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The Weaver's Bonny
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  • Morning Song
  • The Devil's Nine Questions
  • Hangman's Reel
  • Adieu, My Lovely Nancy
  • Two Crows
  • The Angel's Part
  • Kevin Doyle's Hornpipe
  • Anachie Gordon
  • Thousand Mile Blues
  • Gypsy Johnny
  • Going to the West
  • As I Roved Out
  • The Wagoner's Lad
  • See that My Grave is Kept Clean
  • Kentucky Waltz
  • Syncopate!


Morning Song

Words and music by Daniel Dutton of Somerset, Kentucky; www.dandutton.com ©1994 by Dan Dutton.
Aubrey Atwater: guitar, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: vocals, whisper
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin
Kevin Doyle: brushes
Heidi Cerrigione: autoharp, vocals
John Cerrigione: bass
Uriah Donnelly: piano

 This remarkable song was written nearly in an instant one morning when Dan was traveling in the desert of Utah.  He'd gotten up early to watch the sunrise and the song was born.  Morning Song is part of one of his magnificent folk operas, The Road.)

Here it comes, big red sunball rising
Hail, hail to the morning
Let the song of joy awaken the sleeping land
Through the shadows dawn comes streaming
The early birds begin their singing
And the dew upon the webs of light
Quivers cool and sweet

Chorus: Sun, I pray, let my life begin today
I promise I will go with beauty around me
Dark nights and cloudy sorrows
Return at last to the sunny skies of love

Troubled dreams, fold your wings and vanish
All the fears, fade and pass
You told your heart, there is no answer
Lies...cannot hide...
Time is a gift, receive it grateful

The Devil's Nine Questions
Traditional. Child Ballad #1, also known as "Riddles Wisely Expounded."
Aubrey Atwater: guitar, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, vocals
Kevin Doyle: djembe

One of a category of ancient songs that deal with riddles, such as "I Gave My Love a Cherry" and "Scarborough Fair."  In this type of song, a child or young woman outwits the devil by answering questions correctly.  We chose "The Weaver's Bonny" as the title of our album not only because of the beauty of the words but because of their ambiguity: the weaver's bonny could be interpreted as the weaver's girlfriend or as God's favorite or…you decide!

You must answer my questions nine, sing ninety-nine and ninety
Or you're not God's, you're one of mine, you're the weaver's bonny

If you don't answer my questions nine, sing ninety-nine and ninety
I'll take you off to hell alive, you're the weaver's bonny

What is softer than the silk, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And what is whiter than the milk, you're the weaver's bonny

Down is softer than the silk, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And snow is whiter than the milk, I'm the weaver's bonny

What is louder than a horn, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And what is sharper than a thorn, you're the weaver's bonny

Thunder is louder than a horn, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And hunger is sharper than a thorn, I'm the weaver's bonny

What is higher than a tree, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And what is deeper than the sea, you're the weaver's bonny

Heaven is higher than a tree, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And hell is deeper than the sea, I'm the weaver's bonny

What's more innocent than a lamb, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And what is meaner than womankind, you're the weaver's bonny

A babe's more innocent than a lamb, sing ninety-nine and ninety
And the devil is meaner than womankind, I'm the weaver's bonny

You have answered my questions nine, sing ninety-nine and ninety
You are God's, you're not one of mine, you're the weaver's bonny

Hangman's Reel
Traditional French Canadian
Aubrey Atwater: banjo, clogging, tin whistle
Elwood Donnelly: harmonica
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin
Heidi Cerrigione: hammered dulcimer
John Cerrigione: bass
Alex Krepkikh: guitar

Adieu, my Lovely Nancy
Traditional, from the singing of Bertha Lauderdale, Fayetteville, Arkansas, and Julie Henigan
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Aubrey Atwater: tin whistle
Cathy Clasper-Torch: cello


Adieu, my lovely Nancy,
Ten thousand times adieu,
I'll be thinking of my own true love,
I'll be thinking dear of you

Will you change a ring with me, my love,
Will you change a ring with me?
It will be a token of our love
When I am far at sea

When I am far away from home
And you know not where I am,
Love letters I will write to you
From every foreign strand

When the farmer boys return at night,
They will tell their girls fine tales
Of all that they've been doing
All day out in the fields

