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Borrowdale Johnny

by Striding Edge

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1.
Borrowdale Johnny Got no money in my pocket Take the rough road, find my way Got no money in my pocket I will come home rich some day!   Cool waters flowing, flowing Green meadows growing, growing Hot ashes glowing, glowing Sitting by the lakeside!   I can see the sun shining I can feel the breeze blowing I can hear the birds singing In the mountains!   "Good morrow Gossip Man How does all at heam do How does every one Little Dick and all do?"   "Johnny's done a bunk Left to seek his fortune Broke his mother's heart Dancin' with the girls of 'Top Town'   Betty's big with bairn Think they're going crazy Better mind her step.. But she's fearfull lazy.."   "What d' you think she had?" "They say, a 'simple Sammy' I'd be loath to say it It belongs to Johnny!"   "I gitten a slurp of gin Rare humming liquour I'm the merry pin Come, good man, be quicker!"   "Our very good healths We have plenty of it I hate to drink by steath I hardly ken my bonnet"   "Cannot miss the spot Have to come and see ya Rather gang round t'knot Than not say 'how d'ye' Fare well Gossip Man, As I am a sinner Clock has stricken one Fleaks et fry for dinner!"   Borrowdale Johnny find your way! Follow the sun, never surrender the day!   Lyrics: Carolyn Francis/Ann Wheeler 18th C. / Mike Willoughby
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Raffles Merrie Nite Come listen I'll tell you a story Eh, man, what a rare du we've hed Last neet at Bob Robson's at t'Raffles I declare I've not yet been a' bed Theer were fwoks from all parts of the cuntry Frae Newby, frae Wharton an' Bow Up from the Lakes com Johnny And from Carlisle a canny gay few!   The lads at last blew out candles The lasses then raised a great yell! Lonnie the smith got weel hammered For things it wad nit du to tell The landlord com in i' the meantime, As wild as any march hare Swore he wad whang a' aboot him, But to fin' them he cudden't tell where The fiddle was a brokken to splinters The windows went out with a smash The Glass was 'a brokken to pieces Theer wasn't a yell pane in the sash The fwoks raised a whally ba-lurrly The landlord was crazy an' mad The landlady stuid ahint t'teable Her luiks wer' beath solemn an' sad! Lyrics Anon. 1780, from 'Songs And Ballads Of Cumberland And The West Country'
4.
Moving Away 05:08
Moving Away It gets lonely Year in, year out in this dry-stone town So slowly The days draw in as the nights come down Absent friends they stayed for the summer To work in the kitchens and the bars But now they've gone back South to college I'm working the late-shift to the last Moving, moving away Moving, moving away And I'd beg you for an hour if I had the power to make you stay   It was easy A few short months and it felt like years You lifted me You turned my head and you soothed my fears We'd swop split shifts or take a 'sickie' To wander on Wallowbarrow hill But now the crag face lies in shadow I'm dreaming, as ever, of you still   Moving, moving away Moving, moving away And I'd beg you for an hour if I had the power to make you stay   It gets lonely Year in, year out in this dry-stone town So slowly The days draw in as the nights come down We go down town to drown our sorrow Dance to Madonna at 'The Wheel' I smile and flirt but keep my distance Alone with this emptiness I feel   Moving, moving away Moving, moving away And I'd beg you for an hour if I had the power to make you stay   Striding Edge song written by Mike Willoughby c+p 2007
5.
Wrapped Between Borders   Just turned 17 years When I packed my bag for Carlisle town Tramped through the Citadel, over the Eden Looking for a place to go to ground Settled on lodgings for 12 pounds a week With the Maxwells of Warwick Square The old man was wheezing as me and his missus We shook for half-board and fare   I'm a stranger on the town In the sodium light as I wander the night Where the Solway winds howl round Warwick Street, Botchergate Hard to relate what I've found Wrapped between borders, you're keeping me warm, Carlisle Town   We had to move to Nicholas Street When the old man took a turn for the worse Me and my flat-mates moved lock, stock and barrel But their friendship seemed more like a curse T.V. glares in a darkened room Warships blaze in the sea Now they're drinking and a hating and a cursing the 'Argies' This country's a stranger to me   I'm a stranger on the town In the sodium light as I wander the night Where the Solway winds howl round Warwick Street, Botchergate Hard to relate what I've found Trapped between borders, you're freezing me out Carlisle Town Now I'm with you again 20 years later in the cold autumn rain I'm still writing my old stranger's song Wrapped between borders, this town and this song will go on. Carlisle town! A Striding Edge song written by Mike Willoughby p+c 2007
