My Bonnie Blue-Eyed Lassie

A great performance by a great band. Here is the Bothy Band’s version of My Bonnie Blue-Eyed Lassie, sometimes called How Can I Live at the Top of the Mountain.

My Bonnie Blue-Eyed Lassie

And how can I live at the top of the mountain
Without gold in my pocket or money for the counting?
I’d leave the money go all for to please her fancy
For I will marry no-one but the bonnie blue eyed lassie.

The bonnie blue eyed lassie with her fair hair so tender,
Her red rosy cheeks and her waist neat and slender.
I’d roll her in my arms and fondly’d embrace her
But how can I love her when all my people hate her.

Some people say she’s very low in station
More of them say she’s the cause of my ruination,
Lord, let them all say what they will, to her I will prove constant still.
Until the day that I die she’s my charming girl believe me.

Brightly swims the swan in the broad streams of Eochill
And loudly sings the nightingale, all for to behold her.
And in cold frost and snow, the moon shines deeply
But deeper by far between me and my true love.

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The Lakes of Pontchartrain

I was looking for version of The Lakes of Pontchartrain to post and so very happy to find this live video recording from just this summer. I wish I could have been at this gathering of talents. And I don’t know a much better example of the tradition than the way the music is shared here between the likes of the wonderful Mary Dillon, John Spillane, and others.

The Lakes of Pontchartrain

It was one fine March morning, I bid New Orleans Adieu
And I took the road to Jackson Town, my fortune to renew
I cursed all foreign money, no credit could I gain
Which filled my heart with a longing for, the Lakes of Pontchartrain

I stepped on board of a railroad car beneath the morning sun
I rode the rods till evening and I laid me down again
All strangers there no friends to me ’til a dark girl towards me came
And I fell in love with the Creole Girl, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain

I said “Me pretty Creole Girl, me money here’s no good,
If it weren’t for the alligators, I’d sleep out there in the wood”
“You’re welcome here kind stranger, from such sad thoughts refrain”
“For me Mammy welcomes strangers, by the Lakes of Pontchartrain”

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The Banks of the Bann (Willie Archer)

After yesterday’s post, it got me looking around and listening to more music from the marvelous Sean Cannon. There are a couple of songs in the tradition that go by the title of The Banks of the Bann.  Here’s a version subtitled “Willie Archer.”

The Banks of the Bann (Willie Archer)

Oh, as I was a-walking all down by the town,
Those lovely green mountains they did me surround,
‘Twas there I spied a maiden and to me she looked grand.
She was plucking wild roses by the banks of the Bann.

I quickly approached her and to her I did say,
“Since Nature has ordain-ed, we should meet in this way,
Since Nature has ordained it, come give me your hand,
And we will walk together by the banks of the Bann.

It was into a corner where the changes took place.
I knew by the blood that beat on her face.
Her feet they fell from her on a neat bed of sand
And she fell into my arms by the banks of the Bann.

“Oh, young man, now that you’ve wronged me, come give me your name
So that when the child is born I might call him the same.”
“My name is Willie Archer as you may understand
And my home and habitation lie close to the Bann.”

“But I cannot marry you, I’m apprenticed and bound
To the spinning and the weaving in Rathfriland town,
But when my time is over I will give you my hand
And we will walk together by the banks of the Bann.”

Come all you fair maidens and take warning by me —
Well don’t go out a-courting by one, two, or three,
No don’t go out a-courting by three, two, or one
For you might meet Willie Archer by the banks of the Bann.