Anachie Gordon

by That Harp Guy

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about

One of my favorite long, sad ballads. I'm asking a bit more, 'cause it's long, and a lot of fun, and a lot of work. In particular, Jeannie offers us the line, "To a son or a daughter, I'll never bow my knee!" - which is to underline that she is a Commoner, and Lord Sultan a Noble, and she would be required to defer and submit to the whims of her children - her 3-year-old could call for her execution, for instance, and she's just not there - she's a few hundred years ahead of her time, and a true fighter for personal freedom.

I keep items like Anachie Gordon in my repertoire because they show us that as ungroovy as some of the things going on in the world around us are, we as a species come successfully out of far ungroovier times. If *nothing* else, personal hygiene and marital customs have improved dramatically since 1600.

lyrics

Anachie Gordon (Child Ballad #239)

Harking is bonnie, and there lives my love
My love lies on him and cannot remove
It cannot remove, not for all that I have done
And I never will forget my love Anachie

For Anachie Gordon, he's bonnie and he's bright
He'd entice any maiden that e'er, e'er him saw
He'd entice any maiden and so he has done me
And I never will forsake my love Anachie

Down came her father - he's standing at the door
Saying, Jeannie you're trying the tricks of a whore
You care nothing for a man who cares so very much for thee
You must marry Lord Saulton and leave Anachie
For Anachie Gordon, he's barely but a man
Although he may be pretty but where are his lands?
For Lord Saulton's lands are broad and his towers they run high
You must marry Lord Saulton and leave Anachie.

With Anachie Gordon I'd beg for my bread
Before I'll marry Saulton, his gold to my head
With gold to my head and straight down to my knee
I will die if I don't get my love Anachie
And you that are my parents to Church you may me bring
But unto your Lord Saulton I'll never bear a son;
To a son or a daughter, I'll never bow my knee
And I'll die if I don't get my love Anachie

Jeannie was married, from church was brought home
And when she and her maidens all merry should have been
When she and her maidens all merry should have been
She has gone into her chambers and cried all alone

Come to bed my Jeannie, my honey and my sweet
To style you my mistress it would be complete

Be it mistress or Jeannie it's all the same to me
But in your bed Lord Saulton it's never will I lie

And down came her father - he's spoken with reknown
Saying, You who are her maidens, come loosen up her gowns

And she fell down to the floor and straight down to her knee
Saying father look I'm dying for my love Anachie

The day that Jeannie married was the day that Jeannie died
And the day that young Anachie came home on the tide
And down came her maidens all wringing of their hands
Saying oh you,ve been so long, you've been so long on the sands
So long upon the strand, so long upon the flood
They have married your Jeannie and now she lies dead

You that are her maidens go take me by the hand
And take me to the chamber that me love she lies in
And he's kissed her cold lips till his heart had turned to stone
And he died in the chamber that his love she lies in

Harking is bonnie, and there lives my love
My love lies on him and cannot remove
It cannot remove, not for all that I have done
And I never will forget my love Anachie...

credits

released September 13, 2011
This was recorded live on the Pearl Street Mall, in Boulder, Colorado.

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about

That Harp Guy Seattle, Washington

Gaffer has been played by his Folk Harp, Leannan (a Dusty Strings 26-string), since 1989. Multi-instrumental in his background, he has always had music as part of his life. He currently resides in Seattle.

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