must get better
John Lee, you've a friend so true, she wants to help you
Miss Keyes has sent a letter
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee

"Dear John, come and work at The Glen, just write me when
And I'll send someone to meet you"
John's gone to where he started from, he's not worked long, just beginning to belong
"It hasn't been a very good day, the missus wants to halve my pay
Close the door and douse the light, it's quiet at night when he's tucked in tight
Sometimes I feel, when they're all in bed, it's almost like the whole world's dead
So I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep"
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
John Lee, you're turning around your fate again
Oh, John Lee
 
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"Three Drunken Maidens"

"Three Drunken Maidens"


There were three drunken maidens, lived on the Isle of Wight
They drank from Monday morning, didn't stop till Saturday night
When Saturday night came round, my boys, the girlies wouldn't go out
These three drunken maidens kept pushing the jug about
Then in comes bouncing Sally with a face as red as a bloom
"Move up, my jolly sisters, and give your Sally some room
For I'll be your equal before the night is out"
So now four drunken maidens they pushed the jug about
There was woodcock and pheasant, partridge and hare
And every kind of pie, my boys, no scarcity was there
They'd forty quarts of beer all told, they fairly drunk it up
These four drunken maidens who pushed the jug about
Then in comes the landlord and he's looking for his pay
"I've a bill for forty nicker that you lot have got to pay"
They hadn't got the money and still they wouldn't go out
These four drunken maidens kept pushing the jug about
Now where are your feathered hats, your mantles crisp and fine?
"They've all been swallowed up, my boys, in tankards of good wine"
And where are your maidenheads, you maids so brisk and gay?
"We left them in the public house, we drank them clean away"
 
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"Throwaway Street Puzzle"

"Throwaway Street Puzzle"


Come on now mister
Step right inside and see the show
You'll like it mister
It cures you if you're feeling low
We'll take care of you
Especially if you've got the dough
They'll move you mister
Just like a hurricane moves a tree
See here now mister
Just look at what they've done for me
You're gonna like it
They'll take you where you wanna be
Alright now mister
Come in and join the other guys
Just one thing mister
Don't try to touch the merchandise
Or get too friendly
You know that wouldn't be too wise
Come on now mister
Step right inside and see the show
You'll like it mister
It cures you if you're feeling low
We'll take care of you
Especially if you've got the dough
 
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"Time Will Show The Wiser"

"Time Will Show The Wiser"


My mind keeps on telling me that this is no good
And my heart is aching, that tells me I should
But only time will show the wiser
I've fallen in love with a girl that's not mine
If I take her it will hurt him, a very best friend of mine
But I know that I need someone, to hold, to love
And my mind says I shouldn't but my heart says I should
And I don't know which to go by, my mind or my heart
And this is so confusing, it's tearing me apart
Time, it will show the wiser
Well, I wish someone would help me, this decision is mine
And my morals and emotions are hard to combine
And there is no easy way out to limit the time
That it takes till she finds out for the love that I hide
And I don't know which to go by, my mind or my heart
And this is so confusing, it's tearing me apart
Time, it will show the wiser
Time, it will show the wiser
Time, it will show the wiser
 
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"To Althea From Prison"

"To Althea From Prison"


When love, with unconfined wings, hovers within my gates
And my divine Althea brings to whisper at my grates
When I lie tangled in her hair and fettered with her eye
Birds that wanton in the air know no such liberty

When flowing cups run swiftly round with no allaying Thames
Our careless heads with roses crowned, our hearts with royal flames
When first decreeth in wine we steep when healths and rafts run free
Fishes that tipple in the deep know no such liberty

Stone walls do not a prison make not iron bars a gate
Minds innocent and quiet take that as a hermitage
If I have freedom in my love and in my soul am free
Angels alone that soar above enjoy such liberty
 
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"Tragedy Now Strikes Hard..."
(Tragedy now strikes hard. The world's imagination is caught by the brutal senseless[ness] of the apparent criminal who slays his kind old mistress.)

"Tragedy Now Strikes Hard..."
(Tragedy now strikes hard. The world's imagination is caught by the brutal senseless[ness] of the apparent criminal who slays his kind old mistress.)



