Heart of the Hills Vol. 1

by Mardell McCombs

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    In these ballads, dating mainly from the 1600 to 1700’s you will find the following tales:

    The ghost of a dearly departed summoned from the grave gives doleful warnings.

    A fair maid receives nocturnal visitations from a shape-shifting sea creature.

    Plus a serial killer, murder most foul, infanticide, love, lust, betrayal and the mother-in-law from hell!

    Not to mention the curious case of the Little Pig.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Heart of the Hills Vol. 1 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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1.
Betty Martin 01:09
BETTY MARTIN traditional Pretty Betty Martin, tiptoe, tiptoe Pretty Betty Martin tiptoe fine Pretty Betty Martin, tiptoe, tiptoe Pretty Betty Martin tiptoe fine Pretty Betty Martin, tiptoe, tiptoe Pretty Betty Martin tiptoe fine Pretty Betty Martin, tiptoe, tiptoe Put on a red dress and say you’re mine Look out, yonder comes Pretty Betty Martin Pigtail swinging’ and red dress a-flyin’ First time I saw Pretty Betty Martin Said Look out Boys, this one’s mine Pretty Betty Martin, tiptoe, tiptoe Pretty Betty Martin tiptoe fine Pretty Betty Martin, tiptoe, tiptoe Put on a red dress and say you’re mine
2.
THE UNQUIET GRAVE traditional Cold blows the wind to my true love And gently drops the rain I've never had but one true love In the green-wood he lies slain I'll do as much for my own true love As any young girl may I'll sit and mourn all on his grave For a twelve month and a day When twelve months and a day was passed The ghost did rise and speak Why sittest thou on my grave and mourn And will not let me sleep There is but one thing I want my love There is just one thing I crave And that is a kiss from your red wine lips Then I'll go from your grave My lips they are as soulless clay My breath reeks earthy strong And if you kiss my clay cold lips Your time will not be long Go fetch me water from the desert And blood from out a stone Go fetch me milk from a fair maid's breast That young man never has known Twas down in yonder garden green Where you and I did walk The fairest flower that ere was seen Is now withered to a stalk The stalk is withered dry my love An so will hearts decay So do you be content, my love Til God calls you away A stalk has withered dead sweetheart The flower will ne'er return And since I've lost my own true love What can I do but mourn? When will we meet again, sweetheart When will we meet again? When the autumn leaves that fall from the trees Turn green and spring up again Cold blows the wind to my true love And gently drops the rain I've never had but one true love In the green-wood he lies slain In the green-wood he lies slain
3.
THE SILKIE OF SKULE SKERRIE traditional In Norway there sits a maid Byloo my baby she begins Little know I my child's father Or if land or sea he's living in Then there arose at her bed's feet Ain grumely guest I'm sure it was he Saying here am I thy child's father Although that I'm not comely I am a man upon the land And I am a Silkie in the sea And when I'm in my own country My dwelling is in Skule Skerrie Then he has taken a purse of gold And he has put it upon her knee Saying give me my little wee son And I'll teach him for to swim in the sea And lo you will marry a gunner good And a proud good gunner I'm sure he will be And the very first shot that ere he does shoot He will kill both my young son and me And lo she did marry a gunner good And a proud good gunner I'm sure it was he And the very first shot that ere he did shoot He killed the son and the Great Silkie In Norway there sits a maid Byloo my baby she begins Little know I my child's father Or if land or sea he's living in
4.
THE CRUEL MOTHER traditional There was a fair maid lived in York O’ the rose and the linsey-o She fell in love with her father’s clerk Down by the greenwood side-e-o He courted her for a year and a day O’ the rose and the linsey-o Till that young maid he did betray Down by the greenwood side-e-o She leaned her back against a thorn O’ the rose and the linsey-o And there two little babes were born Down by the greenwood side-e-o Smile not so sweet my babes she said O’ the rose and the linsey-o If you smile so sweet, you’ll smile me dead Down by the greenwood side-e-o She took her penknife, twas keen and sharp O’ the rose and the linsey-o And pierced those babes right through the heart Down by the greenwood side-e-o She buried them ‘neath earth and stone O’ the rose and the linsey-o She turned her back and headed home Down by the greenwood side-e-o And as she walked towards her father’s hall O’ the rose and the linsey-o She spied two boys a-playing ball Down by the greenwood side-e-o She said sweet babes, if thou wert mine O’ the rose and the linsey-o I’d dress you up in silks so fine Down by the greenwood side-e-o Oh mother dear, when we were thine O’ the rose and the linsey-o You did not treat us then so fine Down by the greenwood side-e-o She said oh babes, you can tell me sure O’ the rose and the linsey-o For my sins what must I endure Down by the greenwood side-e-o Seven years to swim as a fish in the flood O’ the rose and the linsey-o Seven years to fly as a bird in the wood Down by the greenwood side-e-o Seven years to ring as a mourning bell O’ the rose and the linsey-o Seven years to burn in the flames of hell Down by the greenwood side-e-o Young maidens all, now my warning heed O’ the rose and the linsey-o Don’t follow where false lovers lead Down by the greenwood side-e-o
