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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
GUEST,Mary Humphreys Lyr Req: cyril tawney's carpenter's wife (#243) (18) Lyr Add: CARPENTER'S WIFE (from Cyril Tawney) 23 Apr 04


Here is the transcription with the missing words filled in.
It is a superb version. Thanks Roberto for letting me hear the song.

CARPENTER'S WIFE       Cyril Tawney

Well met, well met, my own true love
Long time am I a-seeking of thee
I'm lately come from the salt, salt sea
And all for the sake, sweet love, of thee

I might have had a king's daughter
She would fain have married me
I not did care for her crown of gold
And all for the sake, sweet love, of thee

If you might have had a king's daughter
Then I think you are much to blame
I would not it were for a hundred pounds
That my husband should know the same

For my husband he is a carpenter
A carpenter good is he
By him I have gotten a little son
Or else I would go, sweet love, with thee

But if I should leave my husband dear
And my fair sweet little boy also
O what have you got so far away
That along with thee I should go?

I have seven ships that sail on the sea
O it was one brought me to land
I have mariners many to wait on thee
To be, sweet love, at thy command

A pair of slippers thou shalt have
And they are made of the beaten gold
They're lined within with coney skin   ( pronounced cooney here. It is an archaic word for rabbit)
To keep thy feet from the cold

A gilded boat thou also shall have
The oars they shall be gilded also
And the mariners they shall pipe and sing
As through the salt waves we go

They had not rowed a bowshot up            
A bowshot upon the main
But over her shoulder she looked back:
O I wish I was home again

They had not rowed a bowshot up
A bowshot from the land
And over her shoulder she looked and said:
O set me back on the yellow sand

For I have a child in my little chamber
And I think I can hear him cry
I would not, I would not my babe should wait
And his mother not be standing by

The captain he smiled and stroked his arm
And said No, this it may not be
Behind is the shore and the sea is before
And thou must go, sweet love, with me

She had not been long upon the sea
No, not long upon the deep
Before that she was a-wringing her hands
And loudly did she wail and weep

O why do you wail and whenfore weep
And wring your hands? then said he
Do you weep for the gold that is in the hold
Or do you weep for my fee?

I do not weep for your gold she said
No, nor yet do I weep for your fee
But by the masthead is my baby dead
And I weep, I weep for my dead baby

She had not a-been upon the seas
But days, they were three or four
And never a word she spoke nor stirred.
And she looked always towards the shore

She had not a-been upon the seas
But six days of the week
Before that she lay as cold as the clay
And never a word could she speak

They had not a-sailed upon the seas
Of weeks there were but three or four
But down to the bottom the ship did swim
And never was she heard of more

And when the news to England came
The carpenter's wife she was drowned
The carpenter rent his hair and wept
And then as dead he swound.      ( an archaic version of swooned)

Oh curse be on all sea captains
That lead such a Godless life
They will ruin a good ship's carpenter
His little one and his wife


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