Monday, August 6, 2018

Witch of the West-mer-lands

by Archie Fisher
I learned this song from Stan Rogers' version on Between the Breaks: Live, and I think he sings it somewhat differently from the original. I also tweaked the lyrics a bit because I couldn't help myself. The first item to go was any reference to the witch as a "maiden", because seriously, she is no maiden.

Listen and Purchase

Pale was the wounded knight
That bore the rowan shield
Loud and cruel were the raven's cries
That feasted on the field, singing

Beck water, cold and clear,
Will never clean your wounds
There's none but the Witch of the West-mer-lands
Can make thee hale and soond

So turn, turn your stallion's head
Till his red mane flies in the wind
And many a drop of your blood shall fall
E'er you see this field again

And clear was the paley moon
And the wild wind stung his eyes;
Below the hills his great heart siezed
When he heard the houlet cry, Singin'

Why do you ride this way,
And wherefore came ye here?
I seek the Witch of the West-mer-lands
Who dwells by the winding mere

And it's weary by Ullswater
And the misty Brakefern way
Till through a cleft o' the Kirkstane Pass
The winding water lay

And it's down to the water's brim
He's borne the rowan shield,
And the goldenrod he has cast in
To see what the lake might yield

And wet rose she from the lake,
And fast and fleet went she,
One half the form of a woman fair
With a jet black mare's body

And loud, long, and shrill he blew
Till his steed was by his side;
High overhead the grey hawk flew
And swiftly he did ride

She said, Pray sheath thy silvery sword,
Lay down the rowan shield,
For I see by the briny blood that flows
You've been wounded in the field.

And she stood in a gown of the velvet blue,
Bound 'round with a silver chain
And she's kissed his pale lips once and twice
And three time 'round again

And she's bound his wounds with the goldenrod;
Full fast in her arms he lay,
And he has risen hale and soond
With the sun high in the day, Singin'

Ride with your brindled hound at heel
And your good grey hawk in hand;
There's none can harm the knight who's lain
With the Witch of the West-mer-lands

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