Back To the Yellow Hills

by Richard Moss

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    Recorded at The Grand Studio, Clitheroe Lancashire

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released May 20, 2016



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Richard Moss Blackburn, UK

Richard is a powerful guitar player and a fine singer from Blackburn equally at ease with folk, ragtime, blues and contempory fingerstyle. His driving percussive and rhythmic guitar skills are blended with subtle fingerstyle playing making him in high demand as a soloist and as a skilled accompanist for singers and traditional melody players. ... more

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Track Name: Pendle Sally/The Pendle Reel

At "Boggart Nook," at foot o' th' hill, up lonely Sabden valley,
Theer lives a bonny, buxom wench,—they ca hur "Pendle Sally."
Hoo is a shepherd's only lass, an' scanty is hur fortchin';
Fost time aw see'd hur mindin' sheep hoo seet mi heart a-wortchin'.

Hoo is to' good for sich as me to lay their dirty hands on,
Aw var' near worship t' greawnd as little Pendle Sally stands on:
If every field an' farm were mine theer is i' Sabden valley,
If Pendle Hill wer med o' gowd, aw'd give id all for Sally.

My heart strings nearly broke i' two; t' seet on her fairly crackt 'em.
Hoo's cheeks as red as if hur mam hed nabbut lately smackt 'em
Theer isn't sich another lass fro' Wiswell Top to Kendal;
Hur e'en eawtshines thad big bonfire, at Jubilee on Pendle.

Neet after neet aw wakken lie,—aw connod sleep for skeomin';
An' when bi day aw werk i' t' delf, of hur aw'm sooart a' dreeomin'.
At dinner-time aw chew an' chew, bud nod a bit can swallow;
Mi cheeks, once red as carrots scraped, are neaw as white as tallow.

Mi feyther says aw'm geddin' daft; sometimes he'll fairly crack eawt,
An' sweear if aw dornd wakken up he'll come an' jert mi neck eawt.
To-day aw leet mi barrow fo—he sheawts to t' ganger, "Harry!
Just ta'e thad gaumless foo' a' mine an' punch him eawt o' t' quarry."

Sich work as this 'll never do; aw'll oather end or mend id,
As soon as ever t' week-end comes, mi pocket brass aw'll spend id
I' summat nice for hur; an' then, fast as mi legs 'll ta'e me,
Aw'll hook id off to wheer hoo lives, an' ax hur if hoo'll ha'e me.

If hoo says "Nowe!" aw'll goo an' list, an' end mi days i' feightin';
If hoo says "Aye!" aw'll lorry hooam, an' buckle to mi eytin'.
We'll nod be long afoor we're wed, an' ringers twitchin' t' bell strings;
Then we'll goo o'er bi Pendle Nick, an' hev a spree at Well Springs.
Track Name: Friends are Few When Foak Are poor
When aw hed wark, an' brass to spend,
Aw never wanted for a friend;
Fooak coom a campin every neet,
An mooved when meetin me i'th' street;
Mi company wor cooarted then
Bi business chaps, an' gentlemen—
Aw ceawnted comrades then bi t' scoor,
Bud neaw aw've noan, becose aw'm poor.

Aw'd invitations every day,
To dine, or sup, or teck mi tay,
Or caw an' hev a friendly chat
Wi Mr. This and Mrs. That;
An' Squire Consequence, to boot,
Ud ax me o'er to fish—or shoot
Wi dog an' gun, o'er fell an' moor—
Bud that's knockt off, becose aw'm poor.

Then Scotchmen bothered me wi' goods,
An' tongues as smooth as soft-sooap suds,
For patronage; an' strove to ged it
Wi' yerds o' cloth, an' years o' credit!
Bud neaw they'n torned ther tune, bi th' mass;
Some's hawkin tay—for reddy brass!
Some kornd si th' number o' mi door, '
They'n groon so blind, sin' aw grew poor.