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Miss Gilpin's Song Let Lords and fine ladies look round them and see If 'ere one among them be blither than me For I sit at my wheelie and I sing through the day And cast my own world that goes rolling away.   So twirl thee round, wheelie, I'll sing while I may I long to be happy the whole of the day If we would not make griefs o' bit trifles so small The world would run smoothly round, round with us all   There's ups and there's downs and I see it quite plain The spoke that's at bottom gets top-most again So twirl thee round wheely, I'll see how things turn I see, too, 'tis folly for mortals to mourn   So twirl thee round, wheelie, I'll sing while I may I long to be happy the whole of the day If we would not make griefs o' bit trifles so small The world would run smoothly round, round with us all   Twirl the round wheely, spin round Spinning round, round with us all Twirl thee round wheely, spin round As long as I'm singing The wheel will keep spinning Spin round   That life is a spinster I oft times have read Too fine she draws out her spider-like thread A breath can destroy what's so slenderly made Life for her trouble has seldom been paid.   So twirl thee round, wheelie, I'll sing while I may I long to be happy the whole of the day If we would not make griefs o' bit trifles so small The world would run smoothly round, round with us all   Twirl the round wheely, spin round Spinning round, round with us all Twirl thee round wheely, spin round As long as I'm singing The wheel will keep spinning As long as we're singing The world will keep spinning Spin round Watch the wheel spin round Set the wheel spinning round   Striding Edge song written by Susanna Blamire 18thC. additional lyrics Mike Willoughby
8.
Beggar Boy of the North   Beggar boy lost this long night deep Up on high when dark came stealing Staining the dust, wasted tears Clay hath no solace, rock no feeling Beggar boy lost, your only friend Lights you a candle to guide you ahead Beggar Boy, rasdie your head, follow the lantern 'Till this weary night is at an end   Lead kindly light Amid the encircling gloom O'er moor, o'er fell, o'er crag and torrent 'Till the night is through Lead kindly light   Beggar boy lost, in fearful trance O'er moor and fell in roaring silence Slow footfall breaks, soundless falling Wins a yard of distance clawing Beggar boy lost, your only friend Lights you a candle to guide you ahead Beggar Boy, follow, step nearer tomorrow 'Till this weary night is at an end Lead kindly light Amid the encircling gloom O'er moor, o'er fell, o'er crag and torrent 'Till the night is through Lead kindly light   Beggar Boy lost, all senses gone Only instinct leading on Tears have dried, peace follows aching Glimmering skies, close to awakening Beggar boy lost, your only friend Lights you a candle to guide you ahead Beggar boy, raise your head, follow the lantern 'Till this weary night is at an end   Lead kindly light Amid the encircling gloom O'er moor, o'er fell, o'er crag and torrent 'Till the night is through Lead kindly light   Striding Edge song. Verse Lyrics: Mike Willoughby Chorus: Cardinal Newman, 1833
9.
High Water   High up on the rock face, up on Simon's Seat Springing from the veins, of the fellside bleak Swollen by the waters of a hundred streams River Kent is rising Rumbles through our dreams Draws us out to sea Calling us to turn the tide   Infant, youth and man I gaze from where I stand Into the Kent by Waterside   A flagstone made to measure this high watermark The 'Auld Grey Town' has risen an hour before the dark Snuff and wool and leather, cloth of Kendal Green The river now receding Taunts me in it's slide Wounds a youthfull pride Calling us to turn the tide   Infant, youth and man I gaze from where I stand Into the Kent by Waterside   Armistice day morning down by Waterside Johnny casts his gaze beyond the waves that glide On Miller bank, the fog like gun smoke in the trees The husk of a tank once hollow Haunts our waking dream A grayscale nightmare scene Calling us to turn the tide Infant, youth and man I gaze from where I stand Into the Kent by Waterside   A Striding Edge song written by Mike Willoughby p+c 2007
10.
Poor Man's Mountains   Storming up the rock face Braced against the sky Behold the Lakeland brothers Close as a man could get to fly Driving home on nightfall Forests hurtle by Roar along with Denver crooning 'The Rocky Mountain High'   Four walls can't contain this feeling Flooding my veins Release is only with the mountain In morning sun or rain And no one holds my soul to ransom No chain can bind me While the mountain is anarchic and free   There's a path to take me higher To the edge above the mist Poor man's mountains With your charity blessed Never was too much to wish for Stepping up and through the door Poor man's mountains Forever more.   Arise from the night shift Time to quit the pit Cycle east in wonder On the journey after dawn High up on the 'Eagle' At the last belay The war, the blood, the coal dust Seemed a whole world away   A view of peace and evening solace Sends a charge in my brain Release is only with the mountain In morning sun or rain And no one holds my soul to ransom No chain can bind me While the mountain is anarchic and free   There's a path to take me higher To the ridge above the mist Poor man's mountains With your charity blessed Never was too much to wish for Stepping up and through the door Poor man's mountains Forever more.   Path take me higher O'er rock and o'er briar Rise up the ridge Through morning sun or rain Flood my veins Loose these chains Make my way Through morning sun or rain No walls can confine me Set the spirit free   A Stiriding Edge song written by Mike Willoughby p + c 2007
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Get Old With Me   Get old with me And I'll try not to be All I would be if I wasn't with you But I'll soon put things right if I do   Get old with me Not immediately 'Cos there's so many mountains to climb We can only climb one at a time   Sometimes we argue, dig over old ground But you give me that look that says 'don't make a sound' And I'll pick and unravel all the words that you say But I don't like the quiet when you go away   Get old with me And I won't let you see If your face carries creases and lines Though you'll probably see some in mine No, you won't even notice the time Passing by if you share yours with mine You won't even notice that You're growing older with me!   A Striding Edge song written by John K Hall p + c 2007
13.

