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I Won​’​t Go Home ’Til Morning

by Sarah McQuaid

The chickens they are crowing, a-crowing, a-crowing The chickens they are crowing For it is ’most daylight The boys they come a-courting, a-courting, a-courting The boys they come a-courting And then they stay all night I won’t go home ’til morning, ’til morning, ’til morning I won’t go home ’til morning I’m staying away all night My mother she will scold me, will scold me, will scold me My mother she will scold me For staying away all night My father he’ll uphold me, uphold me, uphold me My father he’ll uphold me He’ll say I done a-right And the chickens they are crowing, a-crowing, a-crowing The chickens they are crowing For it is ’most daylight
Come on all you Virginia gals and listen to my noise Don’t you mess around with West Virginia boys If’n you do your ration will be Cornbread, molasses and sassafras tea When he comes a-courtin’ he’ll bring along a chair First thing he’ll say, my daddy killed a deer Next thing he’ll say, before he sits down Honey can you bake your Johnny cakes brown When he comes a-courtin’, tell you what he’ll wear Long tail coat, just about to tear Pair of old boots with the tops turned down Pair of cotton socks that he wears the year round When he comes a-courtin’ he’ll whisper in your ear First it’s honey lamb and then it’s dear After you’re married, no such thing Get up and fix my breakfast, you good-for-nothin’ thing Come on all you Virginia gals and listen to my noise Don’t you mess ’round with West Virginia boys If’n you do your ration will be Cornbread, molasses and sassafras tea
Uncloudy Day 03:37
Oh they tell me of a land far beyond the skies Oh they tell me of a home far away Oh they tell me of a land where no storm clouds rise Oh they tell me of an uncloudy day Oh they tell me there’s no sickness or danger there Oh they tell me of that home far away Oh they tell me that He smiles on His children there In the city that is made of gold Oh they tell me of a land of eternal sun Oh they tell me of a home far away Oh they tell me of a land where my friends have gone To the city that is made of gold
What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul What wondrous love is this, O my soul What wondrous love is this, that caused the Lord of bliss To send such perfect peace to my soul, to my soul To send such perfect peace to my soul To God and to the Lamb I will sing (repeat as before) To God and to the Lamb who is the great I am And Christ the son of man, I will sing (repeat as before) When we’re from sorrow free, we’ll sing on (repeat as before) When we’re from sorrow free, we’ll rise and joyous be And through eternity we’ll sing on (repeat as before)
Cheer up, it might never happen Said the stranger in the street Well, it already did But that’s life And loss is nothing new to me The doctor says I need a little something To get me through this difficult time But I’ve got a reason For my state of mind Chorus: It’s only an emotion There’s no problem here to solve It’s natural I’m feeling sad That’s all Since when did grief become An illness to be cured We don’t wear black any more We don’t mourn We don’t talk about it, that’s for sure We smile like obedient children And we swallow the pills prescribed ’Cause the power of our anguish Has us terrified (Chorus) And today I saw a funny thing That made me crack a smile The colours all seem brighter And my soul is getting lighter It just takes a little while (Chorus)
In The Pines 04:42
The longest train I ever saw Came down that Georgia line The engine passed at six o’clock And the cab passed by at nine Chorus: In the pines, in the pines Where the sun never shines And we shiver when the cold winds blow Ooh ... I asked the captain for the time of day He said he throwed his watch away It’s a long steel rail and a short cross tie I’m on my way back home (Chorus) Little girl, little girl, where’d you stay last night Not even your mother knows Well I stayed in the pines where the sun never shines And we shiver when the cold winds blow (Chorus)
I was born in east Virginia North Carolina I did roam There I met a fair pretty maiden Her name and age I do not know Her hair it was of a brightsome color And her lips were a ruby red On her breast she wore white lilies There I long to lay my head I’d rather be in some dark holler Where the sun refused to shine Than to see you another man’s darling And to know you’d never be mine For in the night I’m dreaming ’bout you And in the day I can take no rest Just the thought of you my darling Sends aching pains right through my breast And when I’m dead and in my coffin With my feet turned to the sun Come and sit beside me darling Come and think on the way you done For in my heart you are my darling And at my gate you’re welcome in At my door I’ll meet you my darling If your love I could only win
Oh hard is the fortune of all womankind We’re always controlled, we’re always confined Controlled by our fathers until we’re made wives Then slaves to our husbands for the rest of our lives I am a poor young girl, my fortune is sad For once I was courted by the wagoner’s lad He courted me fairly by night and by day And now he is loaded and going away Your parents don’t like me because I am poor They say I’m not worthy to enter your door I work for my living, my money’s my own And if people don’t like me they can leave me alone Your horses are hungry, come feed them some hay Come sit down beside me as long as you stay My horses ain’t hungry, they won’t eat your hay I’m going to Wyoming, they can graze on the way Your wagon needs greasing, your whip is to mend Come sit down beside me for as long as you can My wagon is loaded, my whip in my hand So fare thee well, darling, no longer to stand Then he cracked his big whip and away he did go And that was a grief to this girl, you must know If ever I see him I’ll crown him with joy And I’ll kiss the sweet lips of my wagoner boy I can love you right lightly or I can love long I can stay with an old love ’til a new one comes on I can court him and kiss him and keep him with ease Then turn my back on him and court whom I please
Last Song 04:59
When I was a little girl tucked in my bed at night I’d have the door cracked open and I’d watch that thread of light I’d listen to my mother as she played her old guitar I’d say, do ‘Froggy Went A-Courtin’ for the next one She’d say all right, but now this has to be the last song Chorus: Are you still awake Go to sleep, child The sun is down, you’re safe and sound The sandman’s on his way Honey, close your eyes Time to be quiet now ’Til you wake up in the morning And start another day Years have passed and now I’m trying to learn some sweet old tune In the hall I’ve got the light on so it shines into your room You’re talking to your teddy bears and playing with your dolls You should have been asleep an hour ago I’m thinking Is it my mother’s voice or mine that I hear asking (Chorus) She left this world too soon to ever know you She never got to see your little face And I wish with all my heart That she’d lived long enough to hold you Long enough to kiss your cheek And stroke your head and say (Chorus) Froggy went a-courtin’ and he did ride, mm-hmm Froggy went a-courtin’ and he did ride Sword and pistol by his side, mm-hmm