An' wod mecks matters look moor feaw,
Mi kinsfooak doesn't know mi neaw;
Puffed up wi' pride to sitch a pitch,
They'n no relations—bud wot's rich!
An' even my own brother Jim,
He ses aw'm nowt akin to him­-
"Bi gum!" thowt aw, "bud that's a througher,
A mon's a boggart when he's poor."

Aw know there's t' Warkheawse when o's done,
Bud whooa likes gooin to th' Union?
Aw'd liefer lay mo deawn an' dee
Nor live on public charity!
On parish pay, or teawn's relief
One's looked on next door to a thief;
An wonst inside o' th' Warkheawse door,
They'll keep yo alive, bud nod mich moor!

Sooa th' world wags on, fro day to day,
An' still id ses, or seems to say,
"This poverty's a deadly sin
Wod banishes booath friends an' kin,
An' stinks in every noble nooas."
Sooa yo, who've nether meyt nor clooas,
Mun live o'th' air, an lie o'th' floor,
An serve yo reet—becose yo're poor.
Track Name: Green Grows the Laurel
I once had a sweetheart but now I have none
She's gone and she's left me, to weep and to mourn;
She's gone and she's left me, for others to see
But I'll soon find another, far better than she

cho: Green grows the laurel, soft falls the dew
Sorry was I, love, parting from you
But at our next meeting I hope you'll prove true
So I'll change the green laurel for violets of blue.

She passed by my window both early and late
And the looks she gave me, they my heart ache;
The looks she gives at me a thousand would kill
Though she hates and detests me, I love that girl still.

I wrote her a letter in red rosy lines
Shhe wrote back an answer all twisted and twined
Saying: Keep your love-letters and I will keep mine,
You write to your love and I'll write to mine.

Now I oft'times do wonder why youg girls love men
And oft'times I wonder why young men love them
But from my own knowledge I will have you to know
That the girls are deceivers wherever they go.
Track Name: The Black Cook/Blackies Polka
If you listen a while I'll tell you a story,
Of an eminent doctor that lived in Cork town,
By seamen so bold he was fairly outwitted,
And fifty gold guineas he had to lay down.
Three jolly Jack Tars and their messmates, being groggy,
Their money all spent, and their credit far gone, From Patrick Street to the freeport they rambled,
They was bent to procure it, some money for fun.

Now the cook of the ship, being one of the party,
A bold lad he was and his color was black,
With wit and contrivements he always was ready
And soon found the way to get cash in a crack.
Said he to his messmates: I've heard people talking,
A corpse can be sold very readily here,
So take me alive, wrap me up in your hammock,
And sell me to buy all your whiskey and beer.

The sailors agreed, and accepted the offer,
And away to the house where the doctor did dwell,
And into his ears they boldly did whisper,
Saying: Doctor, we've got a fine corpse here to sell.
A corpse! said the doctor, like a man in amazement,
Oh where did you get it? Come tell me, I pray.
If you'll bring it here I will buy it quite ready
And fifty gold guineas to you I will pay.

Well the sailors agreed, and accepted the offer,
And it's back to the ship, they quickly did steer.
Come pay great attention, to all I may mention.
And the rest of the story you quickly shall hear.
They took the black cook, tied him up in his hammock,
But he being a lad both sturdy and strong,
It's under his waistcoat, by way of protection,
He carried a blade about half a yard long.

It's round about midnight, the streets were deserted,
The sailors set out with the cook on their back,
And into the house, oh, they boldly did enter,
And in the back room they concealed the poor black.
The doctor soon paid the bold seamen their money,
They told him: The cook, he had died on the sea,
And rather than have his dead body to bury
We've sold him to you, sir, now he's out of our way.

Well, the doctor soon went for some tools to dissect him,
And then came downstairs with his saw in his hand,
When he went to the room where the corpse had been lying
The black stood before him with his cutlass in hand.
The doctor cried out, like one in amazement,
A-thinking the corpse was in very rich prime,
With a voice loud as thunder the black he approached him,
Crying: Damn your eyes, doctor, I'll skin you alive!

