D I S C O G R A P H Y
 'Silly Sisters' cover
LP - Chrysalis CHR 1101 (UK, 1976)
LP - Shanachie 79040 (US)
LP - Takoma 7077 (US)
CD - Shanachie SH 79040 (US, 1990)
CD - Chrysalis CCD 1101 (UK, 1991)
CD - BGO Records BGOCD 214 (UK, 1994)
Maddy Prior & June Tabor:
Silly Sisters
  1. Doffin' Mistress [2:11]
  2. Burning of Auchidoon [1:09]
  3. Lass Of Loch Royal [4:06]
  4. The Seven Joys Of Mary [3:18]
  5. My Husband's Got No Courage In Him [3:10]
  6. Singing The Travels [2:48]
  7. Silver Whistle [4:12]
  8. The Grey Funnel Line [3:04]
  9. Geordie [4:00]
  10. The Seven Wonders [4:33]
  11. Four Loom Weaver [2:37]
  12. The Game Of Cards [3:19]
musicians: Maddy Prior - vocals
June Tabor - vocal
Martin Carthy - guitars, drum
Nic Jones - fiddle, guitar
Tony Hall - melodeon
Andy Irvine - hurdy-gurdy, mandolins
Johnny Moynihan - bouzouki, whistles
Gabriel Mckeon - uillean pipes
Danny Thompson - bass
John Gillaspie - bassons, sopranino, bombard
Brian Golbey - five-string fiddle
other credits: Produced by Maddy Prior and Robin Black
Engineered by Robin Black
Photograpy by Mick Rock
Sleeve design by Edward Baker


L y r i c s

Doffin' Mistress

O do you know her, or do you not
This new doffin' mistress we have got?
Elsie Thompson it is her name
And she helps her doffers at every frame.
Ladli-right fol dol,
Ladli-right fol day.

On Monday morning when she comes in
She hangs her coat on the highest pin
Turns around for to view her frames
Shouting, Damn you, doffers, tie up your ends
Ladli-right fol dol,
Ladli-right fol day.

And when the boss he looks round the door
Tie your ends up, doffers, he will roar,
Tie our ends up we surely do
For Elsie Thompson but not for you.
Ladli-right fol dol,
Ladli-right fol day.

Yes, tie our ends up we surely do
For Elsie Thompson but not for you.
We'll tie our ends and we'll leave our frames
And wait for Elsie to return again.
Ladli-right fol dol,
Ladli-right fol day.

Burning Of Auchidoon

As I came in by Fiddich side
On a May morning
I spied Willie Macintosh
An hour before the dawning

``Turn again, him again
Turn again I bid ye,
If ye burn Auchidoon
Huntly he will head ye''

``Head me or hang me
That will never fear me
I will burn Auchidoon
Ere the life leaves me''

As I came in by Fiddich side
On a May morning
Auchidoon was in a blaze
An hour before the dawning

Crawing, crawing
For all your crowse crawing
You've burnt your crops
And tint your wings
An hour before the dawning

Lass of Loch Royal

I am a King's daughter come straight from Cappoquin
In search of Lord Gregory may God I'll find him

The rain beats at my yellow locks,
the dew wets me still
The babe is cold in my arms love,
Lord Gregory let me in

Lord Gregory is not here and he henceforth
can't be seen
He's gone to bonny Scotland
to bring home his new queen

Leave now these windows and likewise this hall
For it's deep in the sea you will find your downfall

Do you remember love Gregory
when we sat at the wine
We exchanged rings and aye the best was mine

Yours was the purest gold and mine but false tin
Yours it cost a guinea love but aye 'twas false within

Do you remember love Gregory
that night in Cappoquin
You stole away my maidenhead and sore
against my will

Now open these windows, open and let me in
The rain rains on my good clothing
and the dew stands on my chin

I have built a bonny boat all covered with pearl
At at every needle tack in there hangs a silver bell

But I'll take down that mast of gold
and set up a mast of tree
For it does not suit a forsaken maid to sail so royally

So I'll leave now these windows and likewise this hall
And it's deep in the sea I will find my downfall

The Seven Joys Of Mary

The first good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of one
To see the blessed Jesus Christ
When he was first her son

When he was first her son good man
And blessed may he be
Both Father, Son and Holy Ghost
To an eternity

The next good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of two
To see her own son Jesus Christ
To make the lame to go

To make the lame to go good man
And blessed may he be ...

The next good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of three
To see her own son Jesus Christ
To make the blind to see

To make the blind to see good man ...

The next good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of four
To see her own son Jesus Christ
To read the bible o'er

To read the bible o'er good man ...

The next good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of five
To see her own son Jesus Christ
To bring the dead alive

To bring the dead alive good man ...

The next good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of six
To see her own son Jesus Christ
Upon the crucifix

Upon the crucifix good man ...

