My favorite-probably the definitive version of a great song “Arthur McBride” played by Paul Brady.  Paul Brady has a long career and is still very relevant in the worldwide music scene.

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o me and me cousin one arthur mcbride
as we went a walking down by the seaside
now mark what followed and what did betide
for it being on christmas morning
for recreation we went on a tramp 
and met seargent Napier and corporal Brant
and a little wee drummer intending to camp
for the day being pleasant and charming
good morning good morning the serageant did cry
and the same to you gentlemen we did reply
intending no harm but meant to pass by
for it bein on Christimas morning
but Says he my fine fellows if you will enlist
ten guineas in gold I will slip in your fist
and a Crown in the bargain, to kick up the dust
and drink the King’s health in the morning
For a soldier he leads a very fine life
and he always is blessed with a very fine wife
and he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife
and always lives pleasant and charming
and a soldier he always is decent and clean
in the finest of clothing he is constantly seen
while other poor fellows live dirty and mean 
and sup on thin gruel in the morning
but says Arthur I wouldn’t be proud of your clothes
for you only have lend of them as I suppose
and you dare not change them one night for you know
if you do you’ll be flogged in the morning
For although we are single and free
we take great delight in our own company
and we have no desire strange faces to see
Althouth that your offers are charming
And we have no desire to take your advance
All hazards and dangers we bar to a chance
For you would have no scruples for to send us to France
where we would get shot without warning

Oh now says the Seargent I’ll have no such chat
and I neither will take it from spalpeen(a farm worker) or brat
For if you insult me with one other word
I’ll cut off your heads in the morning
And then Arthur and I we soon threw our hats
and we scarce gave them time for to draw their own blades
when a trusty Sheleileigh came over their heads 
and they would take that as fair warning
And their own rusty rapiers that hung by their sides
we flung them as far as we could in the tide
Now take them out devils cried Arthur BcBride
and temper their edge in the morning
And their little wee drummer we flattened his pow
and we made a football of his rowdy dow dow
threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll
and bade it a tedious returning
and we havent no money paid them off in cracks
and we paid no respect to their two bloody backs
For we lathered them there like a pair of wet sacks 
and left them for dead in the morning
And so to conclued and to finish disputes
We obligingly asked if they wanted recruits
For we were the lads who would give them hard clouts
and bid them look sharp in the morning

The Witch of the Westmorland (Live)

Witch of the West-Mer-Lands (feat. Wendy Grossman, Kathy Westra, Lani Hermann, Ann Mayo Muir & Lorraine Lee)

Pale was the wounded knightwho bore the rowan shield
Loud and cruel were the Raven’s cries that feasted on the field
(Rowan is a Scottish tree that was thought to have magical protective powers against evil. The tree makes white flowers)

Saying beck (brook) water cold and clearwill never cleanse your wound
-there’s none but the Maid of the winding Mercan make thee hale and sound
So course well my brindled houndsand fetch me the mountain hare
-whose coat is as grey as the West wateror as white as the lilly fair
who said green moss or heather berms  can never staunch the flood
-there’s none but the witch of the west mer-lands can save thy dear life’s blood
So turn, turn your stallion’s headtill his red mane flies in the wind
-and the rider of the moon goes byand the bright star falls behind
And then clear was the paley moonwhen his shadow passed him by
-and below the hill was the brightest starwhen he heard the yowlett cry
Saying why do you ride this wayand wherefore came ye here
-I seek the witch of the westmer-landwho dwells by the winding mer
then fly free your good grey hawkto gather the golden rod
-and face your horse into the clouds above the gay green wood
And it’s weary by the Ells water (name of Ells River)and the misty break fern way
-till through the cleft of the kirk stain(stone) passthe winding water lay
He said lie down my brindled houndsand rest ye my good grey hawk
-and thee my steed may graze thy fillfor I must dismount and walk
But come when you hear my hornand anser swift the call
-for I fear ere the sun will arise this mornyou will serve me best of all
So it’s down to the waters brimhe’s borne the rowan shield 
-and the golden rod he has cast into see what the lake might yield
And then wet rose she from the wakeand fast and fleet gaed(went) she
-one half the form of a maiden fairwith a jet black mare’s body
And then loud long and shrill he blewAnd his steed was by his side
-high overhead his grey hawk flewand swiftly he did ride
He said course (run) well my brindled houndsand fetch me the jet black mare
-stoop and strike my good grey hawkand bring me the maiden fair
She said pray sheath thy silvery swordlay down the rowan shield
-for I see by the briny blood that flows you were wounded in the field
And she stood in a gown of a velvet bluebound round with a silver chain
-and she’s kissed his pale lips ainse and twice, aye and three times round again
And she’s bound his wounds with the golden rodfull fast in her arms he lay
-and he has risen hale(healthy) and soundwith the sun high in the day
She said ride with your brindled(spotted) hounds at healand your good gray hawk in hand
-there’s none can harm a knight wha’s lain with the witch of the west-mer land


Petko from Frances Cunningham’s album