Give Us a Tune: “Master Kilby”

Cecil Sharp collected Master Kilby from Harry Richards of Curry Rivel in Somerset both on July 29, 1904 and on January 6, 1909. Nic Jones sang it on his album From the Devil to a Stranger. 

Traditional lyrics to “Master Kilby”

In the heat of the day when the sun shines so freely
I met Master Kilby so fine and so gay.

Well, I pulled off my hat and I bowed to the ground,
And I said, “Master Kilby, oh, where are you bound?”

“I’m bound for the west in hopes to find rest;
And in the arms of my dear Nancy I’ll build a new nest.

And if I was the master of ten thousand pounds
In bright gold and silver or in King William’s crowns,

I would part with it all with my own heart so freely:
It’s all for the sake of my charming Nancy.

She’s the fairest of girls, she’s the choice of my heart;
And her skin shines like silver in every part.

Oh, I gave her some kisses, it was down by the sea shore;
But still she lay asking, lay asking for more.

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Give Us a Tune – “Foggy Dew”

As down the glen one Easter morn
To a city fair rode I
There armed lines of marching men
In squadrons passed me by
No fife did hum, no battle drum
Did sound its dred tattoo
But the Angelus bells o’er the Liffey’s swell
Rang out through the foggy dewRight proudly high over Dublin town
They hung out the flag of war
‘Twas better to die ‘neath an Irish sky
Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath
Strong men came hurrying through
While Brittania’s huns with theirlong-range guns
Sailed in through the foggy dew’Twas Brittania bade our wild geese go
That small nations might be free
But their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves
On the shore of the gray North Sea
But had they died by Pearse’s side
Or fought with Cathal Brugha
Their names we would keep where the Fenians sleep
‘Neath the shroud of the foggy dewBut the bravest fell, and the requiem bell
Rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide
In the springing of the year
And the world did gaze in deep amaze
At those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom’s light
Might shine through the foggy dew
Public Domain

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