Of the wheat and hay that they've cut down,
Sure, it's all that they can do,
While we poor jolly, jolly hearts of oak
Must plough the seas all through

And when we return again, my love,
To our own dear native shore,
Fine stories we will tell to you,
How we ploughed the oceans o'er

And we'll make the alehouses to ring,
And the taverns they will roar,
And when our money it is all gone,
Sure, we'll go to sea for more

Two Crows
Traditional. Child Ballad #26.  New melody and chords by Daniel Dutton. www.dandutton.com
Aubrey Atwater: guitar, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: bodhran, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin
Uriah Donnelly: piano
Alex Krepkikh: vocals at the end


As I walked under an old oak tree
I heard two crows as black as can be
One crow to the other did say,
Where shall we go and dine today?

Out behind the old turf dike
I know there lies a new slain knight
No one knows that he lies there
But his hawk and his hound and his lady fair

His hound has a-hunting gone
His hawk is bringing the wild fowl home
His lady's taken another mate
So sweet our dinner we can make

You sit on his neck so white
And I'll pick out his bonny blue eyes
We'll pull out locks of his golden hair
To thatch our nest when it grows bare-o

Many a-one for him may moan
But they'll never know where he has gone
Or his bones when they are bare
The wind will blow forever there

The Angel's Part
Words and music by Daniel Dutton, www.dandutton.com.  ©1998 by Dan Dutton
Aubrey Atwater: mountain dulcimer, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: cello, vocals
Kevin Doyle: chimes

Based on the true story of Dan's mother, Cebah who longed for the part of the angel in the school play throughout her childhood in rural Kentucky.  Every year, the play in the one-room schoolhouse came and went and Cebah never got the part.  Now, in her eighties, she mentions it still. One year, after hearing the story yet again, Dan disappeared into his studio and came back with this exquisite song.

Fairies haste to an orphan girl
Refused the angel's part in a winter play
How she dreamed
No one could see

Mortals are at best half blind
Most of human kind are dull and cruel
What's an angel anyway
But a ring of light and a pair of wings
Those are easy things to give
Hurry, while she lives

She's as good as any are
Though coarsely dressed
And perhaps by now she's old
Bring her fairy gold

When she is clad in a robe of white
And travels through the sky at night
She will be a star
To lead the wise men on
To the place where every child is born

Kevin Doyle's Hornpipe
Composed by Phil Edmonds, 1998
Aubrey Atwater: tin whistle
Kevin Doyle: Irish step-dance
Elwood Donnelly: guitar
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin

Kevin says: I finally met a real leprechaun who wrote this tune for me. Phil's tune matches the rhythms of Kevin's steps beautifully. Kevin dedicates this piece to his mother, Margaret Doyle, born 1917 in County Roscommon, who was his first Irish step-dance teacher.

Anachie Gordon
Traditional, Child Ballad #239, as heard sung by Nic Jones and Mary Black
Aubrey Atwater: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: cello

Aubrey writes: I have been singing this ballad for over 25 years and its meaning continually deepens for me. I often think of tragedy caused by societal pressures concerning who we may or may not marry.  This story remains very real.

Buchan is bonnie and there lives my love
My heart lies on him and will not remove
It will not remove oh for all that I have done
Oh I never will forget my love Anachie

For Anachie Gordon he's bonnie and he's rough
He'd entice any woman and so he's done me
He'd entice any woman and so he has done me
Oh I never will forget my love Anachie

Down came her father and he standing by the door
Saying, "Jeannie, you're trying the tricks of a whore
You care nothing for a man who cares so very much for thee
You must marry Lord Sulton and leave Anachie

For Anachie Gordon, he's barely but a man
Although he may be pretty but where are his lands?
Oh the Sulton's lands are broad and his towers they are high
You must marry Lord Sulton and leave Anachie."

"With Anachie Gordon I'd beg for my bread
And before I marry Sulton it's gold to my head
With gold to my head and gowns fringed to the knee
And I'll die if I don't get my love Anachie

And you who are my parents to church you may me bring
But unto Lord Sulton, I'll never bear a son
To a son or a daughter, I'll never bow my knee
And I'll die if I don't get my love Anachie."

Jeannie was married and from church she was brought home
And when she and her maidens so merry should have been
When she and her maidens so merry should have been
She went into her chamber, she cried all alone

"Come to bed now Jeannie, me honey and my sweet
For to style you my mistress it would be so sweet."
"Be it mistress or Jeannie it's all the same to me
But in your bed, Lord Sulton, I never will lie."

