52 Folk Songs: white

by Phil Edwards

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    Includes two album-only bonus tracks - the Moving On song and On Ilkley Moor Baht 'At - as well as full lyrics, notes and artwork.
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1.
I sing of a maiden that is matchless: King of all kings for her son she chose. He came so still where his mother was As dew in April that falls on the grass. He came so still to his mother's bower As dew in April that falls on the flower. He came so still where his mother lay As dew in April that falls on the spray. Mother and maiden was never none but she: Well may such a lady God's mother be!
2.
O the holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown, Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly she bears the crown. - O the rising of the sun and the running of the deer, The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir. O the holly she bears a blossom as white as any flower, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to be our sweet saviour O the holly she bears a berry as red as any blood, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ to do poor sinners good. O the holly she bears a prickle as sharp as any thorn, And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ on Christmas Day in the morn. - O the rising of the sun and the running of the deer, The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.
3.
Shepherds arise, be not afraid With hasty steps repair To David's city, sin on earth With our blest infant there - Sing, sing, all earth, eternal praises sing To our Redeemer and our heavenly King. Laid in a manger view the child Humility divine, Sweet innocence so meek and mild. Grace in his features shines For us the Saviour came on earth For us his life he gave, To save us from eternal death And to raise us from the grave - Sing, sing, all earth, eternal praises sing To our Redeemer and our heavenly King.
4.
A virgin most pure, as the prophets do tell, Hath brought forth a baby, as it hath befell, To be our Redeemer from death, hell and sin, Which Adam's transgression hath wrapped us in. - Aye, and therefore be merry, rejoice and be merry, Set sorrows aside! Christ Jesus our Saviour was born on this tide. In Bethlehem in Jewry a city there was, Where Joseph and Mary together did pass, And there to be taxed with many a one more, For Caesar commanded the same should be so. But when they had entered the city so fair, The number of people so mighty was there That Joseph and Mary, whose means were but small, Could find in the inn there no lodging at all. So they were constrained in a stable to lie, Where horses and asses they used for to tie; But this humble lodging they thought it no scorn And against the next morning our Saviour was born. The king of all kings to this world being brought, Small store of fine linen to wrap him was sought; And when she had swaddled her young son so sweet, All in an ox's manger she laid him to sleep. - Aye, and therefore be merry, rejoice and be merry, Set sorrows aside! Christ Jesus our Saviour was born on this tide.
5.
On Christmas Day it happened so Down in those meadows for to plough, As he was ploughing all on so fast Up came sweet Jesus himself at last. “O man, O man, what makes thee plough So hard upon the Lord's birthday?” The farmer answered him with great speed, “For the plough this day I have great need.” His arms did quiver to and fro, His arms did quiver, he could not plough. The ground did open and take him in Before he could repent his sin. His wife and children are out of place, His beasts and cattle they die away. His beasts and cattle they are all lost For the breaking of Our Lord's birthday.
6.
Oh, it is a poor old horse that's come knocking at your door, And if you please to let me in I'll please you well, I'm sure; But my legs have grown so old from running so many a mile, Over hedges, over ditches, over fancy gates and stiles, Poor old horse. Once I was a young horse and in me youthful pride, Me master used to ride on me and thought me very fine. But now I've grown so old, my nature does decay, My master he looks down on me and this I've heard him say, Poor old horse. Once all my feeding was the best of corn and hay That ever in the fields did grow or in the meadows gay; But now I've grown so old and scarcely can I crawl, I'm forced to snap at the shortest grass that grows along the wall, Poor old horse. Once all in in the stable I was kept so fine and warm, To keep my limbs from aching and to spare me from the storm But now I've grown so old, to the fields I have to go, To face any kind of weather, be it rain or frost or snow. Poor old horse. Oh you've eaten all my hay and you spoiled all my straw, You're neither fit to ride upon nor are you fit to draw, You are old, you are cold, you are lazy, dull and slow, So he'll hang him, whip him, stick him, to the huntsman let him go, Poor old horse. My hide to the huntsman so freely will I give, And my body to the hounds - I’m sure I’d rather die than live, And bury my old bones under yonder ground Never more to be spoken of in all the country round. Poor old horse. The man who shod this horse, sir, He was no use at all, He used to worry the blacksmith, Hammer and nails and all.
