Bold Fisherman (Live at Nine Wells near Cambridge)

from by Hayward and Parsons

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lyrics

This is the tale of a fisherman, a lord and lover. One could see this as a common tale of a Lord meeting, and proposing to, a fair maid, or as a higher tale of The Lord offering guidance and safe crossing.

We recorded this song at Nine Wells, a small ancient Beech grove with nine chalk springheads that feed Hobson's Conduit, the old drinking water source for Cambridge. This was perhaps the only patch of ancient growth woodland we encountered in two weeks walking. It stands beside the newly sprawling Addenbrookes bio-medical complex, which approaches ever closer.

We dipped in the cold clear water, filled our bottles with the chalky goodness and recorded this song.

Lyrics:
As I roved out one May morning
Down by the riverside,
There I beheld a bold fisherman
Come rowing by the tide,

Come rowing by the tide;
There I beheld a bold fisherman
Come rowing by the tide.

I stepped up to this bold fisherman,
“How come you are fishing here?”
“I've come a-fishing for your sweet sake
All by the river clear,

All by the river clear;
I've come a-fishing for your sweet sake
All by the river clear.”

He drew his boat up to the bank
And tied it to a stake,
He stepped up to this fair, pretty maid,
Her lily-white hand to take,

Her lily-white hand to take;
He stepped up to this fair, pretty maid,
Her lily-white hand to take.

He drew his cloak from off his back
And gently laid her down,
There she beheld three chains of gold
Hang dangling three times round,

Hang dangling three times round;
There she beheld three chains of gold
Hang dangling three times round.

She fell down on her bended knee
For mercy she implored,
“In calling you a bold fisherman
When I fear you are some lord,

When I fear you are some lord;
In calling you a bold fisherman
When I fear you are some lord.”

“Rise up, rise up, my sweet pretty maid,
From off your bended knee.
There’s not a word that you have said
Has least offended me,

Has least offended me;
There’s not a word that you have said
Has least offended me.”

He took her by the lily-white hand,
Saying, “Married we shall be,
Then you will have a bold fisherman
To row you on the sea,

To row you on the sea;
Then you will have a bold fisherman
To row you on the sea.”

credits

from To Be A Pilgrim (Songs From The Way To Walsingham), released May 5, 2015
Trad. Arr. Hayward and Parsons

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Hayward and Parsons UK

Hayward and Parsons are singing pilgrims, on a musical quest to bring back pilgrimage to Britain.

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