Waiting For The Word

by Kev Adams

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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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Kev 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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Track Name: Artesian Water
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.
Track Name: Sally My Dear
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
Track Name: The Wandering Shepherdess
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
Track Name: It's Dirty, It'sDusty
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.
Track Name: Logs To Burn
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.
Track Name: Pretty Saro
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
Track Name: The Rebel Soldier
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
Track Name: Sheep Shearing
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
Track Name: Orange and Blue
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.
Track Name: The Foggy Dew
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