Waiting For The Word

by Kevin Adams

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1.
SONG OF THE ARTESIAN WATER Words: Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson) music: Gina Le Faux Now the stock have started dying, for the Lord has sent a drought But we're sick of prayers and Providence, we're going to do without With the derricks up above us and the solid earth below We are waiting at the lever for the word to let her go. Sinking down, deeper down, Oh, we'll sink it deeper down: As the drill is plugging downward at a thousand feet of level If the Lord won't send us water, oh, we'll get it from the devil Yes we'll get it from the devil deeper down. Now our engine's built in Glasgow by a very canny Scot And he marked it twenty horse-power, but he don't what is what When Canada Bill is firing with the sun-dried gidgee logs She can equal thirty horses and a score or so of dogs Sinking down, deeper down, Oh, we're going deeper down: If we fail to get the water, then it's ruin to the squatter For the drought is on the station and the weather's growing hotter But we're bound to get the water deeper down. But the shaft has started caving and the sinking's very slow And the yellow rods are bending in the water down below And the tubes are always jamming, and they can't be made to shift Till we nearly burst the engine with a forty horse-power lift Sinking down, deeper down, Oh, we're going deeper down: Though the shaft is always caving, and the tubes are always jamming Yet we'll fight our way to water while the stubborn drill is ramming While the stubborn drill is ramming deeper down. But there's no artesian water, though we've passed three thousand feet And the contract price is growing, and the boss is nearly beat But it must be down beneath us, and it's down we've got to go Though she's bumping on the solid rock four thousand feet below Sinking down, deeper down, Oh, we're going deeper down: And it's time they heard us knocking on the roof of Satan's dwellin' But we'll get artesian water if we cave the roof of Hell in Oh! we'll get artesian water deeper down. But it's hark! the whistle's blowing with a wild, exultant blast And the boys are madly cheering, for they've struck the flow at last And it's rushing up the tubing from four thousand feet below Till it spouts above the casing in a million-gallon flow And it's down, deeper down Oh, it comes from deeper down; It is flowing, ever flowing, in a free, unstinted measure From the silent hidden places where the old earth hides her treasure Where the old earth hides her treasure deeper down. And it's clear away the timber, and it's let the water run How it glimmers in the shadow, how it flashes in the sun! By the silent belts of timber, by the miles of blazing plain It is bringing hope and comfort to the thirsty land again Flowing down,further down It is flowing further down To the tortured thirsty cattle, bringing gladness in its going; Through the droughty days of summer it is flowing, ever flowing It is flowing, ever flowing, further down.
2.
O Sally My Dear O Sally my dear, shall I come up to see you O Sally my dear, shall I come up to see you She laughed and replied, I'm afraid you'll undo me Sing fal the diddle i-do sing wack fal the diddle day. O Sally my dear, why I will not undo you She laughed and replied: You may come then to me. If the lasses were black birds and the lasses were thrushes How soon the young men would go beating the bushes. Should young women be hares and race round the mountain Young men would take guns and they'd soon go a-hunting Should young women be ducks and swim round the water Young men would turn drakes and would soon follow after. Traditional
3.
4.
The Wandering Shepherdess In the county of Buckingham there lived a squire And he had a daughter most beautiful and fair But she loved a shepherd below her degree Which caused her ruin and sad misery When her father came to know of it his passion grew hot And with a loaded pistol the shepherd he shot And as he lay bleeding this lady came by Which caused her to weep and to cry bitterly O cursed be the gold, my true love lies slain My joys are transported to sorrow and pain! Alas, said the shepherd, no one my life can save But a wonder you’ll see when I’m laid in my grave. She took up his crook and his cloak and his plaid And like a true shepherd through the valley she strode When she got to the hill all the sheep to her came Bleating and entreating her true love to obtain. The old ram she called Andrew, with Sally his dam, Both Johnny and Charlotte they knew their own name If she wanted them to stay on any green plain She would say, ‘Stay you there until I do come again.’ And with humble submission they always obey When she stays away long they never do stray With humble submission they gaze on her face, There’s not such a token in the whole human race. She wandered through England, to Scotland she came Ye true love controllers I’ll tell you her doom Her shepherd’s no more and her father soon died For the loss of a daughter and a murder beside. If I could return to my father’s bright halls I might live in splendour, but that I never shall I’ll wander alone till death ends the strife And lament for my shepherd all the days of my life. traditional
5.
It’s Dirty It’s Dusty Words & music: Paul Clark It’s dirty, it’s dusty, it’s noisy, It sure gets you down now and then But when we leave from here In two months, or a year, We’ll never be craftsmen again The Wolverton Works they are closing It’s part of a Government ploy It seems they don’t care for the carriage repairs That I’ve worked on since I was a boy. I came at fourteen as apprentice Like my Dad and my Uncle before And I’ve got all my skill and I love my job still But I’m certain they’ll show me the door The word they have for it is progress Replacing the old with the new With some software you see they’ll eliminate me And all that I’m able to do From the stink and the noise of the foundry To a silent old house on my own And it isn’t just me, it’s the whole town, you see It’s the finish of all we have known. It’s dirty, it’s dusty, it’s noisy, It sure gets you down now and then But when we leave from here In two months, or a year, We’ll never be craftsmen again.