about

The album was inspired by the ballad 'BORROWDALE JWOHNNY' composed by Robert Anderson, the bard of Cumberland, in the 19th C. It tells the tale of Johnny, who leaves Borrowdale amidst gossip, to seek his fortune in 'The Big City', an eternal and familiar theme in any century.

The songs take the listener on a journey that skips up and down the centuries, through the work of 18th& 19th C. Cumbrian writers such as Suzanna Blamire and Robert Anderson, to modern ballads written by Mike Willoughby and John Hall. These songs explore the traditional themes of ambition and self-determination, with an enduring sense of place and history.

The Tunes have been sourced from manuscripts left by fiddle players residing in Westmorland, Cumberland or North Lancashire during the 18th and 19th centuries. These include William Irwin of Keswick and Elterwater, The Winder family of Wyresdale, The Browne family of Troutbeck and John Barnes of Abbeytown, nr. Wigton.

credits

released September 21, 2007

All tracks arranged by Striding Edge: Francis, Middleton, McCabe and Willoughby

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Striding Edge Cumbria, UK

Striding Edge are now into their nineteenth year of playing ceilidh dances and concerts across Cumbria, North Lancashire and beyond.

As ever, their combination of thrilling traditional music and clear and concise dance calling is proving a huge hit with audiences:

"The ceilidh was a roaring success, loved by everyone young and old, your calling was spot on and the band were brilliant!"
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