5.
John Henry 01:21
6.
THE OLD WOMAN AND THE PIG traditional There was an old woman and she had a little pig Mmmm There was an old woman and she had a little pig Mmmm There was an old woman and she had a little pig Didn’t cost much cause it wasn’t very big Mmmm Now this old woman kept the pig in the barn Mmmm This old woman kept the pig in the barn Mmmm This old woman kept the pig in the barn Prettiest little thing she had on the farm Mmmm The little old woman fed the pig on clover Mmmm The little old woman fed the pig on clover Mmmm The little old woman fed the pig on clover Till it laid down and died all over Mmmm The little piggy died cause it couldn’t get it’s breath Mmmm The little piggy died cause it couldn’t get it’s breath Mmmm The little piggy died cause it couldn’t get it’s breath Wasn’t that an awful death? Mmmm The little old woman she died of grief Mmmm The little old woman she died of grief Mmmm The little old woman she died of grief Wasn’t that a sad relief? Mmmm The little old man he sobbed and sighed Mmmm The little old man he sobbed and sighed Mmmm The little old man he sobbed and sighed Then he too lay down and died Mmmm Well that was the end of the one, two, three Mmmm Well that was the end of the one, two, three Mmmm Well that was the end of the one, two, three The man and the woman and the little piggy Mmmm The good old book lies on the shelf Mmmm The good old book lies on the shelf Mmmm The good old book lies on the shelf If you want anymore you can sing it yourself Mmmm
7.
DOWN IN A WILLOW GARDEN traditional Down in a willow garden Where me and my love did meet Twas there we sat a’courtin My love dropped off to sleep I had a bottle of burgundy wine Which my true love did not know And there I poisoned that dear little girl Down under the banks below I stabbed her with my dagger It was a bloody knife I threw her into the river It was a dreadful sight My father often told me That money would set me free If I would murder that dear little girl Whose name was Ruth Connelly And now he sits by his own cottage door A’wipin’ his weepin’ eyes And now he waits for his own dear son Upon the scaffold high My race is run beneath the sun Cruel hell’s now waiting for me For I have murdered that dear little girl Whose name was Ruth Connelly
8.
FAIR ANNIE OF THE LOCHROYAN traditional O who will shoe my bonny feet And who will glove my hand? And who will kiss my rosy cheek When you're in some far off land Your pa will shoe your bonny feet Your ma will glove your hand And I will kiss your rosy cheek When I come back again O who will build a bonny ship And set her on the sea? So that I may go and seek my love My own Lord Gregory Then up and spake her father dear And a wealthy man was he He will build a bonny ship And set her on the sea Yes he has built a bonny ship To sail upon the sea The mast it was of the beaten gold The spars of ivory They had not sailed but twenty leagues But twenty leagues and three When they met with a rank robber And all of his company Are you the queen of heaven he cried Come to pardon all of our sins? Or are you the Mary Magdalen That was born at Bethlehem? I'm not the queen of heaven she cried Come to pardon all your sins Nor am I the Mary Magdalen That was born at Bethlehem I am the lass of the Lochroyan Who is sailing o'er the sea To see if I can find my love My ain Lord Gregory Then see ye now yon bonny bower All covered o'er in thyme? When ye've sailed it three times round Lord Gregory is within So row the boat, my mariners Until we reach the land For it's now I see my true love's castle Close by the salt sea strand They sailed it round and sailed it round And long and loud cried she Now break, now break ye fairy charms And set my true love free She's taken her young son in her arms And to the door she's gone And long she's knocked and loud she's called But answer she's got none Open the door Lord Gregory Open and let me in The wind blows cold, blows cold my love The wet drops from my chin The shoe is frozen to my foot The glove unto my hand The wet lies frozen in my hair And I can scarcely stand Then up and spake his ill mother As ill as she could be You're not the lass of the Lochrohan She is far out o'er the sea Away, away ye ill woman Ye don't come here for good You're but some witch who strolls about Or a mermaid of the flood Open the door, Lord Gregory Open the door I pray For thy young son is in my arms And will be dead ere day Ye lie, ye lie, ye ill woman So loud I hear ye lie For Annie of the Lochroyan Is far out o'er the sea Fair Annie turned her round and about Well since all this is so May never a woman who has born a son Have a heart so full of woe When the day had dawned and the cock had crowed And the sun begun to peep Then up and rose Lord Gregory And sore, sore did he weep O, I have dreamed a dream Mother The thought it grieves me great That Annie of the Lochroyan Lay dead at my bed feet If it be for Annie of the Lochroyan That you make all of this moan She stood last night at your bower window But I have sent her home O he's gone down unto the shore To see what he could see And there he saw Fair Annie's barque Go roaring o'er the sea O Annie, O Annie aloud he cried O Annie, Annie my dear But all the loud that he did cry Fair Annie she did not hear The wind blew hard the waves rose high And dashed the boat on shore Fair Annies' corpse was in the foam The babes' rose nevermore Then first he kissed her clay cold cheek And then he kissed her chin At last he kissed her clay cold lips That had no breath within O woe betide my ill Mother! An ill death may she die She has not been the death of one She's been the death of three Then he pulled out a little dart That hung down by his side And thrust it through and through his heart Then he lay down and died
