Tag Archives: traditional folk song

95. A hat wouldn’t have helped – maybe an asprin would have?

I’ve mentioned Jeremy before. He’s the English guy I knew in the 70’s. We were going to get married, but didn’t.

I’ve not mentioned his stroke – at least not here. About 9 years ago he was taking a walk and had a stroke up on a moor. I didn’t know the taking a walk on the moor part – I found that out today when I heard he’d been honored by the British Stroke Association with a Life After Stroke award in art.

That got me thinking about Ilkely Moor. Have you seen the moors of Yorkshire? They are desolate, but have an uncanny beauty – something that haunts you when you leave them. Ilkely Moor is just another moor, but there is a Yorkshire folk song written about it.

Basically it’s about a guy who dated someone else’s girlfriend but forgot to wear a hat on the moor while he was dating the girl. His friend warns him that if he continues to go on the moor without a hat he may get a cold, die, and be eaten by worms that in turn are eaten by ducks. The guy whose girlfriend he dated may the duck and “get his own back”. Kinda gross, I know, but funny too. I have a tea-towel with the words and some cartoony drawings.

Here are the lyrics. A YouTube video of a bunch of rowdy Yorkshiremen singing the song follows.

75. When the fairies sing

White coral bells upon a slender stalk
Lilies-of-the valley line the garden walk
Oh don’t you wish that you could hear them ring?
That will happen only when the fairies sing

My mom didn’t sing to me much, but she did sing White Coral Bells to me when the Lilies of the Valley were in bloom. They grew in a patch of earth near the end of the driveway and we both looked forward their tiny white flowers and sweet scent.

I was weeding the garden yesterday evening and saw that our lilies of the valley were in bloom and I could hear my mother singing White Coral Bells.

Listen to Laurie Berkner sing White Coral Bells.