the woman combed her yellow hair


fixed her dress and stepped into the street


behind her in the hotel room


maria turns the bed to change the sheets


suddenly a flash of light

C#M                                       E     B7

leaps out from inbetween the linen folds

E                                                  B7

maria slides her hand along the sheet still warm and finds the


fool’s gold


she steps up to the window

just in time to watch the woman drive away

her cell phone rings her boyfriend calls

to say the factory had no work today

she slips the ring upon her finger

– thinks: “my hands are starting to look old”

but still there’s something beautiful about the hand that wears the fool’s gold


E              B7            A               E            B7     E

fool’s gold fool’s gold  the hand that wears the fool’s gold


a woman sits with yellow hair

her husband asks her “where’s your wedding ring?”

“i must have lost it washing up

you know you can’t trust me with anything”

across town on a liar’s ring

maria swears to honour and to hold

bound to him by poverty and promises and fool’s gold













F                                                     C

you know i’m sorry for what i’ve done

F    F7                      Eb     Bb

you know it’s crazy what i’ve become

F                          C

without love your sweet love

Bb                             F

bring it back – back home to me


i’ll give you all i’ve got to give

if i can’t have you i don’t wanna live


i said some bad things i lost my mind

saw a life without you but i was blind


dew like diamonds on morning grass

now it’s just cold rain on broken glass































INTRO: D  /  A /  BM / G / D / A / G / D


G                 D

“how you doing now ?”

A                           D

the broken traveller cries

G                   D                     A

“we are the weak we are the wise

G                 D

where’ you going now ?

A                     BM

can i ride along with you?

G                     D                        A

temptation’s strong and we are few

BM              G             D               A

it’s the way of the faithful the path of the weak

BM           G                       D                   A

we sing or we pray cos we’re frightened to speak


G                   D

it’s the sound of hallelujahs

G                  D   A   D

it’s the sound of hallelu – u – jahs”


how you doing now?

i see you woke up in the dirt

no shoes and someone else’s shirt

you can talk to me

i see there’s trouble in your eyes

you’ve seen the young and hypnotised

and the road that they ride is a ribbon of dreams

and their world is as wide and as flat as their screens


are you listening now

as he sings his father’s song ?

the flesh too weak the tide too strong

see him sail away on the mississippi mud

tempted by fate or tainted blood

and the song that he sings is a hymn that will speak

to the ones who seek heroes in the lost and the weak








D / Dsus / D / A      BM / G / D / A


D                                Dsus                 D                A

silver wings from the blue crash and burn, cut in two

D                Dsus              D                 A

free to fly foreign shores free to die for your cause

D                   G                     D                A

born in grief raised in chains blind belief fear no pain

BM              G                D                 A

learn to fight learn to hate  life is war death is great

G                                                 D

the world is your enemy god is your king

G                                                      A

and if it’s his will you’ll destroy everything

G                                   BM                      G

you show no mercy for innocents pity or shame


sting dragon sting


D / Dsus / D / A      BM / G / D / A

dragonfly     –        dragonfly


is your faith so correct it requires no respect

for the good and the pure and the wrongs they endure

those who live and let live knowing life is to give?

they’ve a right to belong ride the bus sing their song


you crash into satellites blood on your wings

you’re jealous of sunlight and other god’s things

the sun shines for everyone peace is a blessing you earn

burn dragon burn

















INTRO:            F    /  F  /   C    / Bb

F                 F                           C   / Bb

it’s time to put your red dress on

F                   F              C  /  Bb

see how beautiful you are

F            F                      C  /  Bb

now the night is almost gone

F                   F              C  /  Bb

you will be my falling star

Bb                                 F

as the shadows turn to gold

Dm                                C

and our tears to falling rain

F                                 C

leave a promise i can hold

Bb       C                      F

until i hold you once again


i watch you brush your yellow hair

run your fingers through the sun

my body aches to touch you there

but time is short and you must run

i know that others see your face

the eyes and mouth that i adore

and wish that they could take my place

until i hold you close once more

Dm                      C                       Bb                              F             C

a mother’s arms are safe and sure a mother’s arms are soft and pure

Dm                        C                       Bb                          C            F