And down came her father and he's spoken with renown,
Saying, "You who are her maidens go loosen up her gowns."
And she fell down to the floor, so close down by his knee
Saying, "Father, look I'm dying for my love Anachie."

The day Jeannie married was the day Jeannie died
And the day that young Anachie came home on the tide
And down came her maidens all ringing of their hands
Saying, "Oh it's been so long, it's been so long on the sands
Oh so long on the sands, so long on the flood
They have married your Jeannie and now she lies dead."

"You who are her maidens come take me by the hand
And take me to the chamber that my love she lies in."
And he's kissed her cold lips and his heart has turned to stone
And he's died in the chamber that his love she lies in

Thousand Mile Blues
By Jean Ritchie c 1971 Geordie Music Publishing Co. ASCAP
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Aubrey Atwater: banjo, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, vocals
John Cerrigione: bass


Farewell, farewell, my own true love
I must leave you for a while
The birds do sing on every tree
He's gone for a thousand miles, little love
He's gone for a thousand miles

Oh, a thousand miles, that is very far away
And you will be gone so long
Oh, who will bear me sweet company
Or converse with me and sing me a song, little love
Or converse with me and sing me a song

Yes, a thousand miles, that is very far away
But I won't be gone so long
Your mama can bear you sweet company
Your papa can sing you a song, little love
Your papa can sing you a song

Well I wish I was in some dark holler place
Where the turtle doves mourn so low
I would tell them about you a-going away
And I'm sure they would mourn the more, little love
And I'm sure they would mourn the more

Well, the sun has to rise in the East, my dear
And the moon go down in the West
And it's ever' little bird has to try its wings
Before it can build its nest, little love
Before it can build its nest

Gypsy Johnny
Traditional, Child Ballad #200 adapted from traditional sources by Daniel Dutton; www.dandutton.com.
Melody and chords by Aubrey Atwater.
First "Ah de do…" verse and melody attributed to Leo Maguire
Aubrey Atwater: mountain dulcimer, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, vocals
Kevin Doyle: djembe, chimes, vocals
John Cerrigione: bass

There are many versions of this ballad, which dates back to 17th century Scotland.

Ah-de-do, ah-de-do-ah-day,
Ah-de-do, ah-de-da-ay
He whistled and he sang 'til the greenwoods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady

Gypsy Johnny's got a rovin' eye
A head of black curls so handsome and fine
He sang so sweet no bird could compete
And he charmed my heart completely

Would you leave your house and land
Would you leave your money
Would you leave it all, my dear
To run with the Gypsy Johnny

What care I for house and land
What care I for money
I'd rather have a kiss from the gypsy's lips
Than all of your riches so bonny

So they rode east and they rode west
They rode late and early
'Til they came to the riverside
To the camp of the Gypsy Johnny

Take off your boots so fine
Made of Spanish leather
Take off all your clothes
And we'll lay down together

Last night I slept in a goosefeather bed
With the sheets turned down so bonny
Tonight I'll sleep on the cold hard ground
In the arms of the Gypsy Johnny

Ah-de-do, ah-de-do-da-day,
Ah-de-do-de-da-ay
He whistled and he sang 'til the greenwoods rang,
And he charmed my heart completely

Going to the West
Traditional American
Aubrey Atwater: guitar, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, vocals
Uriah Donnelly: piano


In this fair land, I'll stay no more
Here labor is in vain
I'll leave the mountains of my birth
And seek the fertile plain
I'm going to the west

CHORUS:
You say you will not go with me
You turn your eyes away
You say you will not follow me
No matter what I say
I'm going to the west

It's been three years, since we first met
Since I became your bride
Now I must journey far away
Without you by my side
I'm going to the west…CHORUS

So I'll leave you here, in this land you love
Amid scenes so bright and fair
Where fragrant flowers are blooming
And music fills the air
I'm going to the west…CHORUS

As I Roved Out
Traditional, as heard sung by Ron Dass, Planxty, and Kate Rusby
Aubrey Atwater: mountain dulcimer, tin whistle, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar
Cathy Clasper-Torch: cello

It is thought that the history behind this song deals with a decree made during Napoleonic times in which single men were paid to marry the wives of landed lords who were away at war. In this way, the land would continue to be worked.

