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Track 8

Lucy Wan

Lucy sits in her father's door weeping and making moan,
By there come a brother dear what ails thee Lucy Wan,
I ail I ail dear brother she cried I will tell you for why,
There is a child between my two sides,
That is from you dear brother and I.
He's took out his good long sword hanging down by his knee
And he has cut off Lucy Wan's head
Oh my lord, how she bleeds.
Out and come her heart's thick blood out and then come the fear,
He is away to his mother's house
What ails thee Georgie wan?
What's that blood on the point of your sword son come tell to me
That is the blood of my grey hound
Who would not run with me.
A greyhound's blood was ne'er so red son come tell to me
That is the blood of my grey mare
She would not hunt with me.
The grey mare's blood was ne'er so red son come tell to me
That is not the blood of my grey mare
But 'tis the blood of my sister Lucy.
What will you do when your father comes to know son come tell to me,
I will set foot in the bottomless boat
And I will sail the sea
And when will you come back again son come tell to me
When the sun and the moon dance on yon hill
And that may never be.

I've got Martin Carthy and Dave Swarbrick's version of this on my desert island discs selection. They recorded it in 1992 on their album 'Skin and Bone' and Martin was singing it in the late 1960s, so the song has journeyed well to land here.

From A.L Lloyd, who may even have written it, it has a dark modality and an even darker story.

I've toyed with the idea of singing it for two years and it was Martin Carthy who prompted me to get it done at Chester festival this year. So, for better or worse, it's done.

Lyrics and notes compiled by Denny Bartley.