The last good joy that Mary had
It was the joy of seven
To see her own son Jesus Christ
To wear the crown of heaven

To wear the crown of heaven good man ...

My Husband's Got No Courage...

As I walked out one May morning
To view the fields and the leaves a-springing
I saw two maidens standing by
And one of them their hair was wringing
O hear o; o dear o; my husband's got no courage in him; o dear o

All sort of vittals I did provide
All sorts of meats that's fitting for him
With oyster pie and rhubarb too
But nothing will put courage in him ...

My husband can dance and caper and sing
Or do anything that is fitting for him
But he cannot do the thing I want
Because he has no courage in him ...

My husband's admired wherever he goes
And everyone looks well upon him
With his handsome features and well-shaped leg
But still he's got no courage in him ...

Every night when I goes to bed
I lie and throw my leg right o'er him
And my hand I clap between his thighs
But I can't put any courage in him ...

Seven long years I've made his bed
And every night I've laid beside him
But this morning I rose with my maidenhead
For still he's got no courage in him ...

I wish my husband he was dead
And in the grave I'd quickly lay him
And then I'd try another one
That's got a little courage in him ...

Singing The Travels

Well met, my brother dear, all along the highway riding
So solemn I was walking along
So pray come tell to me what calling yours may be
And I'll have you for a servant man.

Some serving men do eat the very best of meat
Such as cock, goose, capon and swan
But when lords and ladies dine, they drink strong beer, ale and wine
That's some diet for a servant man.

Don't you talk about your capons, let's have some rusty bacon
And aye, a good piece of prickled pork
That's always in my house, a crust of bread and cheese
That's some diet for a husband man.

When next to church they go with their livery fine and gay
And their cocked hats and gold lace all around
With their shirts as white as milk, and stitched as fine as silk
That's some habit for a servant man.

Don't you talk about your livery nor all your silken garments
That's not fit for to travel the bushes in
Give me a leather coat, aye, and in my purse a groat
That's some habit for a husband man.

So me must needs confess that your calling is the best
And will give you the uppermost hand
So now we won't delay but pray both day and night
God bless the honest husband man.

Silver Whistle

O who will play the silver whistle
When my king's son to sea is going?
To Scotland prepares, prepares his coming
Upon a large ship o'er the ocean

The ship it has three masts of silver
With ropes so light of french silk woven
Upon each end are fixed golden pulleys
To bring my king's son ashore and landed.

When my king's son he comes back home
No girdle scones will food be for him
But loaves of bread, bread will be baking
For Charles with blue eyes so enticing.

O welcome to you, fame and honour
Fiddles and choice tunes attend you
I will be dancing, I will be singing
And I will play the silver whistle.

And I will play the silver whistle.

The Grey Funnel Line

Don't mind the rain or the rolling sea
The weary night never worries me
But the hardest time in sailor's day
Is to watch the sun as it dies away
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line.

The finest ship that sailed the sea
Is still a prison for the likes of me
But give me wings like Noah's dove
I'll fly up harbour to the girl I love
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line.

Of Lord if dreams were only real
I'd have my hands on that wooden wheel
And with all my heart I'd turn her round
And tell the boys that we're homeward bound.
It's one more day on the Grey Funnel Line.

I'll pass the time like some machine
Until blue water turns to green
Then I'll dance on down that walk ashore
And sail the Grey Funnel Line no more.
And sail the Grey Funnel Line no more.

Geordie

There was a battle in the north
And nobles they were many
And they have killed Sir Charlie Hay
And laid the blame on Geordie

O he has written a long letter
And sent it to his lady:
``You must come up to Edinburgh town
To see what news of Geordie''

When first she looked the letter on
She was both red and rosy
She had not read a word but two
When she grew pale as the lily

``Go fetch to me my good grey steed
My men shall all go with me
For I shall neither eat nor drink
Till Edinburgh town shall see me''

Then she has mounted her good grey steed
Her men they all went with her
And she did neither eat nor drink
Till Edinburgh town did see her

And first appeared the fatal block
And then the axe to head him
And Geordie coming down the stair
With bands of iron upon him

Though he was chained in fetters strong
Of iron and steel so heavy
O not a one in all the court
Was so fine a man as Geordie

O she'd down on her bended knee
I'm sure she's pale and weary
``O pardon, pardon noble kings,
And give me back my dearie''

``Go tell the heading man make haste''
Our king replies full lordly
``O noble king take all that's mine
But give me back my Geordie''

The Gordons came and the Gordons ran
And they were stark and steady
And ay the word among them all
Was Gordons keep you ready

An aged lord at the king's right hand
Says ``Noble kings, but hear me,
Let her count out five thousand pounds
And give her back her dearie''

Some gave her marks, some gave her crowns
Some gave her dollars many
She's counted out five thousand pounds
And she's gotten again her dearie.