9.
Pretty Polly 04:22
PRETTY POLLY traditional Polly, pretty Polly come go along with me Polly, pretty Polly come go along with me Before we get married some pleasure to see William oh William I'm afraid of your ways William oh William I'm afraid of your ways I fear you will lead my poor body astray Polly, pretty Polly you're guessing just right Polly, pretty Polly you're guessing just right I dug on your grave by the full moon last night She stepped a few steps further and what did she spy She stepped a few steps further and what did she spy But a new duggen grave with a shovel lying by She wept and she pleaded, begged for her life Wept and she pleaded, she begged for her life Bur his eyes showed no mercy, as he drew out his knife He stabbed her in her heart, and her hearts blood did flow He stabbed her in her heart, and her hearts blood did flow And into the grave pretty Polly she did go He threw a little dirt over her and started for home He threw a little dirt over her and started for home Leaving none but the wind and the wild birds to mourn It's a debt to the devil young William must pay It's a debt to the devil young William must pay For killing pretty Polly and running away Polly, pretty Polly come go along with me Polly, pretty Polly come go along with me Before we get married some pleasure to see
10.
LITTLE MATTY GROVES traditional One day, one day, one high holy day The best day of the year When all good folk to the church did go The gospel for to hear Now the first lady down come dressed in red The next came dressed in green Lord Arlen’s wife was all in white As fair as any queen And when the meeting it was done She cast her eye about And there she saw Little Matty Groves A'standin' in the crowd Come home with me Little Matty Groves Come home with me tonight Come home with me Little Matty Groves And lie with me this night Oh, I won't go home, no I can't go home Oh I dare not, for my life By the rings on your fingers I can tell You are Lord Arlen’s wife Tis true, I am Lord Arlen’s wife But Lord Arlen, he's not home He is gone off to the far corn field To bring the cattle home Now a servant who was standing by He heard all that was said And he swore Lord Arlen he would know Before the sun was set All in his haste to carry the news He filled his breast and ran And when he came to the broad mill stream Took off his shoes and swam When he climbed up on the green green grass He took to his heels and run Until he came to Lord Arlen’s gate Where he loudly knocked and rung Get up! Get up! Lord Arlen, he cried And hear the news I've brung Little Matty Groves lies with your lady wife And their hearts beat as one Is this the truth you tell to me? Or dare you to speak some lie? You'll be a rich man ere it is day Or you'll hang from the tree so high Lord Arlen summoned up his men His horn blew loud and shrill And away they rode with all good speed To his castle on the hill Now Little Matty Groves, he had laid him down And he took a little sleep And he woke to find Lord Alen there A'standin' at his bed feet Saying: How do you like my feather bed? How do you like my sheets?" And how do you like my lady wife who lies in your arms asleep? Very well do I like your feather bed Very well do I like your sheets But better do I like your lady wife Who lies in my arms asleep Get up! Get up! Lord Arlen, he cried Get dressed as quick as you can Let it never be said in all England fair That I slew a naked man O I won't get up, no I can't get up Oh I dare not for my life For you have two fine beating swords And I've not a pocket-knife Tis true, I've two fine beating swords They cost me deep in purse But you shall choose the better of them And I will take the worse Then do you strike the very first blow And strike it like a man And i will strike the very next blow And I'll kill you if I can Little Matty struck the very first blow But he hit Lord Arlen’s sword Lord Arlen struck the very next blow Matty Groves, he struck no more And then Lord Arlen took his wife And set her on his knee Saying who do you like the better of us now Little Matty Groves or me? Then up and spoke Lord Arlen’s wife Never had she spake so free I'd rather one kiss from dead Matty's lips Than you and all your finery Lord Arlen jumped up in a rage And loudly he did bawl He stabbed his dear wife through the heart And pinned her against the wall A grave, a grave, Lord Arlen, he cried To put these lovers in But bury my lady at the top For she was of noble kin

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released September 15, 2019

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Mardell McCombs Talking Rock, Georgia

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