Sunday, February 14, 2010

Alasdair Roberts



Do you know Alasdair Roberts' music? I hold all renditions of Sweet William's Ghost up to his golden standard. But all of his music is spellbinding to me. You can listen to some for free here. If you don't want to mess with choosing one, here is a direct link to Lord Gregory. I had a hard time choosing just that one to link to, so seriously you need to go hear them all.  The best version of Sweet William's Ghost is on the compilation album Strange Folk.

Strange Folk

I offer the Child ballad, Sweet William's Ghost:

77A.1 THERE came a ghost to Margret’s door,
With many a grievous groan,
And ay he tirled at the pin,
But answer made she none.
77A.2 ‘Is that my father Philip,
Or is’t my brother John?
Or is’t my true-love, Willy,
From Scotland new come home?’
77A.3 ‘’Tis not thy father Philip,
Nor yet thy brother John;
But ’tis thy true-love, Willy,
From Scotland new come home.
77A.4 ‘O sweet Margret, O dear Margret,
I pray thee speak to me;
Give me my faith and troth, Margret,
As I gave it to thee.’
77A.5 ‘Thy faith and troth thou’s never get,
Nor yet will I thee lend,
Till that thou come within my bower,
And kiss my cheek and chin.’
77A.6 ‘If I shoud come within thy bower,
I am no earthly man;
And shoud I kiss thy rosy lips,
Thy days will not be lang.
77A.7 ‘O sweet Margret, O dear Margret,
I pray thee speak to me;
Give me my faith and troth, Margret,
As I gave it to thee.’
77A.8 ‘Thy faith and troth thou’s never get,
Nor yet will I thee lend,
Till you take me to yon kirk,
And wed me with a ring.’
77A.9 ‘My bones are buried in yon kirk-yard,
Afar beyond the sea,
And it is but my spirit, Margret,
That’s now speaking to thee.’
77A.10 She stretchd out her lilly-white hand,
And, for to do her best,
‘Hae, there’s your faith and troth, Willy,
God send your soul good rest.’
77A.11 Now she has kilted her robes of green
A piece below her knee,
And a’ the live-lang winter night
The dead corp followed she.
77A.12 ‘Is there any room at your head, Willy?
Or any room at your feet?
Or any room at your side, Willy,
Wherein that I may creep?’
77A.13 ‘There’s no room at my head, Margret,
There’s no room at my feet;
There’s no room at my side, Margret,
My coffin’s made so neat.’
77A.14 Then up and crew the red, red cock,
And up then crew the gray:
‘Tis time, tis time, my dear Margret,
That you were going away.’
77A.15 No more the ghost to Margret said,
But, with a grievous groan,
Evanishd in a cloud of mist,
And left her all alone.
77A.16 ‘O stay, my only true-love, stay,’
The constant Margret cry’d;
Wan grew her cheeks, she closd her een,
Stretchd her soft limbs, and dy’d.
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