7.
Come, love, carolling along in me ! Come, love, carolling along in me! All the while, wherever I may be, I carry the maker of the world in me. Lifting and loving you that I am not, Though your body is my bone and blood, I wonder at the maker who can be Before I am and yet a child of me. I lift and I carry you to Bethlehem, I lift and I carry you to Galilee. I'll carry you wherever I may be, I carry the maker of the world in me. In the beginning you were there, I know, And you will carry me wherever I go. I'll carry you wherever I may be, I carry the maker of the world in me. Come, love, carolling along in me ! Come, love, carolling along in me! All the while, wherever I may be, I carry the maker of the world in me.
8.
The boar's head in hand bear I, Bedecked with bays and rosemary ; And I pray you, my masters, be merry, Quot estis in convivio. - Caput apri defero Reddens laudes Domino. The boar's head, as I understand, Is the rarest dish in all this land, Which thus bedecked with a gay garland Let us servire cantico. Our steward hath provided this In honour of the King of Bliss, Which on this day to be served is In reginensi atrio.
9.
02:49
Gaudete, gaudete Christus est natus Ex Maria virgine Gaudete Tempus adest gratiae hoc quod optabamus Carmina laetitiae devote reddamus. Deus homo factus est natura mirante, Mundus renovatus est a Christo regnante. Ezechielis porta clausa pertransitur Unde lux est orta salus invenitur. Ergo nostra contio psallat iam in lustro, Benedicat domino salus regi nostro. Gaudete, gaudete Christus est natus Ex Maria virgine Gaudete
10.
01:26
Joy, health, love and peace Be all here in this place By your leave we will sing Concerning our King. Our King is well dressed In silks of the best In ribbons so rare No king can compare. We have traveled many miles Over hedges and stiles In search of our King Who unto you we bring. We have powder and shot To conquer the lot We have cannon and ball To conquer them all. Old Christmas is past Twelfth Night is the last And we bid you adieu Great joy to the new.
11.
It was in the month of January, the hills all clad with snow, It was over hills and valleys my true love he did go. It was there I met a fair young maid with a salt tear in her eye, She held a baby in her arms and bitter she did cry. “Oh, cruel was my father to bar the door to me, And cruel was my mother, that dreadful crime to see. Cruel was my own true love that he changed his mind for gold, And cruel was that winter's night that pierced my heart with cold.” For the taller that the palm tree grows, oh, the sweeter is the bark, And the fairer that a young man speaks, oh, the falser is his heart. Oh, he'll kiss you and embrace you till your favour he has won; Then he'll go away and leave you all for some other one. So come all you pretty fair maids, and a warning take by me, Never try and build your nest at the top of a high tree, For the green leaves they will wither and the branches all decay And the beauty of a false young man must all soon fade away.
12.
The January man he walks abroad In woollen coat and boots of leather The February man still shakes the snow From off his hair and blows his hands The man of March he sees the Spring and Wonders what the year will bring And hopes for better weather Through April rains the man goes down To watch the birds come in to share the summer The man of May stands very still Watching the children dance away the day In June the man inside the man is young And wants to lend a hand And grins at each new comer And in July the man in cotton shirt He sits and thinks on being idle The August man in thousands takes the road To watch the sea and find the sun September man is standing near To saddle up and lead the year And Autumn is his bridle The man of new October takes the reins And early frost is on his shoulder The poor November man sees fire and wind And mist and rain and Winter air December man looks through the snow To let eleven brothers know They're all a little older And the January man comes round again In woollen coat and boots of leather To take another turn and walk along The icy road he knows so well The January man is here for Starting each and every year Along the road for ever

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Now available for download. The 52 folk songs: white album contains over 42 minutes of music over 14 tracks, including two 'hidden' album-only tracks: On Ilkley Moor Baht 'At and The Moving On Song.

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released December 5, 2011

Phil Edwards: vocals, flute, recorder, whistles (D, G and C), melodica, reed organ, drumming, English concertina (track 12)

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Phil Edwards Manchester, UK

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