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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleBlackbird and the thrush
Roud No.2380
Collected FromUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 534
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

One morning for a ramble as I through some fields did stray
To listen to some pretty birds sing out their morning lay
As I stretched beneath a shady tree I heard in tuneful words
A conversation that took place between two well known birds

Verse 2

A blackbird and a thrush had met that morning on a tree
To speak about the present times these two birds did agree
And every leaf upon that tree all stood in silence hushed
To hear what the blackbird did say unto the thrush.

Verse 3

Their conversation opened on the colliers in the mine
They said the colliers' wages were getting good to fine
And that the masters nowadays were treating them like toys
The wages they were getting is scarcely fir for boys

Verse 4

And every honest labourer no matter what calling right should push
And that is what the blackbird should say unto the thrush

Verse 5

Said the thrush unto the blackbird James Cory has been slain
Who escaped from the Invincibles he sailed across the main
Under the name of Power he thought he could escape
And with his wife and family he sailed out for the Cape

Verse 6

But the Invincibles were on his track although he was disguised
O'Darrell seemed to know him and no one was surprised
When they heard of Cory's murder the tears they did not rush
To the peoples eyes which served him right said the blackbird to the thrush

Verse 7

Said the thrush unto the blackbird brave Captain Webb well you know
He lost his life while trying a [?] feat to show
We al must know it was a foolish thing for him
Across Niagara's rapids to make attempt for to swim

Verse 8

Now Captain Webb was headstrong we must own that he was brave
He deserved a better resting place than a common pauper's grave
They buried him near the riverside where the rapids wild do rush
I should have brought him back to England said the blackbird to the thrush
Print Song Lyrics
There is a transcript in the file by Bathe or Clissold referring to the Alfred Williams notebook, pages 71 - 75. My transcription differs in minor details from that in the file. For example, in Verse 6 they give Moore? While I think it is no one. The writing is particularly difficult to read so there can be no certainty in the transcription of some words.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.



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