Henry's Songbook

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The Dalesman's Litany

  • (Dave Keddie / Moorman)

    It's hard when folks can't find the work where they've been bred and born
    When I was young I always thought I'd bide 'midst roots and corn
    But I've been forced to work in town so here's my litany
    From Hull and Halifax and Hell, good Lord deliver me

    When I was courting Mary Jane, the old squire he says to me
    I've got no rooms for wedded folk, choose whether to go or to stay
    I could not give up the girl I loved, so to town I was forced to flee
    From Hull and Halifax and Hell, good Lord deliver me

    I've worked in Leeds and Huddersfied and I've earned some honest brass
    In Bradford, Keighley, Rotherham I've kept my bairns and lass
    I've travelled all three Ridings round and once I went to sea
    From forges, mills and coaling boats, good Lord deliver me

    I've walked at night through Sheffield lanes, 'twas just as being in hell
    Where furnaces thrust out tongues of fire and roared like the wind on the fell
    I've sammed up coals in Barnsley pits with muck up to my knee
    From Barnsley, Sheffield, Rotherham, good Lord deliver me

    I've seen fog creep across Leeds bridge as thick as the Bastille soup
    I've lived where folks were stowed away like rabbits in a coop
    I've seen snow float down Bradford Beck as black as ebony
    From Hunslet, Holbeck, Wibsey Stack, good Lord deliver me

    But now that all our children have gone, to the country we've come back
    There's forty mile of heathery moor 'twixt us and the coalpits' stack
    And as I sit by the fire at night, I laugh and shout with glee
    From Hull and Halifax and Hell the good Lord delivered me

    Hunslet, Holbeck - villages near Leeds
    Wibsey Stack - village near Bradford

    As sung by Tim Hart & Maddy Prior

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1974:] Industrialization attracted or forced many to the towns. In this case in the old-fashioned world of the dales, the employer still wants single farm-hands who will live in, in preference to "wedded folk". (Palmer, Touch 72)
    [Original dialect version] written (or collected) by Dr Moorman, President of the Yorkshire Dialect Society about 1900. [Tune] written by Dave Keddie of Bradford about 1960, English Folk Dance and Song Society. (Palmer, Touch 329)

  • [1984:] I heard this while living in Halifax in Yorkshire in about 1969. Hull and Halifax were two of the many towns in Yorkshire where you could be hanged for begging. It is a song of the industrial revolution but is based on a much older Yorkshire poem. (CMSB45)

  • See also

Quelle: England

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16.02.2000, aktualisiert am 16.06.2003