She glanced blithe in her Geordie's face
Say ``Dear I've bought thee Geordie;
But the blood would have flowed upon the green
Before I lost my laddie''

He clasped her by the middle small
And he kissed her lips so rosy
``The fairest flower of women kind
Is my sweet bonny lady''

The Seven Wonders

I heard it said yesterday morning
Tal-la ring ting ring tether-ring-to
That a ship of lead swam o'er the ocean
Tal-la ring ting ring tether-ring-to
And a ship of cork sank to the bottom
Tal-la ring ting ring tether-ring-to
And that is one of the seven wonders
Tal-la ring ting ring tether-ring-to

I heard it said that the partridge ...
On the shore was playing stool-ball ...
And the balls were made of sand ...
And that is two of the seven wonders ...

The pruning hook out in the meadow ...
By itself it was reaping ...
And in a day it cut an acre ...
And that is three of the seven wonders ...

I heard it said there was a pig ...
And on his cart he was loading bracken ...
And the load he was making ready ...
And that is four of the seven wonders ...

I heard it said that in Llangollen ...
That the moon was teaching reading ...
And an excellent verse he gave there ...
And that is five of the seven wonders ...

I heard it said that on the rock ...
That the dove she kept a tavern ...
With its little cup to test the drink ...
And that is six of the seven wonders ...

I heard it said of the swallow on the sea ...
That he was making an iron horseshoe ...
With golden hammer and silver anvil ...
And that's the last of the seven wonders ...

Four Loom Weaver

I'm a four-loom weaver as many a one knows
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out my clothes
My clogs are both broken and stockings I've none
You'd scarce give me tuppence for all I've gotten on

Old Billy O't Bent he kept telling me long
We might have better times if I'd nobbut hold my tongue
Well I've holden my tongue till I've near lost my breath
And I feel in my own heart I'll soon clean to death

I'm a four-loom weaver as many a one knows
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out my clothes
Old Billy's all reet, he never were clemmed
And he never picked ower in his life

We held on for six weeks, thought each day were the last
We've tarried and shifted till now we're quite fast
We lived upon nettles while nettles were good
And Waterloo porridge was the best of our food

I'm a four-loom weaver as many a one knows
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out my clothes
My clogs are both broken no looms to weave on
And I've woven myself to far end

The Game Of Cards

As I was a-walking one midsummer's morning
I heard the birds whistle and the nightingales play
And there did I spy a beautiful maiden
As I was a-walking all on the highway

O where are you going, my fair pretty lady?
O where are you going so early this morn?
She said: I'm going down to visit my neighbours
I'm going down to Warwick, the place I was born

It's May I come with you, my sweet pretty darling?
May I go along in your sweet companie?
Then she turned her head and smiling all at me
Saying: You may come with me, kind sir, if you please

We hadn't been walking but a few miles together
Before this young damsel began to show free
She sat herself down, saying: Sit down beside me
And the games we shall play shall be one, two and three

I said: My dear lady, if you're fond of the gaming
There's one game I know I would like you to learn
The game it is called: The Game of All Fours
So I took out my pack and began the first turn

She cut the cards first and I fell a-dealing
I dealt her a trump and myself the poor jack
She led off her ace and stole my jack from me
Saying: Jack is the card I like best in your pack

Since I dealt them last time, it's your turn to shuffle
And my turn to show the best card in the pack
Once more she'd the ace and the deuce for to beat me
Once again I had lost when I laid down poor jack

So I took up my hat and I bid her: Good morning
I said: You're the best that I know at this game
She answered: Young man, if you'll come back tomorrow
We'll play the game over and over again

Dame Durdan

Dame Durdan kept five servant maids
To carry the milking pail
She also kept five labouring men
To use the spade and flail

Chorus:
Twas Moll and Bet and Doll and Kit
And Dolly to drag her tail
Twas Tom and Dick and Joe and Jack
And Humphrey with his flail
Then Tom kissed Molly and Dick kissed Betty
And Joe kissed Dolly and Jack kissed Kitty
And Humphrey with his flail
And Kitty she was a charming girl
To carry the milking pail

Dame Durdan in the morn so soon
She did begin to call
To rouse her servants, maids and men
She did begin to bawl

Chorus

Twas on the morn of Valentine
When birds begin to prate
Dame Durdan and her maids and men
They all together meet

Chorus:
Twas Moll and Bet and Doll and Kit
And Dolly to drag her tail
Twas Tom and Dick and Joe and Jack
And Humphrey with his flail
Then Tom kissed Molly and Dick kissed Betty
And Joe kissed Dolly and Jack kissed Kitty
And Humphrey with his flail
Kiss Dorothy Draggletail
And Kitty she was a charming girl
To carry the milking pail


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