this kind of love no man will know i’ll still love you when you go


i know you’ve got your work to do

there’s broken hearts for you to mend

i know the pain that men go through

and those who only need a friend

and when you close that hotel door

what happens there i’ll never ask

i will only miss you more

Bb      C                         DM   C   Bb

until i hold you close at last

Bb       C                        F

until i hold you close at last




INTRO:                  A / BM / E / A


A                                                         BM

poor lizzie loved a highwayman she gave him all a young girl can

E                                            A

and in return he gave her widowhood


from the bell at hempstead born to trade


the butcher’s axe and the butcher’s blade

E                                                          A

and his childhood bride the picture made complete

A                                               BM

but lizzie’s mother understood that boy would come to nothing good


an apprenticeship in bone and blood

A                        E

won’t lead my girl to motherhood


D                                                A

but didn’t he look fine in church today

D                                  BM                          A                          E    A

in his buckled boots and his fustian coat and his feathers blue and grey


young richard joined the gregorys all essex boys the lowest thieves

they robbed both rich and poor for greed & gain

they broke into their homes at night regardless of their means or might

they’d rape or scald or set alight those poor souls who put up a fight


no honour bound those desperate men they shot both enemies and friends

they sold their souls for liberty and gold

and lizzie’s dreams of home gave way to cold nights in a forest cave

to a husband who she couldn’t keep who killed his friend and ran away


on a stolen coal black mare called bess they say

by a full moon’s arc he rode to york  200 miles away


with the bounty high he changed his name he poached the deer & the horse & game

and left his father to take the blame to gaol

til one day the landlord’s bird he blew the landlord cried “dick i know you”

and again the drunk his pistol drew crying “let me charge and i’ll shoot you too”




from his prison cell he sent a note to his brother and inside he wrote

“find men who’ll stand good witness to my name”

but he wouldn’t pay the postage due and the letter fell to one who knew

the writing of the one whose fame had brought the turpin house to shame


but didn’t he look fine in court today

in his buckled boots and his fustian coat and his feathers blue and grey


dick turpin paid 5 men to mourn in new coat & shoes stepped out at dawn

like a gentleman he bowed along the way

he stepped up to the hangman’s gate and felt his leg begin to shake

he stamped the fear and with his friend the hangman half an hour he spent

and with a proud and noble air he leapt from that 3 legged mare

and for a while he dangled free

his feathers kissed by morning air


but mother didn’t he swing well today

in his buckled boots and his fustian coat and his feathers blue and grey


they buried turpin’s body deep but when the town was fast asleep

the bodysnatchers stole his corpse away

an angry crowd, friends to his fame in preservation of his name

saved him from the butcher’s blade and laid to rest the highwayman

they gave his ring and handsome clothes away

and another woman’s tears fell on his feathers blue and grey


A                                         BM          E          A

poor lizzie loved a highwayman






















E / A / D / E / A / D


E                       A         D

last night she dreamed he was her valentine

E                     A                    D

blood roses bloomed on the edge of her bed

E                     A    D

she felt the sheets tighten around her waist

E                   A        D

as he leaned closer stroking her head


last night she dreamed she rose to meet his face

she felt his lips as they touched her skin

softly the rain tapped on the window pane

softly his arms gathered her in


E / B7 / A

don’t go


lonesome she wakes walking the kids to school

there on the newstand she looks in his eyes

“secret film found a soldier’s last moments”

for the price of a newspaper watch a man die


out on patrol shot by americans

a tragic mistake that no one expects

the pilot is named he came from idaho

retired with promotion his country regrets


last night she dreamed he was her valentine

blood roses bloomed as he sank to his knees

softly he cried “who needs an enemy

i should have listened when you called out to me..”


A                   A            D                              E

last night she dreamed he was her valentine










AND JESUS WEPT                   


G- AM7 / D-D / G-AM7 / D-D


G                 AM7      D         G           AM7       D

the moon is slowly sinking the final moon i’ll see

G               AM7      D          G                    AM7  D

my head is tired of thinking there’s just the rosary

C                            BM                AM7                   D

an empty place at  table and my mother’s eyes are wet

G                 AM7          F              C

the hand of god came down last night

D                G –  AM7 / D-D / G-AM7 / D-D

and jesus wept


if i’d been a captain they would have sent me home

but i am just a private condemned to die alone

the firing squad’s been drinking it’s a dawn they won’t forget

the hand of god came down last night and jesus wept

C                    BM                      D

sound the drum for their young precious years

C               BM             AM   BM           C  /  C /  D  /  D

but no glory will shine on my poor mother’s tears


a soldier’s good for fighting that’s what my father said

and if the man’s not fighting he might as well be dead

shame has drawn the curtains and the neighbours won’t forget

the hand of god came down last night and jesus wept


i got the shakes on tuesday i cannot go i said

they sent me down on wednesday by thursday i was dead

i fought for king and country 2 years without regret

the hand of god came down last night and jesus wept


we all fall in the cause of the free

when the sun sets on england will you think of me?


