Hark The Village Wait
A Calling-On Song
Hark! The Village Wait
Please To See The King
Ten Man Mop
The Journey. 1999
Spanning The Links

Musical Traditions

Village Waits

Steeleye Span. Mk.1

 A 'wait' is a musician or group of musicians, employed by a town to play on ceremonial occasions (historical) and (in plural) persons who welcome in Christmas by playing or singing out of doors at night. In this case the group of musicians are:

Tim Hart, electric guitar, 5-string banjo, electric dulcimer, harmonium, fiddle, vocals;
Ashley Hutchings, electric bass;
Maddy Prior, vocals;
Gay Woods, vocals, autoharp, concertina, bodhrán;
Terry Woods, mandola, mandolin, 5-string banjo, electric guitar, vocals;
Gerry Conway, drums on [2,3,5,6,7,8];
Dave Mattacks, drums on [4,10,11,12]

Engineer: Vic Gamm, Sound Techniques

The Official Waits Website

Tuning Up

The love that I have chosen I therewith be content
And the salt sea shall be frozen before that I repent
Repent it shall I never until the day I dee
But the lowlands of Holland has twined my love and me.

My love lies in the salt sea and I am on the side
It's enough to break a young thing's heart what lately was a bride.
But lately was a bonny bride with pleasure in her e'e.
But the lowlands of Holland has twined my love and me.

My love he built a bonny ship and set her on the sea
With seven score good mariners to bear her company.
But there's three score of them is sunk and three score dead at sea
And the lowlands of Holland has twined my love and me.

My love has built anither ship and set her on the main
And nane but twenty mariners all for to bring her hame.
But the weary wind began to rise, the sea began to roll
And my love then and his bonny ship turned withershins about.

There shall nae a quiff come on my head nor comb come in my hair
And shall neither coal nor candlelight shine in my bower mair.
And neither will I marry until the day I dee
For I never had a love but one and he's drowned in the sea.

Oh hold your tongue my daughter dear, be still and be content.
There's men enough in Galloway, you need not sore lament.
Oh there's men enough in Galloway, alas there's none for me
For I never had a love but one and he's drowned in the sea.

- Lowlands of Holland

No, this not Steeleye Span busking for Xmas tips!
Leicester Waites

click here for full size image
RCA SF 8113 (LP, UK, June 1970)

Side 1

Side 2


Getting it just right

Related Links

myths and legends
Galloway is mentioned in
the song  Lowlands of Holland,
which in turn, is one of two songs
on this album of which the subject
is press-ganging, the other being
All Things Are Quite Silent.

Waits were civic musicians,
employed by towns and
cities to provide music
during feasts and processions
from the Virtual Norfolk website

the subject of the songs
All Things Are Quite Silent and
Lowlands of Holland

  Seaton Delaval, presumably the
Delaval  mentioned in the song,
The Blackleg Miner, 
is about six miles north
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne,

 BBC Radio Ballad No.3
by Charles Parker, Ewan McColl
and Peggy Seeger. first broadcast
in 1960, from which the song
Fisherman's Wife is taken

southern England that is

the village from which the song
One Night As I Lay On My Bed
was collected

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