by Rowan Piggott

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The sheep that roam this wilderness Have wandered for an age, The hills are hewn by winding tracks Like scrawls across a page, And since I left that spot I can no time so serene describe Than those childhood days I spent Down in the woods of old Mountscribe. The smell of thatch and burning peat Hung welcoming in the air, My father played melodeon In his old rocking chair And Burren stone I hold so dear That no blackmail or bribe Could e'er tempt me to forget The days I spent in old Mountscribe. The purple heather, yellow gorse, The moss and the bracken green Adorn the banks and drystone walls Along the old boreen Where small folk wander 'mongst The barrows of a faery tribe In the secret nooks and crannies Of that place known as old Mountscribe. Twenty summers now have passed Their tired suns slowly sink And I, a man, sat by my door Of twenty sad things think, But in the dusk of evening As I count my memories all It's of my days in old Mountscribe Most fondly I do recall...
I'm a worker by nature I freely admit And I spend all my days in the fields At a tiring old trade which may well be unpaid, But it brings all the farmers their yields. When the sun has dropped down I will take to my bed In the cell that my own toil has made To arise again early and tend to the gardens Of folks who are in their beds laid... Oh for Queen and Country, Though the latter is no thought of mine, I work for all and sundry, I'm a labourer come rain or shine. Gone are the days when on jelly I dined A bumbling old fool I've become, And I hum as I go the old chants that I know From our glory days spent in the sun. Well the people are swarming for honey & milk And that land that was promised of old, But they don't understand that the crops are unmanned And the colonies now all stand cold. Where there once was a gate to palace of gold Flanked by guards in their striped livery You'll find corpses piled high 'cause the honey's run dry To pay those from the mortuary...
When all the world was young, lad, And all the leaves were green, And every goose a swan, lad, And every lass a queen, Then hey for boot and horse, lad, And round the world away! Young blood must have its course, lad, And every dog his day. With rue my heart is laden For golden friends I had For many a rose-lipped maiden And many a light-foot lad; By brooks too broad for leaping The lightfoot lads are laid, The rose-lipped girls lie sleeping In fields where roses fade. When all the world is old, lad, And all the leaves are brown, And those big high hopes you cherished, lad Come trembling tumbling down, Creep home, and take your place there The spent and maim’d among; I pray you find one face there You loved when all was young...
A maid going to Comber her market to learn To sell for her mammy three hanks of fine yarn She met with a young lad along the highway Which caused this young lady to ramble and stray... "Sit down beside I mean you no harm, Sit down beside me this new tune to learn, Here are three guineas your mammy to pay So hang by your yarnd till the next market day..." They sat down together the grass was so green, And the day was the fairest that ever was seen, "The look in your eye would lead angels astray, I could lie in your arms till the next market day..." This girl she went home and the words that she said Are "The air that he played me rings round in my head I will go find him by land or by sea Till he learns me the tune called The Next Market Day."
One night as I lay slumbering In my silent bed at home Some rakish thought came to mind Which caused me for to roam, To leave my native country And the girl that I adore, Sure I thought fit to take a trip Strange lands for to explore. I packed my things all on my back And started down the hill, 'Twas there I met my own true love Her eyes with tears did fill, I took her in my arms And I gave her kisses nine Saying "If ever I return again Dear girl sure you'll be mine." "My handsome lad do tell me first What makes you go away Pray stay at home and do not roam From the green fields of Roslea But if you love another I bid you go to her, For I cannot stand a faithless man The heartache I prefer..." "My darling dear I pray you hear You're the keeper of my heart But tomorrow morning I must sail And you & I must part, For I must explore a distant shore Adventure for to find!" So that next day I sailed away And left my love behind. I soon arrived on foreign soil And the strangers gathered round They taught me tunes, they taught me songs So bleak and pure in sound, That soon I longed for home & hearth So when the tunes were o'er I straightway went and sailed that day Back to the shamrock shore... Where trout and salmon float about All around Lough Erin's way I led my darling by the hand To the chapel in Roslea The lark and linnet tuned their notes And sang them o'er and o'er As I was wed unto my love And left my home no more...
Oh the Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she sings as she flies She brings us good tidings and tells us no lies She sucks the little birds eggs to keep her voice clear And when she sings cuckoo, the summer draws near. As I walked down by the side of a bush, I heard two birds whistling; the Blackbird and the Thrush I asked them the reason so merry they be And the answer that they gave me: We are single and we are free. But the Nightingale sings so sweetly for true love she knows. She's pierced her brown breast on the thorn of a rose. That rose once as white as the first fall of snow Glows scarlet in the moonlight, her heartache to show. A-walking a-talking, a-walking was I, When I spied Cock Robin in a ditch he did lie, I asked him who caused him such sorrow, such strife And he told me that the Sparrow had taken his life. So when the year's a-turning and wassailing we go, I'll spy our small king as he dashes through the snow. The Wren singing boldly is out aways in front Of the boys in straw costume who are out on the hunt.
I sing to you of a banker bold A banker bold he chanced to be He got his pack up on his back And went a-rambling o'er the lea. By chance he met with two grey-clad men Two grey-clad men he chanced there upon The one of them was brave Robin Hood And his companion was Little John. “Banker pray tell what's in your pack What's in your pack I would know..." “I have a pittance of worthless coin And useless bonds that I'm owed." Then Robin Hood he drew out his sword But this bold banker stood fast They fought till blood in a river ran The banker gave ground at last. Robin opened the banker's pack And golden guineas spilled out But he found one tiny penny there And with this he turned about. “If every banker who came this way Gave just one penny to me I'd raise enough to feed all starved folk Who ramble over the lea." “I'd have the riches to nurse the sick The means to shelter the poor, If only courts throughout all the land Would make this small tax the law!"
Alone on the banks of the dark rolling Danube, Fair Adelaide roamed when the battle was o’er. “Oh where then” she cried, “have you wandered my true love? Or where do you wither and bleed on the shore?” She travelled a while the tears her eyes flooding, Through the dead and the dying she walked near and far, Till she found by the river all bleeding and dying, By the light of the moon her poor wounded hussar. From his bosom that heaved, one last torrent was streaming, And pale was his face deep marked by a scar, And pale were those eyes once expressively beaming, Eyes that had melted in love and had kindled in war. How sad was poor Adelaide’s heart at the sight, And how bitter she wept for her victim of war. “Have you come then” he cried, “this last sorrowful night for, To cheer the lone heart of your wounded hussar?” “You live then” she cried, “heaven’s mercy relieving, Each anguishing wound shall forbid me to mourn.” “Oh no my last fancy in my bosom is heaving, No light of the morn shall to Henry return.” “You charmer of life so tender and true, Take my love to the babe that awaits me afar.” Then his faltering tongue could scarce murmur adieu, When he died in her arms, her poor wounded hussar...
A restless king is sat all alone He fears that he may lose his throne, For from afar he can see a host Of darkened soldiers come from the coast. As they approached his castle then They met a rank of brave footmen Whose duty bound them to remain Though fate would play their lives in vain. The battle rages for e'er an hour, The king he hides in his ivory tower, While all the clergy say their creed And every horseman mounts his steed. As night and fog obscured them all They sured the gate and the old stonewall In fear and trembling there laid low Without an ally to slay their foe. Our king sat wooden in his keep As if in some enchanted sleep But as he stood to survey the scene He saw them take his beloved queen. His men lay strewn 'cross the battlefield And all alone now our king must yield As circling rooks foretold his fate He heard his foe call aloud, "Checkmate!"
Emigrantvisa 04:40
Tonight I must journey to a far-off land, One from whence I may never return. Farewell you fine fellows, may you understand That my heart will for you ever yearn. As the ship leaves the shore I will weep the more For the friends and the lovers I've left before, But it's you who are here who'll I'll hold most dear When I'm standing alone at the stern. When out 'cross the water rings a clear ahoy And a coastline appears at the prow, I'll think on this night and be filled with joy For the songs that I sing with you now. It'll always bring cheer these tunes to hear, It'll lighten my heart and will turn my ear When I hear them sung in a foreign tongue And I'm standing alone at the bow.