In unmarked graves in flanders lie 300 boys and men

killed un-loved and frightened by those they thought were friends

a nation’s guilty secret is this generation’s debt

the hand of god came down last night

EM  –  A7

and jesus wept

G                  AM7         F             C       D             G

the hand of god came down last night and  jesus wept




E  /  Esus  /  E  /  A  /


E                              Esus              E  /  A

one man singing in empty space

E                                                   B7

he sings of love and god’s sweet grace

E                           Esus      E  /  B7

a better life and a better place

C#M                    A           E / E sus / E / A

where no man sings in empty space


two men singing for company

like boats adrift on the loneliest sea

drawn by the light and the harmony

singing a song that will make men free


3 men singing at my front door

songs of freedom and songs of war

i clap my hands and i cry for more

we’ll sing you a song if you’ll make us four


E                       A     E

sing away for maria

B7              A         E

sing away in the wilderness

B7                         C#M

sing away sweet and clear

E                   B7              C#M  B7/E / Esus / E /  A

sing away – hey hey– sing away


one man singing beneath the sun

he sings the tears of the motherless son

drawn to the light and the chosen one

one man singing for everyone















F                              Bb                 F                            Bb

martha went down to the well to where her love lay sleeping

F                         Bb                          F                                     Bb

his coat was torn his skin was pale his face was stained from weeping

C                             F                                                       Bb

she woke him up with a tender kiss and asked why he was grieving

F                   C       F      Bb        DM              Bb

he said “They’ll never let us be and so i must be leaving

C                            F

for your true love i’m leaving”


“oh tell me love why you must go what have i done to hurt you?

what is it here that grieves you so and why can’t my love hold you ?”

he closed his eyes and he saw his father’s face so red from screaming

“ that working girl won’t be your wife that’s just a poet’s dreaming

and a young girl’s idle scheming”


she walked him home and on the way his sister she lay waiting

“you callous boy – you selfish boy your mother’s heart is breaking”

to martha then she raised her hand saying “you must go and leave him

he’s the apple of his father’s eye and you are far beneath him

go stupid girl and leave him “


all that night he stayed away and six nights more was missing

they found him on the windswept moor death’s icy hands around him

they brought him to his father’s house on silken sheets they laid him

and with his failing breath he prayed for martha to come see him

and death’s cold hands to free him


then martha uninvited came to where her love was lying

an orange for his milk white skin and comfort in his dying

his sister sat at his death bed and would not let her near him

but with his final breath he sighed “i’ll hold you close come evening”

and only she could hear him.


she stumbled through the empty streets and heard the death bell tolling

weak with fear and blind with grief she gave in to the falling

a passing stranger caught her there “i hear death’s angel calling

and life by grief is freed from me and my poor heart is broken

since my sweet love was taken”







martha went down to the well to where her love lay sleeping

his coat was torn his skin was pale and she lay down beside him

in bowes churchyard on a stone their names obscured by weather

where love and death has bound them so they lay at last together

their true love sealed forever


( I play this in DADGAD tuning with a capo on the 3rd fret)











































EM                                      G                        D                         A

the wind blew through the chapel door the priest lay sleeping still

EM                                    G                          D                   A

his prayer book stained with whisky lay where his last bottle spilled

EM                            G                      D                     A

the coloured glass threw red and yellow patches on his skin

C                     G                           D                        A

yellow for the tears of christ and blood red for his sin


temptation’s vandals left their mark inside the sleeping man

toxic dreams like poison spread across his inner land

a traveller passing saw his light funereal and dim

and like a ghost returns to where he died he wandered in


‘wake up priest’ the traveller cried ‘i am a hungry man

i rode a hundred miles today this god-forsaken land

bring me bread and bring me wine i see the whisky’s done’

the priest threw out a trembling hand and bid the stranger gone


‘i will not leave’ the traveller cried ‘i have returned to you

do you not know your altar boy some 30 summers through ?

you gave me faith you touched my lips you soothed my bloodshot eyes

and now i’m back a broken man to talk of truth and lies’


‘no neither one you’ll get from me’ he gurgled in his tweed

‘i need a drink’ the curate rasped ‘i don’t know what you need

what faith i had is broken now my dreams are drowned in wine

and as for truth that bitter fruit lies withered on the vine’


D                                   G                       A                        D

the traveller shook the ragged man the dust and fleas dispersed

D                          G                      A                              D

‘you mean my life has been a lie and with your blessing cursed?

