Saturday, November 2, 2013

In Scarlet Town

Dear Ones,

It is time for our sing-a-long.  My songbook tells me this song came over with the Pilgrims from England and Scotland and that folks have been singing it for 390-odd years.  We can make it to 400 years easily. 

Like all the good old songs, there are many verses and versions- I have given you the verses I used. Lift your voices up, and join me and all the many singers of the ages! 

Barbara Allen

In Scarlet town where I was born
There was a fair maid dwelling
Made every youth cry well-a-day
Her name was Barbara Allen.

Twas in the merry month of May
When green buds they were swelling
Sweet William on his deathbed lay
For the love of Barbara Allen

He sent a servant unto her
To the place where she was dwelling
Saying you must come to his deathbed now
If your name be Barbara Allen

So slowly slowly she got up
And slowly she came nigh him
And the only words she said to him:
Young man I think you're dying

As she was walking o'er the fields
She heard the death bells knelling
And every stroke seemed to say to her
Hardhearted Barbara Allen

Oh Mother, Mother make my bed
Make it both long and narrow
Sweet William died for me today
I'll die for him tomorrow

They buried her in the old churchyard
They buried him in the choir
And from his grave grew a red red rose
And from hers grew a briar

They grew and grew up the old church wall
Till they could grow no higher
And there they twined in a lovers knot
The red rose round the briar

As an encore, join me, and the VU in I'm Sticking with You.  While we are thinking together, of how diminished our world is without Lou Reed, here is a fine obituary by his wife, Laurie Anderson, from the East Hampton Star:

                   To our neighbors:

                   What a beautiful fall! Everything shimmering and golden and all that incredible
                   soft light.  Water surrounding us. 

                    Lou and I have spent a lot of time here in the past few years, and even though
                    we’re city people this is our spiritual home.     

                    Last week I promised Lou to get him out of the hospital and come home to
                    Springs.  And we made it!    

                    Lou was a tai chi master and spent his last days here being happy and dazzled
                    by the beauty and power and softness of nature.  He died on Sunday morning
                    looking at the trees and doing the famous 21 form of tai chi with just his musician
                    hands moving through the air. 

                    Lou was a prince and a fighter and I know his songs of the pain and beauty in
                    the world will fill many people with the incredible joy he felt for life. Long
                    live the beauty that comes down and through and onto all of us.

                    — Laurie Anderson
                    his loving wife and eternal friend

Maybe next time we can sing the much newer (1815) "Foggy Foggy Dew."  Until then.