Martin Carthy - Jack Rowland
Over deze songtekst:
Over het lied zegt Martin:
"Bits of Jack Rowland are to be found in Jamieson dovetailed into a narrative remembered by the author from his childhood. As it appears there, it is another example of the continuing love affair of Jamieson and his contemporaries with King Arthur and all his works.
The King appears with Gwynivere and Excalibur as characters in the song but it seems to me that they are entirely superfluous and added later. Strip that away and you are left with a story of the triumph of imagination over stereotype. Alleged to have been sung or at least recited in ballad form by Jamieson's nurse to him when he was a little boy. From the narrative it would appear that the song would have been at least a couple of hundred lasting verses long, and one can only assume that Jamieson took a bloody age getting to sleep. This is a reworking into verse form from the narrative with liberties taken and the tune adapted from Old Mother Crawley."
There was Jack Rowland and his two brothers went out to play at ball And there was their sister Ellen Rowland in the midst among them all She tossed the ball so very high, she caught it with her knee She kicked it high over high churchyard where no-one it could see And she's hitched her skirts up around her waist and after the ball she's run They waited long her three brothers but she never come home again So up the hill and down the hill three weeping brothers roamed They told their mother of Ellen Rowland how she has vanished and gone And it's 'Oh my love' and cries their mother and ever alas cries she For she has gone with the King of the Hill no more by us she'll be seen So up and rose the first brother and he was a proud young man He swore an oath and a solemn oath that Ellen he'd seek and find And he's run down to his father's stable, he's saddled the bonny grey And as the sun looked over the hill we watched him ride away And up and rose the second brother, a proud young man was he And he swore an oath and a solemn oath that Ellen he'd find and free And he's run down to his father's stable, he's saddled the bonny brown And as the sun stood up in the sky we watched him ride from home We stayed long and very long with our gloves all in our hand And sad were hearts all over the town for he never come home again Up and rose then Jack the fool, he's the youngest of all the three He's saddled and bridled his mother's horse but he wept so bitterly She spoke to him his mother's horse as they rode out of the way She says: Never you fear you Jack Rowland but you listen what I do say And remember the song the spider sings when she comes to court the fly For never a drop must you eat nor drink as we go along our road And all that help us on the way you must leave them lying dead So Jack Rowland has left his good long bow and his arrows one by one And he's taken his father's good long gun that never was drawn in vain And never a drop did they eat or drink as on the way they rode And all that helped them on the way Jack Rowland has left them dead The horse that Jack Rowland sat on, she was black as the dark midnight And her eyes shone far as the evening star that put the sun to flight As Jack Rowland to the dark tower came and he stood there without Three times all around the place, the horse spun round about And she cried: Open door and open door, open and let me ride And e'er the third time she has spoke, see the door swing open wide And he has spied some lovely tower that was lined with the silver grey All hung with mists and a heavy dew that shone clear as any day No ceiling could this young man spy, no windows were there to be seen But all round his head it shone blood red as the sun that sets at e'en And he rode on and further on as the tears came falling fast For he thought he saw his sister Ellen wandering like any ghost And she cried: Woe be to you, Jack Rowland for your life's not worth a pin For had you a hundred thousand lives you should not spare one of them Oh pity on you Jack Rowland why stayed you not at home When the King of the Hill you find then help you will find none With that in come the King himself all glorious to be seen For he come riding the storm and the wind with a club all in each hand And he cried Rise rise Jack Rowland, rise rise and run Now I smell Jack Rowland's blood, Jack Rowland's day is done Get up get up you Jack Rowland if you would fight with me And we will see how a frightened man will let his courage flee And first he appeared as a raging bear and then as a writhing snake And then as a herd of angry bulls that roared all in his face Then he became a burning bush with a flame that leapt so high But he sang the song the spider sings when he comes to court the fly But up and rose Jack Rowland's horse so loud I heard her cry Stand fast and fear you not she cries no harm will come to thee There she stood on the high hill top and the stars blazed in her mane And she has turned to a mighty flood and she bore down on the flame The King has changed to a little fish to float all in the sea And he fell as fast into the flood as the dead branch from a tree But she has changed to ropes and lines and she hunted the ocean floor But he has become a fishing smack and he hauled all lines aboard So she has changed all in the sky to a gale that howled and roared She filled his sails she beat his sides and she drove him onto shore So he's become the deep dark night and he dropped to the valley floor But she rose up as the summer dawn and she drove him on before And she cried Rise rise Jack Rowland and the sun will rise with thee And as the dew falls from the leaves we shall see what you shall see And as the dew fell from the leaves and the daylight drew all round He saw his sister and his two brothers, mother naked on the ground And he's taken them each all in his arms and he's kissed them cheek and chin He's wrapped them up in a cloak of gold and they've gone riding home Up and spoke the King himself as he vanished in the sun Oh I should have taken your horse he cries and struck her blind and lame