Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Matty Groves

Fairport Convention

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."

Now a servant who was standing by
and hearing what was said,
He swore Lord Darnell he would know
before the sun had set.

And in his hurry to carry the news
he bent his breast and he ran,
and when he came to the broad mill stream
He took of his shoes and he swam.

Little Matty Groves, he lay down
and took a little sleep,
When he awoke, Lord Darnell
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.”

"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 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 kiss from dead Matty's lips,
than you with 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."

[trad. arr. Fairport Convention]

(Copyright © 1969 Warlock Music)

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