G                                D                            G                           D

and those i’ve loved have been deceived my father’s hopes my mothers’ fears

G                   D                          G                         D

the faith of lovers ill-conceived my brother’s bruises undeserved

G                            D                 G                      D

dreams all built on drifting sand visions cast on broken wings

A                           D                          G                     BM              A

how can a young child understand when magic dies and time’s bell rings’ ?






the stranger squeezed the fragile priest until his face turned red

‘what is the point in your dull life if all belief is dead’ ?

‘no point at all’ the priest said ‘life’s as futile as you think

if i can’t provide the answers and you can’t provide the drink’


the wind blew through the chapel where the priest was lying still

down the road a stranger ran his face ashen and ill

above the door he’d carved these words ‘consider this a sign

break the bread, heed the word but beware the holy wine’















































i will sleep tonight in a stranger’s bed

B7                                 E

i will lay my head where a stranger’s head


never heard your voice or the words you said

B7                                E

and i wish i was with you again

A                                               E

goodnight you birmingham ladies

A                                              B7

and goodnight you birmingham men

A                                         E

i remember so well how we danced til we fell

E                 B7             E

will we sing all the sad songs again


in a seaside town we talked all night

i kissed your face you held me tight

and you said everything would turn out alright

and i wish i was with you again


with fools and magnificent failures

our old unreliable friends

i remember so well how we danced til we fell

will we sing all the sad songs again


the sunlight flies through the passing trees

i wish you were riding this train with me

when i close my eyes it’s your face i see

and i wish i was with you again


goodnight you birmingham ladies

and goodnight you birmingham men

the toreador is sleeping next door

and the bullring is silent again












EM                    EM              D           A         D

william says to mary we’re strangers in our land

G                     G         D                  A

mary says to william will i understand

G                     EM                D                                   G

but what about the children we’ll give them what they need

D               EM   F#M             G             D             A          G

give them truth clothes and shoes and something good to eat


through the fens in darkness from boston they set sail

2 miles out at scotia creek the expedition failed

the english captain robbed them and turned the ship around

and working for the king’s own coin the catchpole took them down


mary took the children patience love and fear

she bore them to god’s calling god didn’t call them here

she’d take them to the new world a new life waited there

with passage on the mayflower william turned to prayer


A                            A       G                 D      A                G    A

oh say can’t you see by dawn’s holy light dreams of america

A                                 G                       D          A                Bm – A G

innocent pilgrims are drawn from the night to dreams of ameri –    ca


of those who sailed from devon’s shore barely half survived

from disease and deprivation and broken hearts they died

leaving just four women to fifty youths and men

but william slept with no regret said he’d do it all again


after seven years of hardship mary had passed on

patience was a weak child she’d follow before long

love & fear bore children and william held them dear

his legacy that man be free lived on in love and fear.


they sailed by the moon the first giant leap dreams of america

on star spangled oceans to faith’s righteous sleep dreams of america


ENGLAND GREEN & ENGLAND GREY                C  (G5)



C                                G                      C                       G

England green and England grey Look out on a summers day

Am                              F            F

To all things bright and fair and gay

C                               G     C

To my home my love my England


C     F           G     C                F                   G           G

I believe in dignity rich or poor we’re all born free

Am             F            C                                    G

Austerity and slavery I thought they were behind us

C             F                 G  C                      G

I don’t believe the BBC monarchy or anarchy

Am                        F                       C                     G    C

Or an empire built on piracy by our history you’ll find us


For years our women had no say no right to work or equal pay

God help the crippled and the gay the fragile flowers of England

Shut the factories shut the mines punish those fell on hard times

While they honour them who do the crimes the greedy men of England


How can a man respect a man who steals his house and sells his land

And takes the wages from his hand to pay his own expenses

The NHS our England’s jewel is bartered by Westminster’s fool

To justify his public school and military defences


Sing the songs of old John Bull Cecil Sharp and John and Paul

Come English folk come one and all to the sweet songs of our England

Take my hand and walk with me down the back roads to the sea

In spite of all we’ll both agree there is none so sweet as England







LOVESICK JOHNNY                       E (Dulcimer)
Sally you’re the one i love
Sally you’re the one i love

