Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Andy Irvine - The Blind Harper

Andy, Donal and Paul playing an English Traditional called the Blind Harper live at the Embankment in 1976. By the way, just a little reminder - Andy's birthday is on June 14th. Maybe we should all write our congratulations in an e-mail to him and by the way remind him on his plans in writing a book on the bouzouki (or better a DVD).


Have you heard of the blind harper
How he lived in Hogmaven town
He went down to fair England
To steal King Henry's wanton brown

First he went unto his wife
With all the haste as go could he
"This work", he said, "will never go well,
without the help of our good grey mare"

Said she, "You take the good grey mare
She'll run o'er hills both low and high.
Go take the halter in your hose
And leave the foal at home with me"

He's up and went to England gone
He went as fast as go could he
And when he got to Carlisle gates
Who should there be, but King Henry

"Come in, come in, you blind harper
And of your music, let me hear"
But up and said the blind harper
"I'd rather have a stable for my mare"

The king looked over his left shoulder
And he said unto his stable groom
"Go take the poor blind harper's mare"
And put her beside my wanton brown"

Then he's harped and then he sang
'Till he played them all so sound asleep
And quietly he took off his shoes
And down the stairs he did creep

Straight to the stable door he's gone
With a thread so light as light could be
When he opened and went in
He found thirty steeds and three

He took the halter from his hose
And from his purse he did not fail
He slipped it over the wanton's nose
And tied it to the grey mare's tail

Then he let her loose at the castle gates
She didn't fail to find her way
She went back to her own colt foal
Three long hours before the day

Then in the morning, at fair daylight
When they had ended all their cheer
Behold, the wanton brown had gone
So had the poor blind harper's mare

"Oh, alas", said the blind harper
"Ever alas that I came here.
In Scotland, I've got a little colt foal.
In England, they stole my good grey mare"

"Hold you tongue", said King Henry
"And all your mournings, let them be.
You shall get a far better mare
And well paid shall your colt foal be"

Again he harped and again he sang
The sweetest music he let them hear
He was paid for a foal that he never had lost
And three times worth them good grey mare

He was paid for a foal that he never had lost
And three times worth them good grey mare

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sure would like to find tab and chords for this song.