"...not only does Piggott demonstrate a deep understanding of and ‘feel’ for tradition, he also exhibits a fine ability to add his own edge to this music. The blend of songs and tunes fit perfectly, each combination revealing a consummate skill... Add vocals that express depths of feeling, always engaging and at times verging on fragile, Piggott possesses a distinct and expressive voice.​..
Mountscribe is a debut long waited for; many will be pleased to hear of its arrival, and none will be disappointed..." – FolkWords

"...a perfect illustration of Rowan’s talents... his life-and-soul energy is inclusive and infectious...his singing has a nimbly sprung quality which mirrors the deft sweep and agility of his fiddle strokes... a proud and very assured debut which will surely enhance Rowan’s existing high profile even more considerably!" – FATEA Magazine


released January 14, 2018

Rowan Piggott – Voice / Fiddle / Bouzouki / Double Bass
Felix Miller – Guitar / 12-string

Anna Tabbush – BVs (2,4,8); Fiddle (7)
Rosie Hodgson – BVs (2); Clog Stepping (6)
Georgia Lewis – BVs (2,4); Bodhrán (11)
Philippe Barnes – Alto Flute (4,6,11); Whistle (5)
Charlie Piggott – Button Accordion (9,12)

Recorded/mixed by Rowan Piggott
Mastered by Nick Sowden at La Barca Sound
Photography by Voy Okuszko


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Rowan Piggott Sheffield, UK

Rowan is a fiddle-singer, writer and tunesmith who grew up in the foothills of the Burren on the west coast of Ireland, surrounded by traditional music. The author of two successful tunebooks, he has also written articles for The Living Tradition magazine and led fiddle workshops at festivals all over the country. In 2016, he won the Future of Young Folk Award at Bromyard Folk Festival. ... more

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