A traditional British song about the impact of the Press Gangs on a woman's life, who from 1644-1814 could force any man with seafaring experience (back then most people) to go to sea. Her sweetheart was taken from her bed and forced to join the Royal Navy, and she has not seen him again.
The track ends with the sound of birdsong, representing the larks, blackbirds and thrushes she remembers hearing with her love in the meadows and valleys.
We recorded this at the small church of Santon Downham on the border of Suffolk and Norfolk, the county where Admiral Nelson was born, under whom many would have suffered this fate.
All things are quite silent, each mortal at rest,
When me and my true love were snug in one nest,
And a set of bold ruffians broke into our cave,
And they forced my dear jewel to plough the salt wave.
I begged hard for my darling, as I would for my life.
But they would not heed me, although a fond wife,
Saying, “The king must have sailors, to the wars he must go.”
And they left me lamenting in sorrow and woe.
In green fields and meadows oft times we have walked,
And of fond recollections together have talked,
Where the lark and the blackbird so sweetly do sing,
And the lovely thrushes' voices made the valley to ring.
Now though I’m forsaken I won’t be cast down.
Who knows but my true love may one day return?
And he’ll make me amends for my trouble and strife,
And me and my jewel will be happy for life.