Where did you stay last night
Where did you stay last night   Sally my love

I went down to the Sailor’s Bar
I went down to the Sailor’s Bar   Johnny Johnny
I thought I’d find you there   handsome Johnny
I thought I’d find you there   Johnny my love

I was drinking in the Port Hotel
I was drinking in the Port Hotel   Sally Sally
The captain’s man was there   drinking talking
The Captains man was there  talking bout his new love


Johnny, you’re the one I love   Johnny, Johnny
Johnny you’re the one I love    Handsome Johnny
I’m not the captain’s girl           my sweet Johnny
Or the girl his man spoke of,  I did not, stay with him


Sally don’t you hide from me,  Sally sally
Sally don’t you hide from me   cruel sally
I’ll shoot the man behind your door I’l shoot, my captain
I’ll shoot the man behind your door Sally you’ll be my love


Johnny, why are you so cruel  Johnny Johnny 
Johnny why are you so cruel  Johnny Johnny
To shoot me through the wooden door  Silent, deadly
To shoot me through the wooden door  Johnny, my love 


The captain’s man comes in “They’re hanging Johnny”

The Captain’s man comes in “Lovesick Johnny”

The Captain says “poor girl, poor sweet Sally”

And pours himself a drink His arms round his new love





SAILOR GO DOWN              F  (Tenor 3- Gtr C5)


Go down go down you restless boy

Go down into these arms

She’ll hold you like a child at night

Or like a ship becalmed

Lay down and sleep where seamen sleep

One eye on those above

While safe beneath the secret sea

In her redeeming love


Go down go down you restless boy

Into the flesh of night

Where all are scared but no one cares

And only love is right

Lay down among the pleasure boats

Their silk embroidered sails

And leave the priests their righteous peace

And martyrs with their nails


Sailor go down  Sailor go down


Go down go down you restless boy

And leave behind your fear

On bended knees the angels please

There’s no unkindness here

Lay down with her where heroes lay

The queen of broken things

Your wisdom is your weakness now

Oh give your weakness wings











THE BAND PLAYED ‘SWEET MARIE’                            (dadgad 5)


G                    D         G   C       G                             D

I bought my love a violin so he could play for me

G                    D         G    C      G                                      D           G

I bought my love a violin to calm the waves of the stormy sea

G            C              D            Em            G                         D

Though he’d be gone the longest time he’d return again to me

G         D            G           C

And every note my darling played

G                            D              G

Took further away my love from me


My name’s Maria Robinson he called me Sweet Marie

And that’s the song that all night long my darling boy would play to me

All through that long remembered night I heard that melody

And the notes he played while the few were saved

Took further away my love from me


That ship went down to the mournful sound

Of my sweetheart’s violin

With no safety vest he strapped to his chest the case he’d placed it gently in

And the icy water froze his breath but it never froze his heart

By the song he played a pact was made

That my love and I would never part


I bought my love a violin so he could play for me

I bought my love a violin to calm the waves of a stormy sea

There are those who say Wallace Hartley played

‘Nearer my God to thee’

But our souls were bound as that great boat went down

And in my heart the band played ‘Sweet Marie’








FLORA SANDES                                Dm  (Am5)


She was born to God’s disciple she was born to hold a rifle

She taught herself to fight while all the other girls played mum

Learned to ride and learned to drive fix a wound and stay alive

How to use a sword and how to shoot a gun


When the war broke in the east she begged her father to release her

To a front line nurse’s station in North Albania

He said ‘women are created to give life and men to take it

So care for and repair them and remember who you are’

She strapped a soldier’s tunic round her charms

She said ‘let the girls bear armies I’ll bear arms’



Flora Sandes Flora Sandes Wasn’t born a fighting man

But God help the man who finds himself At war with Flora Sandes


Drawing close she heard the rattle of the angry guns of battle

She begged her captain free her to the raging heart of war

He said ‘there is a way but you must swear an oath today

That you will love no man completely Give your body to your country

And wear the clothes that other soldiers wore’

