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Edmund in the Lowlands

from At Home by Patrick Rose

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I learned this from Peter Bellamy's fantastic album Both Sides Then and it's been a constant earworm ever since I heard it. I'm a big fan of modal tunes like this in traditional song because it flies in the fact of the idea that folk music is simple and boring.

lyrics

Come all you wild young people and listen to my song:
Concerning gold which I am told do lead so many wrong.
Young Emily was a servant girl, she loved a soldier bold
Who ploughed the main much gold to gain for his true love, we are told.

Now seven long years being passed and gone, to his homeland he did go.
He landed to Young Emily and all his gold he did show
That he had gained all on the main down in the lowlands low.

Now her father, he kept a public house, it stood down by the sea.
“Young Edmund, you may enter there and there the night you may stay.
I will meet you in the morning but don't let my father know
That your name it is Young Edmund who ploughed the lowlands low.”

Young Edmund he did enter there but all his gold he did show,
Says Young Emily's cruel father, “All this gold will prove your foe
For I will send your body sinking down in the lowlands low.”

And Young Edmund he went up to bed but scarce had fell asleep
When Young Emily's cruel father all in the room he did creep.
He stabbed him, dragged him from the bed, unto the beach he did go,
And he sent his body sinking down in the lowlands low.

As Young Emily on her pillow lay, she dreamed a dreadful dream,
For she dreamed she saw Young Edmund lying in a crimson stream.
So it's early in the morning to her father's house she did go,
Enquiring for Young Edmund who ploughed the lowlands low.

She says, “Father, where is the stranger who came last night to lie?”
“Ah, he is dead, no tales to tell,” her father did reply.
“Oh father, cruel father, you will die a public show
For the murder of my Edmund who ploughed the lowlands low.”

Now all the fishes of the ocean they swim o'er my true lover's grave,
His body rocks in motion, pray God his soul to save.
How cruel was my father to murder Edmund so
And to steal the gold from one so bold who ploughed the lowlands low.

Now Young Emily's cruel father could not day or night find rest,
For the dreadful deed that he had done he therefore did confess.
He was tried and he was sentenced and he died a public show
For the murder of Young Edmund so dear who ploughed the lowlands low.

credits

from At Home, released March 4, 2022

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Patrick Rose Sheffield, UK

Patrick Rose does folk style acoustic music in between learning about Computer Science and Maths, and occasionally running How To Play

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