"The customary quiet of Babbacombe, a residential suburb of Torquay, was greatly disturbed early on Saturday morning
And the peaceful inhabitants were aroused to a state of intense alarm and terror by one of the most frightful tragedies that human devilment could plan or human deed could perpetrate
The name of the victim was Miss Emma Anne Whitehead Keyes, an elderly lady of some sixty-eight years
The name of her home and the scene of her tragedy, was 'The Glen'
She was found early in the morning, lying on her dining room floor
Her throat had been horribly cut and there were three wounds on her head
It was evident that her murderer had also attempted to burn the corpse"
The world has surely lost it's head, the news is full of crimes
There's robberies in The Telegraph and there's murders in The Times
And always more obituaries and even one of these
Concerns the brutal slaughter of an old Miss Emma Keyes
The police have got their man, they're sure, he never left the scene
Indeed, he raised the hue and cry, a most unusual thing
An arsonist, a murderer, his soul will soon be frying
He's young but old enough to kill but he's not too young for dying
And it seems the populace will queue to see him stand in court
To hear him speak his wicked lies while smiling at his thoughts
This arrogant young ruffian is obviously guilty
Though nowhere does it say exactly how or why he killed her
Forget it dear, it's not the first and there's bound to be another
And the way you carry on you'll have us thinking she's your mother
This man called Lee has had his day and soon he'll be forgotten
So put that paper down before your breakfast goes quite rotten
 
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"Travelling By Steam"

"Travelling By Steam"


With a steady hand on the lever
And the signal ready to pass
Keep the light burning, fireman
And the water, well up in the glass

With a shoulder to the rail
There's no better place to be
Than the right side of the footplate
When you're travelling by steam

Stand in the bight, look for the green light
Voices that echo and ring down the line
One load to shed, then homeward we tread
Till morning and the coal-boy come singing

Me granddaddy worked in the railway
A bigwig, so I've heard talk
Me father, he was a driver
Travelling pit to port

And there's no better life for a young man
With them you must agree
When you're right side of the footplate
And you're travelling by steam

Stand in the bight, look for the green light
Voices that echo and ring down the line
One load to shed, then homeward we tread
Till morning and the coal-boy come singing

Tomorrow it's off up to Banbury
A lodging turn for me
Where I can lay me head on a pillow
In a room where I can sleep

And it's up and away in the morning
And wipe the clock-face clean
And you're right side of the footplate
And you're travelling by steam

Stand in the bight, look for the green light
Voices that echo and ring down the line
One load to shed, then homeward we tread
Till morning and the coal-boy come singing

So pick up yer traps and yer Tommy-box
We're reaching the end of the line
Keep yer eye on your watch, lad
We'll bring her in on time

And it could have been life on the dole queue
Or mining for coal at the seam
But you're right side of the footplate
And you're travelling by steam

Stand in the bight, look for the green light
Voices that echo and ring down the line
One load to shed, then homeward we tread
Till morning and the coal-boy come singing
 
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"Trial Song"

"Trial Song"


"Lee," the sergeant said to me, "acting on my discretion
It is my solemn duty to arrest you on suspicion"
They put me in a carriage, I was driven many miles
They locked me in a prison cell to await my trial
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
John 'Babbacombe' Lee

The man who'd defend me was ill and couldn't come
His brother came to lend me help and I knew I was undone
"Do just what you want with me, I don't have a choice
You'd do as well without me as I'm not allowed to use my voice"

The judge sits high and mighty and he asks me who I am
The robes he wears impress me but he looks a kindly man
"To all who've come to see me, for those that'd prove me guilty
May the joker hear your call and show you all more mercy"
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
John 'Babbacombe' Lee

The trial was quickly over and my head was full of pain
I was slowly going crazy with the same story over again
I was tired and aching, I was standing half asleep
All I wanted was to take the weight from off my feet
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
John 'Babbacombe' Lee

The jury filed in slowly while we waited their command
"Courage, John, you're helpless and you are in heaven's hand"
John Lee's not scared of dying, there's a smile in all you'll find
Cradled in a deep sleep with a perfect peace of mind

I cannot blame the jury, on the evidence they heard
It seemed that I was guilty, hanged by too many words
I smiled in front of people so I told them what it meant
I trust the Lord in heaven and he knows I'm innocent
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
John 'Babbacombe' Lee
 
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"Tried So Hard"

"Tried So Hard"


Stopped awhile this morning on my way back home
I had to realize this time that I'd be all alone
'Cause she's moving somewhere far away not slow
And though I tried so hard to please her
She said she really had to go
Even though this time it really hurts me bad
I've been through similarities
It's not the first break I've had
Just can't let it bring me down too low
'Cause I tried so hard to please her
There must be something more to know
Never thought that we would find our end this way
It seemed that everything was going fine
Still with all the things that I can do or say
It won't change the fate I know so well is mine
So I'll stop again and look right past the pain
Because I've been in love before and I can love again
While she's moving somewhere far away not slow
Although I tried so hard to please her
She said she really had to go
Stopped awhile this morning on my way back home
I had to realize this time that I'd be all alone
'Cause she's moving somewhere far away not slow
And though I tried so hard to please her
She said she really had to go
 
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