And flora smiled sweetly and she swore


To her a woman’s life was boredom only fighting brought her freedom

Her lethal independence craved the brotherhood of men

Between killing them she healed them later married and concealed them

But their annihalation was her greatest pleasure then

She took comfort in their silence and their moans

Only then she knew she’d brought death’s victory home


She fought hand to hand with men winning time and time again

Til an enemy grenade cut her down – cut her down

She was honoured and promoted for her injuries deported

And her doctors tried to lead her to a woman’s life again

She said ‘I never came this far to lose

And I will be a woman when I choose’


She died at home among the flowers in the quiet English hours

The soft hands of a woman lay still upon her chest

Hands that killed and mutilated lie content and compensated

It was a woman that they buried and a woman laid to rest

But as she breathed her last she felt the joy

Remembering when she was a boy




Waiting in line for the rain gathering pieces of blue

Frightened of cars and there’s too many stars

And I’m counting my footsteps to you


Somebody loved me ok I’m searching my mind to find who

So send me to bed if I lied when I said

That I’d always remember you


Mary I don’t know my age anymore   My Mother says I’m 104

Listen to me, leave me alone Mary I can’t find my way home


Everything’s in the wrong place everything’s broken in two

I’ll start the repair when I find out just where

And I’m counting my footsteps to you


This place is just like a hotel or a prison sometimes I’m not sure

For my postal address try ‘Just Sleeping’ I guess

Or the weeping behind any door


Mary I’m lost and there’s enemies near

Speaking in voices I don’t want to hear

Listen to me, leave me alone Mary I can’t find my way home


Loved ones and friends come and go

like the sun and the moon fade from view

I pray the sun sets and I never forget

Who I’m counting my footsteps to


I’ve come here from so far away and my poor brain is broken in two

But the scent of your hair sometimes hangs in the air

And I’m counting my footsteps to you








THEY CHANGED HER MIND            Cm (Am3)


Cm                                                      Ab

You closed the suitcase and you waited for the bus

Cm                                              Bb

To take you from this place away from all of us

Cm                                                                   Ab

They said you would be better and they said you’d be ok

Cm                                                      Bb            Bb7        Cm

Just read and sign the letter they’re taking you away today

There’s pictures of your mother and there’s pictures of your sister

There’s nothing of your father but you want nothing of him

There’s pictures of your brother and his watch and medication

He wanted you to have to stop the devil getting in



Eb                  Cm              Ab           Bb

She got the shakes her love was wrong

Eb                          Cm         Ab           Bb

She grieved her stillborn child too long

Eb                         Cm              Ab                       Bb

They locked her up to see what they could find

Eb Ab Bb

They changed her mind


There’s flowers from your wedding made of cloth and made of paper

You thought they wouldn’t last but they outlasted any love

There’s perfume for the morning and there’s perfume for later

Something special for a Sunday and some wisdom from above


“Take some writing paper you could be there for some weeks

In no time you’ll be better you’re not like those other freaks”

That was 1927 now it’s 1958

And she is just a number upon a nameless grave




Sometimes in the name of kindness man lets the devil loose

Is ignorance or blindness an  acceptable excuse?

Remember the forgotten remember the condemned

Another time, free of crime you could be damned like them




A                    E              D             E

We used to go out in our town

A                          E     D                          E

We’d go to the pub til the pub shut down

A                               E          D                      E

They smashed the piano no money for bands

A              E                   D                                    E

Karaoke led the way, the bland leading the bland


We used to go out in our town

But the halls are quiet now shows don’t come ‘round

we ran the bar the place was full, council paid the fees

But corporate greed with slash and burn brought our culture to its knees


A                     D    A      E   A                  D    A       F#m   E

CHORUS)      What would William say if he could see England today?

A                     D    A      E    A                  D    A        E            F#m   A   A   E

What would William say, what would William Morris say?

                           A                   D    A                                         E

Hark, the wind in the elm-boughs! from London it blows,

A                D        A                                 E
And tells us of gold, and of hope and unrest;

A                   D       A                                  E
Of power that helps not; of wisdom that knows,

A                    D                    E                       A
But teaches not aught of the worst and the best.


We used to see farms from our town

But now it’s all warehouse, industrial ground

Radio screams fill the air their lame electric lungs

And liars all spit politics with poison on their tongues .   RPT CHORUS


The wind bears the message: “Rise up on the morrow
And go on your ways toward the doubt and the strife;
Join hope to our hope and blend sorrow with sorrow,
And seek for men’s love in the short days of life.”