As I roved out one fine May morning
To view the meadows and flowers gay
Who should I spy but my own true lover
As she sat by yon willow tree

I took off my hat and I did salute her
I did salute her most courageously
And as she turned around the tears fell from her
Saying, False young man, you've deluded me

And the diamond ring I own I gave you
A diamond ring to wear on your right hand
But the vows you made, well, you went and broke them
And you married the lassie who has the land

If I married the lassie who has the land, my love
It's that I'll rue til the day I die
When misfortune falls sure the man may shun it
I was blindfolded, I'll not deny.

And at night when I go to my bed of slumber
The thoughts of my love are in my mind
And as I turn around to embrace my darling
Instead of gold sure it's brass I'll find

And I wish the Queen would bring home her armies
From the West Indies, America, and Spain
And every man to his wedded woman
Oh, in hopes that I might be with thee again

The Wagoner's Lad
Traditional American
Aubrey Atwater: mountain dulcimer, banjo, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, harmonica, vocals

Aubrey says: I have always loved the text of this song because of its raw emotion and conflict.  As funny as the last verse may seem to us now, it reminds us how few freedoms women had in American history until recent generations.

Well, I am a poor girl, my fortune is bad
I've always been courted by the wagoner's lad
He courted me hourly, by night and by day
And now he is loaded, he's going away

Your horses are hungry, go feed them on hay
Come sit down here by me, as long as you stay
My horses ain't hungry, they won't eat your hay
So fare thee well darling I'm going away

And your wagon needs greasing, your whip is to mend
Come sit down here by me, as long as you can
My wagon is ready, my whip's in my hand
So fare thee well darling, no longer to stand

Your parents don't like me, they say I'm too poor
They say I'm not worthy of entering your door
I work for my living, my money's my own
And if they don't like me, they can leave me alone

Oh, hard is the fortune of all womankind
They're always controlled, they're always confined
They're controlled by their parents until they are wives
Then they're slaves to their husbands the rest of their lives

See That My Grave Is Kept Clean
Blind Lemon Jefferson, Universal Music Corp.
Aubrey Atwater: banjo, feet, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, vocals
Kevin Doyle: rhythm block, djembe
Heidi Cerrigione: autoharp, vocals
John Cerrigione: bass, vocals


Well, there's one kind favor I'll ask of you
There's one kind favor I'll ask of you
There's one kind favor I'll ask of you
Won't you see that my grave is kept clean

Now there's two white horses following me
There's two white horses following me
There's two white horses following me
Lord, they're waiting on my burying ground

Did you ever hear a coffin sound?
Did you ever hear a coffin sound?
Did you ever hear a coffin sound?
Means another poor boy is underground

Won't you go dig my grave with a silver spade
Won't you go dig my grave with a silver spade
Won't you go dig my grave with a silver spade
Lord, and see my grave digger gets paid

Did you ever hear them church bells toll?
Did you ever hear them church bells toll?
Did you ever hear them church bells toll?
Means another poor boy is dead and gone

Now there's six white horses in a line
There's six white horses in a line
There's six white horses all in a line
Lord, they're taking me to my burying ground

It's a long old road that ever ends
It's a long old road that ever ends
It's a long old trail that never ends
It's a bad wind that never changes

Well my heart stopped beatin' and my hands turned cold
My heart stopped beatin' and my hands turned cold
My heart stopped beatin', Lord, my hands turned cold
Now I believe what the bible told

There's just one last favor I'll ask of you
There's one last favor I'll ask of you
There's one last favor I'll ask of you
Won't you see that my grave is kept clean

Kentucky Waltz
Words and Music by Bill Monroe, 1946
Aubrey Atwater: mandolin, vocals
Elwood Donnelly: guitar, vocals
Cathy Clasper-Torch: violin, vocals
John Cerrigione: bass


We were waltzing that night in Kentucky
Beneath the beautiful harvest moon
And I was the boy that was lucky
But it all ended too soon

As I sit here alone in the moonlight
I see your smiling face
And I long once more for your embrace
And that beautiful Kentucky waltz

Syncopate!
Original dance piece by Kevin Doyle and Aubrey Atwater
Aubrey Atwater: clogging
Kevin Doyle: tap dance
 


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