6.
Logs To Burn 02:35
Logs To Burn Oak logs will warm you well, If they're old and dry. Larch logs of pinewoods smell But the sparks will fly. Beech logs for Christmas time; Yew logs heat well; But green elder logs it is a crime For anyone to sell-O For anyone to sell. Birch logs will burn too fast; Chestnut scarce at all; Hawthorn logs are good to last If cut in the fall. Holly logs will burn like wax, You should burn them green; Elm logs like smouldering flax, No flame to be seen-O No flame to be seen. Pear logs and apple logs, They will scent your room; Cherry logs across the dogs Smell like flowers in bloom, Ash logs all smooth and grey Burn them green or old, And buy up all that come your way They're worth their weight in gold-O They're worth their weight in gold.
7.
Pretty Saro 03:46
Pretty Saro Way down in the valley in some lonesome place I can think of no other pastime than to be with my love But she says she won’t have me and as I understand She wants some freeholder while I have no land If I were a merchant and could write some fine hand I would write my love a letter that she may understand And I’d send it by the river where the waters do flow And I’ll think on pretty Saro wherever I go. If I were a blackbird and had wings to fly Straight to my lover’s window there I would draw nigh And I’d lay there beside her my head on her breast And there til the morning would I take my rest Way down in the valley in some lonesome place I can think of no other pastime than to be with my love But she says she won’t have me and as I understand She wants some freeholder while I have no land traditional
8.
THE REBEL SOLDIER One morning, one morning, one morning in May I heard a poor soldier lamenting and say, I heard a poor soldier lamenting and mourn: I am a rebel soldier and far from my home. It's grape shot and musket and the cannons lumber loud There's many a mangled body, a blanket for a shroud There's many a mangled body left on the field alone. I am a rebel soldier and far from my home. I'll eat when I'm hungry and drink when I am dry. If the Yankees don't kill me I'll live until I die, If the Yankees don't kill me and cause me to mourn. I am a rebel soldier and far from my home. I'll build me a castle on some green mountain high Where the wild geese can see me as they do pass by, Where the wild geese can see me and hear my sad mourn: I am a rebel soldier and far from my home. traditional
9.
The Sheep Shearing How delightful to see in those evenings of Spring When the sheep are a-going to the fold The master do sing as he goes on his way And the dog goes before them when told, And the dog goes before them when told. The sixth month of the year in the month that’s called June When the weather's too hot to be borne The master do say as he goes on his way Tomorrow my sheep shall be shorn. Now as for those sheep they're delighful to see, They're a blessing to a man on his farm; It's the best of all food, for their flesh is good, And the wool it will clothe us up warm. Now the sheep they're all shorn and the wool carried home. Here's a health to our master and flock, And if we should stay till we all go away I'm afraid 'twill be past twelve o'clock. traditional
10.
Orange & Blue Words & music: Paul Clark Workmen and sound, orange and blue. Walls in red brick, ghosts passing through. High broken windows catching the sun, Bending, reflecting, can’t think it soon will be gone Once there was power, action and noise Fathers with skills, apprentice boys. But now they stand in uncertain light Knowing it’s going, feeling they’ve lost the fight Man and machine, partners in toil. Look intertwined, enmeshed and encoiled. Barbed wire now tangles people and gates, Sensing an ending, knowing it’s all too late.
11.
12.
The Foggy Dew When I was a bachelor, young and so bold, I followed a roving trade And the only harm that ever I done I courted a handsome maid. I wooed her all the summer time And a part of the winter too. And the only harm that ever I done Was to keep off the foggy dew. It was all on one night about twelve o' clock When I lay fast asleep. There came this maid to my bedside And bitterly she did weep. She wept, she moaned, she tore her hair And she cried, "What shall I do?" So all that night I held her tight Just to keep off the foggy dew. Now all of the first part of that night How we did sport and play. And all the second part of that night Snug in my arms she lay. And when the broad daylight did appear She cries, "I am undone!" Oh hush your noise you silly young girl, For the foggy dew have gone. And I never told nobody her name And damn me if I do. But many's the time I think of that night When I kept off the foggy dew. traditional
13.

about

This collection grew slowly over the space of three years, 2003-6. Though the songs were chosen separately, often because I liked the tune as much as the words, several recurrent themes emerged. Most obvious are the songs rooted in that pastoral life, now lost, which often pervades English folk song as collected a century ago. These songs exude a sense of place and unruffled continuity. In contrast, ‘The Rebel Soldier’ and Paul Clark’s two Wolverton songs tell of great personal and social upheaval. Then there are of course the songs of love, achingly unrequited or cheerfully carefree. Sheep farming seems to figure highly too.
Thanks to Robin Mackenzie for 'Pretty Saro' illustration.
Robin Mackenzie
Printmaker and Illustrator
robinmackenzie.co.uk

credits

released June 23, 2006

Kev plays acoustic and electric guitars, fiddle, mandolin, mandola, hammer dulcimer, harmonica, keyboards and programming.

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Kevin Adams Milton Keynes, UK

Blending traditional folk music with a love of other genres- classical, jazz, folk-rock, prog-rock, pop… music, music, music…

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