Come back to the inn, love, the lights and the fire,
And the fiddler’s old tune and the shuffling of feet;
For there in a while shall be rest and desire,
And there shall tomorrow’s uprising be sweet.



She slips through the doorway

Away from the crowds down the stairs – she steals through the night

Just a plain looking woman

Concealed in her coat and her cares – pursuing her right


In a tangle of corridors

Furtively turning the locks – the day growing dim

Footsteps in the distance

She hears the men coming her way – the last door gives in


There in the dark with the mops and the brooms

She opens her handkerchief makes herself room

A small piece of bread and a small piece of cheese

And a jar filled with water between her knees

By the light of a candle she reads a small book

and she waits – and she waits


On the third day of April

Nineteen eleven she woke – and she gave her address

‘These houses of commons

houses of men and now me’ – she smoothed down her dress


‘I’m not asking for favours

Just claiming what’s rightfully mine’ – she cried to the world

‘To rebel against tyrants

Is to show your allegiance to god’ – she cried as she fell


A hundred years later he slips down the stairs

And he senses her purpose he breathes in her air

He’s made her a sign which he nails to the door

He knows the equality Emily gave her life for

He lights a small candle to honour her name

And he waits – and he waits






SING TO ME A WORKING WEEK     (Mayday 2014)    D (C2)


Come sit by me you working men and play a song to soothe me

This place is full of bleating sheep and none the power to move me

They sing of lives unknown to me like pages from a diary

Like hot air and dry bones to me and nothing to inspire me


And sing to me a working week

To Friday from a Monday

And what you don’t sing Saturday night

Sing to me on Sunday


Come travelling man and sit by me and sing your song of sorrow

We may not get the chance again you might be gone tomorrow

Come singing girls raise up your voice and set the spring trees ringing

Let those who’ve lost the skill to hear be woken by your singing


Come sit by me you working man and sing me of your labour

Office farm or factory and the trials of your neighbour

Tell me how you earn your crust and how you gain your pleasure

Who you cherish who you trust and those you love and treasure


Come sit by me you rambling girl and bring your rambling brother

And talk to me of family and the man who loved your mother

And like the bird sweetens the air sweeten my night with honey

Your beauty and your history are more to me than money


Don’t chase the lightning flash of fame it’s the light of angels dying

And the song you sing that’s not your own is the sound of angels crying

And sit beside the fire with me and sing to all your story

A song that fills the air with truth, your small and perfect glory.










RIVER RAIL AND ROAD         (C4 – E)


I’m going down the station getting on a train

I don’t care where it’s going I won’t see this town again


There’s nothing here to keep me now that my love has gone

Like the heavy clouds above me I’ll soon be moving on


She took the moonlight from me put the stars out one by one

Shut the light of hope inside me and then she took the sun


So I’ll go where none can find me and my name nobody knows

My future laid in ribbons of river rail and road


CHORUS       River rail and road, river rail and road

                      Where my future lies in ribbons of river rail and road


My love was like the morning’s sweet promise of the day

And the cool embrace of evening that soothed my cares away


Now the hours hold nothing for me the light just comes and goes

My future laid in ribbons  of river rail and road




No unkind words were spoken there were no such words to say

She just said I love another and I have to go away


Was I careless was I foolish or did I reap the seeds I sowed?

Now my future lies in ribbons of river rail and road












I hear your voice in love songs and a distant midnight train

When the owl calls in the moonlight I hear your voice again

The barmaid’s unfamiliar and the barflies’ lost in time

And I’ll be there to love you in the morning


There’s a picture of an actress and her hair’s a lot like yours

And the woman in the corner wears a dress like you once wore

The clock ticks into Sunday but no one seems to care

And I’ll be there to love you when there’s no one there


I know you’ve heard those lines before

But this time love it’s true

There’s nothing here can stop me

Bringing all my love back home to you


Three hundred miles between us and there’s snowstorms down the line

I killed that car a hundred times it came back ninety nine

I know I’ve let you down before but I’m coming through this time

And I’ll be there to love you in the morning


Just one more night without you

Just one night til you are mine

I’ll be there to love you in the morning time.




Reg Meuross Singer Songwriter Storyteller