Well, the doctor was forced to retreat in a hurry,
And of his late bargain was soon to lament,
And Jack hurried off to where his comrades were drinking,
And the rest of that evening was merrily spent.
Track Name: Hard Times Come Again No More
Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all sup sorrow with the poor;
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary,
Hard Times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered around my cabin door;
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door;
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

There's a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er:
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day,
Oh! Hard times come again no more.

'Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave,
'Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
'Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh! Hard times come again no more.
Track Name: Mi Nebbur/Monks Jig
Aw am a foo', aw must confess, an' hev bin o mi life;
Altho' aw've hed to share my lot, a keerful little wife.
For mony a splendid chance aw've missed: well, well! it's like to be!
We connod a ha'e th' sense as hes yon chap next door to me.

He's shares an' bonds i' everywheer, his bankbook's var near full;
He tells me that I am "a cry, an' varra little wool."
Aw s' ne'er ha'e nowt whol e'er aw live; he tells mo, bowd an' free;
But he can goo an' hang his-sel'—yon chap next door to me.

His talk is a o'er shares an' brass, they seem to fill his mind;
He says as singin' songs is nowt bud just a waste a' wind.
He'll ceawr bi t' fire an' cinders ceawnt,—we never con agree;
Aw'll gooa my way,—let him gooa his,—yon chap next door to me.

Spring-time may come, an' birds may chant, an' fleawrs may bud an' bloom;
Id seems to be no joy to him, he'll ceawr within his room.
He studies newt bud "cent per cent"; aw've many a jolly spree:
He misses t' best theer is i' life—yon chap next door to me.

Aw'm fifteen years aheyd ov him, aw'm burly yet an' strong;
He's thin as any clooase-prop,—aye, an' varra near as long!
He says aw s' dee i' th' werkheawse yet, thad he can plainly see;
Aw s' bury him befooar aw gooa,—yon chap next door to me.
Track Name: The Four Loom Weaver
I'm a four-loom weaver as many a one knows;
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out me clothes.
My clogs are both broken and stockings I've none;
You'd scarce give me tuppence for owt I've gotten on.

Old Billy o't' Bent he kept telling me long
We might have better times if I'd nobbut hold my tongue.
I've holden me tongue till I've near lost my breath
And I feel in me own heart I'll soon clem to death.

I'm a four-loom weaver as many a one knows;
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out me clothes.
Old Billy's awreet, he never were clemmed
And he never picked o'er in his life.

We held on for six weeks, thought each day were the last;
We've tarried and shifted till now we're quite fast.
We lived upon nettles while nettles were good
And Waterloo porridge was the best of ours food.

I'm a four-loom weaver as many a one knows;
I've nowt to eat and I've worn out me clothes.
Me clogs are both broken, no looms to weave on,
And I've woven meself to far end.
Track Name: The Garland
Twas when the dawn of momin' began to stir i'th sky,
I donned mysel' to wander Afore the dew wur dry;
To wander in the gay greenwood, Reet early I did rove,—
I could not sleep upon my bed for thinkin' of my love.

Down in a bonny dingle. Where sometimes we did stray,
Our vows of love to mingle. At close of summer day;
It's there, where oft among her hair the flowers of spring I've wove,
I sat me down to think upon the girl that I do love.

It's there I made a garlan', my darlin' for to don,
And the posies that were in it. They shined like the sun;
The dewy posies, wild and sweet. All in the leafy grove;
It breaks my heart to think upon the girl that I do love.

The cowslip, and the speedwell. With a dewdrop in its e'e,—
An' the wild rose, an' the bluebell. They blend so bonnilie;
An' the honey-suckle, wand'rin wild, With violets blue, I wove,
They made me for to think upon the girl that I do love.

An' when I poo'd my posies. The small birds they did.sing;
An' when I wove my garlan'. They made the woods to ring;
On every tree, the wild birds' glee. Rang through the leafy grove,
As I came away, at dawn of day. Still thinkin' of mv love.

Oh, the momm' sun it rises To cheer my heart's delight,
An' the silver moon she wanders among the clouds at night;
An' the twinklin' stars that look so fine, all in the heavens above,—
At wark or play, by neet an' day, I’m thinkin' of