Dedicated to the memory of my mother, Jane Addams Allen Guthrie (1935-2004)

My mother never performed professionally, but she had a lovely natural style of singing and playing guitar. She grew up in Chicago, and as a teenager she spent her summers volunteering at Quaker work camps run by the American Friends Service Committee in Kentucky and other parts of Appalachia. I believe that’s where she first became acquainted with the music of Jean Ritchie, Peggy Seeger and other folk singers and song collectors.

My mother died in January of 2004, and it’s only since then that I’ve developed the urge to revisit the songs she and I used to sing together when I was a child. When I discovered traditional Irish music at the age of 18, it had such a powerful impact on me that for many years I had no interest in singing or playing anything else. My first album, When Two Lovers Meet, consisted entirely of traditional Irish material, bar one song that I wrote myself.

I still love Irish music, but in recent years I’ve been turning more and more to the Southern Appalachian songs and tunes that I grew up with. I can’t help feeling that this is part of a cathartic process that has to do with my mother’s death, the births of my son the year before she died and my daughter the year after, and the fact that I’m now living, with my husband and children, in what was once my mother’s house.

All the songs on this recording have powerful emotional resonances for me, and all are connected one way or another to my mother, so it’s appropriate that I dedicate this album to her. I miss her more than I could ever express in words, and it will always be a source of great sorrow and regret to me that she and her grandchildren never had the opportunity to get to know one another.

Back in 1997, I made my aforementioned debut CD in Trevor Hutchinson’s home studio in Glasnevin, Dublin, with Gerry O’Beirne producing and Trevor at the controls. A decade on, I returned to the same place to record the follow-up with the same team. I’m so very glad that I did. Gerry and Trevor, I can’t thank you enough. Thanks also to Liam, Máire and Rosie for their contributions; it’s an honour to have five musicians of such a high calibre on my album. Thanks to Mary Guinan, my son’s godmother and my great friend, for her lovely artwork and design and for letting me use her Dublin flat as a crash pad during the two weeks of recording. Thanks to Alastair for the photos and to Sander for the mastering. And infinite thanks to my husband, Feargal Shiels, for his patience, tolerance and love. Eli and Lily Jane are lucky children to have you as a dad.

Since making this recording I’ve had a beautiful new guitar made for me by Andy Manson (www.andymanson.com), but at the time I was still playing my 1965 Martin D-28, which I’ve owned for almost two decades and still love dearly. Both guitars are fitted with Fishman Matrix pickups, and when playing live I use a Trace Elliott Acoustic pre-amp. The strings I use, again on both guitars, are made by John Pearse (www.jpstrings.com); I use his 80/20 Bell Bronze set, Medium gauge – .013 to .056 – and would highly recommend them to any player.


released October 28, 2008

Produced by Gerry O’Beirne
Engineered by Trevor Hutchinson
Recorded and mixed at Marguerite Studios, Glasnevin, Dublin
Mastered by Sander van der Heide at Polyhymnia International, Baarn, The Netherlands
Design and original cover artwork by Mary Guinan
Photography by Alastair Bruce
Supported by the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon under the Deis funding scheme for the traditional arts


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Sarah McQuaid Penzance, UK

“One of the most instantly recognisable voices in current music … Shades of Joni Mitchell in a jam with Karen Carpenter and Lana Del Rey.” —Neil March, Trust The Doc

“Captivating, unorthodox songwriting … layered satin vocals ... enthralling, harrowing arrangements … a gateway into a true innovator’s soul.” —PopMatters

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