by Karl Dallas

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O listen while I tell you of the Arbroath tragedy Of how six gallant lifeboatmen were thrown into the sea On October twenty-seven in the year of fifty-three And only one brave man was saved in that calamity. The night was dark and stormy and the lifeboat standing by When all at once a rocket jumped into the angry sky The Robert Lindsay ventured out to see the reason why But nothing could they find that night no matter how they try. Four hours they searched that Tuesday morn until the break of day But not a bit of wreckage could they find in Arbroath bay It’s home and mugs of cocoa for us sailors while we may Or else we’ll never see the shore, they heard the cox’un say. As they came back across the bar, it was an awful sight, The lifeboat overturned them in the sea as black as night They couldn’t reach the shore alive though struggle as they might And only Archie Smith was saved upon that dreadful night. Two brothers sank beneath the waves, a father and a son. The bowman, Thomas Adams, went the wway that they had gone. And when the boat was washed ashore beneath the morning sun, The cox’n, David Bruce, was lashed the steering wheel upon. So, let’s remember all the men who go down to the sea, And all their wives and sweethearts dear, wherever they may be, And workingmen who give their lives in dire necessity, The fishermen who died that night, in nineteen fifty-three.
My name is Mary And I come from Magdala And many a young man Has shared my bed. The life I led It drove me crazy I had seven devils In my head. The priests and elders They came and took me And they condemned me To my death. So pay attention And I'll tell my story If the good Lord spares me And gives me breath. We met a good man Down by the roadside They meant to trap him And catch him out. They said this woman Was caught in sin and The law is certain. There is no doubt. We mean to stone her, To execute her. If you're a good man Then you'll agree. So must she die As the law provides Or would you rather We set her free? He sat in silence And then he answered: It seemed to me that My death was sure: The penalty Permits no mercy, So throw your stones If your life is pure. If you can say that Before Jehovah, That you have never Committed sin, Then you are worthy To stand in judgement On this young woman, So now begin. They stood uncertain, Looked at each other, And silently they Stole away. He said: Is no one Left to condemn you? Then neither do I, But this I say: Your life needs changing, And rearranging. You have been given The right to live. For God has saved you From condemnation, And my salvation Is what I give. Now he was followed By 12 disciples And Judas was The name of one. He was a hard man And bitter with it, A trusted servant When said and done. He kept the money And oversaw it, So we could eat And pay the bills. Important work as We roamed the country To seek and cure The people's ills. I had a jar that Was made of marble And precious perfume Filled the jar. I raised it up and I poured the perfume All upon this Good man's hair. But Judas scolded, He was so angry. He said we could have Sold the jar. To feed the poor Who were so hungry: A silly woman, That's what you are! But Jesus smiled And he said this woman Has done a very Lovely thing. The poor are with you And always will be Until my kingdom Returns again. But I am with you For a brief moment And must return To my Father's side. So thank you, Mary, You shall be blessèd And see me first When I'm glorified. Now Judas turned And he proved a traitor And he sold my Master For thirty coins. They nailed him up On a cross so cruel And there he died Between two thieves. When he was buried The tomb was opened, The corpse had vanished Into the night. I came to seek him But none could find him Till the whole garden Was filled with light. I saw a young man Sat by the entrance His face was radiant Like the sun. I said young man Have you stole the body? Come tell me plainly What you have done. He answered: Mary, And my heart leapt, For I could hear My Master's voice. I ran to where The 12 were hiding And cried: He lives, So let's rejoice. They were amazed, Could not believe That God could open The gates of death. They called me foolish Continued weeping And yet I knew that I told the truth. He came and met them, Ate breakfast with them And all were changed by Refining fire. From that day forth The good news grows And flames of freedom Are rising higher. Words and Music © Copyright 1997 Karl Dallas/EMI Music They say a woman Led men astray When Adam took the Fruit from Eve. But each of us Must take the blame For what we do: This I believe. Remember this: It was a woman Who blessed the Lord And saw him die. And when he rose She was the first To see his glory Fill the sky.
There came a lady out of the west but her folk were from the east. She rode into a barren land like a guest come to a feast. The people said: You're welcome, but it's not the festive time. Our king lies sick and unto death and the funeral bell does chime. So silence the music of your mouth and break the fiddlers' bow. Crowbirds fly in the leaden sky and the fields are white with snow. This lady said: In the darkest night the dawn is not far off And though your king be sick to death yet can he be cured by love. She stripped the clothes from off his back till he lay like a naked boy And she lay down beside him and she filled his heart with joy. And warm was the music of her mouth and the sky wore a ribboned bow. The mourning birds sang dawning words and the corn grew under the snow. Now the queen she swore a mighty oath and she swore it like a man: No other shall lie in my lord's bed and I'll kill you if I can. But the lady said: Be not afraid, your lord is still your lord, And see the snows are melting and the barns with grain are stored. So we can sing a reaping song and the fiddler rosin the bow. And song birds fly in the cloudless sky and the girls to the harvest go. When the king awoke he said to his folk: Who was it lay with me? For she has set my heart aflame and I'm no longer free. The lady said: You have your queen and duties to your land While I must travel down the road that lies at my right hand. So forget the music of my mouth and the tune of the fiddlers' bow. For the sun is high into the sky and onward I must go. The king he swore a mighty oath, said: That shall never be For I shall leave my native land and go along with thee. But if you will not have me it were better I should die. Sweet chains have bound and made us one, and none shall say me nay . For I live by the music of your mouth and we'll dance to the fiddlers' bow. And free as the birds up in the sky you and I shall onward go. Now the queen she was a wise woman and none so wise as she: Come into my arms my own true lord and listen unto me. This lady gave you healing love and the healing work is done. Now you and I shall live till we die in the blessings of the sun. We'll make new music with our mouth and dance to the fiddlers' bow. As birds fly high up in the sky and streams with waters flow.. True love is a gift comes from above and it moves like the winds of spring. It obeys the command of no man's hand nor the cold winds wintering. Like dragonflies in the summer skies it glows and then it's gone But the memory sweet is still complete and never can be gone. It lives in the music of your mouth and the tune of the fiddlers' bow. And the skylark's rise into the sky and the cornfields here below. No tongue can say how she felt that day as she rode away from the town. Did she go to join her own true love or roam the whole world round? Or was a part of that lady's heart for ever in that land As the sunshine bright put paid to night and the hills were a golden band? You may sing with the music of your mouth and dance to the fiddler's bow You can see the smile on the face of love but not what lies below.
A Blessing 01:37
Tune: Amazing Grace (John Newton) Amazing peace How sweet the sound Of peace throughout the world Let war be lost and peace be found Let all our hearts be one. When words of war are all we hear Let quiet words of peace Prevail at last and far and near And soldiers find release When all the world Shall be as one And fill our hearts with love The bloody eagle be transformed Into a turtle dove. So let's unite And be resolved That peace shall be our aim And every problem shall be solved And peace forever reign


released August 25, 2012

Cover picture, Karl Dallas sings The Arbroath Tragedy on ATV television, 1953.


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