When Two Lovers Meet

by Sarah McQuaid

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1.
In my garden grew plenty of thyme It would flourish by night and by day ’Til along came a lad and he took all I had Stole all my thyme away Stole all my thyme away And I was a damsel fair But fairer I wished to appear So I bathed me in milk and I clothed me in silk I put the sweet thyme in my hair Put the sweet thyme in my hair In June the red roses in bloom It was not the flower for me For I plucked the bud and it pricked me to blood As I gazed on the willow tree Gazed on the willow tree Now the willow tree it will twist And the willow tree it will twine And I wish I were clasped in my lover’s arms fast ’Tis he that has stolen my thyme ’Tis he that has stolen my thyme And it’s very good drinking of ale But it’s better for drinking of wine And I wish I were clasped in my lover’s arms fast ’Tis he that has stolen my thyme ’Tis he that has stolen my thyme
2.
The Tempest 04:24
3.
When a man’s in love he feels no cold Like me some time ago Like a hero bold to seek his girl He’ll plough through frost and snow The moon she gently shed her light Along my weary way ’Til I arrived at that sweet spot Where all my treasure lay I rapped at my love’s window saying My dear are you within? Slowly she unlocked the door And slyly I slipped in. Her hands so soft, her breath so sweet Her tongue did gently glide I stole my arms around her waist And asked her to be my bride. Take me to your chamber love Oh take me to your bed Take me to your chamber love For to rest my weary head Oh to take you to my chamber love My parents would never agree But sit you down by yon coal fire And I’ll sit close by thee. Many’s the night I’ve courted you Against your parents’ will But you never said you’d be my bride So it’s now my dear sit still For tonight I’m going to cross the sea To far Columbia’s shore And you will never never see Your youthful lover more Oh are you going to leave me now Oh dear what can I do? I’ll break through every bond of home And go along with you Perhaps my parents won’t forget But surely they’ll forgive For it’s from this hour, my dearest dear Along with you I’ll live
4.
5.
Johnny Lad 03:41
Oh do you know my Johnny, he lives down in yonder lea And he’s sneaking round and creeping, he’s always watching me I’ve told him I’ve no love for him and that I never had Still there’s none on earth can please me like my own Johnny lad And it’s you, Johnny laddie, and it’s you, my Johnny lad Still there’s none on earth can please me like my own Johnny lad When the sheep are in the fold and the cows are in the byre And the other lads and lasses sitting round the roaring fire It’s me silly lassie, just as like as if I’m mad Through the hoops and barley stooks and teasing you, Johnny lad Teasing you, Johnny laddie, teasing you, my Johnny lad Through the hoops and barley stooks and teasing you, Johnny lad My Johnny’s blithe and bonny, he’s the pride of yonder lea And I love him more than any though he’s always teasing me He teases me and squeezes me and tickles me like mad None comes near me that can cheer me like my own Johnny lad And it’s you, Johnny laddie, and it’s you, my Johnny lad None comes near me that can cheer me like my own Johnny lad Johnny’s not a gentleman nor yet is he a laird But I’d follow Johnny lad, although he tends a herd Johnny is a bonnie lad, was once a lad of mine And I’ve never had a better love though I’ve had twenty-nine And it’s you, Johnny laddie, and it’s you, my Johnny lad And I’ve never had a better love than you,Johnny lad And it’s you, Johnny laddie, and it’s you, my Johnny lad And I’d dance the buckles off my shoes for you, Johnny lad
6.
Charlie’s gone home now I drove him downtown and dropped him off at the station I’m sweeping the floors now Changing the sheets and organizing the kitchen And the house is so quiet, it feels so strange Only one hour and everything’s changed It seems so empty I feel so alone It was a party that lasted a week and a half We played music together and we drank and we laughed And now it’s over ’Cause Charlie’s gone home He came here one evening I wasn’t expecting such a happy surprise With his jokes and his teasing He had me laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes And Charlie’s got a whole lot of stories to tell He has an endless supply and he tells them so well He’s had a wild life He likes to ramble and to roam He’s been filling my head up with the things that he’s seen The scrapes he’s got into and the places he’s been But now they’re fading ’Cause Charlie's gone home When Charlie is with me, my life is on hold He takes all my time, things get out of control And I should be relieved that I’m finally able to breathe again Charlie’s gone home now I drove him downtown and dropped him off at the station I’m sweeping the floors now Changing the sheets and organizing the kitchen And the house is so quiet, it feels so strange Only one hour and everything’s changed It seems so empty I feel so alone It was a party that lasted a week and a half We played music together and we drank and we laughed And now it’s over ’Cause Charlie’s gone home
7.
When two lovers meet down beneath the green bower When two lovers meet down beneath the green tree When Mary, fond Mary, did say unto her lover You have stolen my fond heart by the banks of the Lee For I loved her very dearly, so true and sincerely There is no one in this wide world I loved more than she Every bush and every bower, every tree and every flower Reminds me of my Mary on the banks of the Lee Don’t stay out late tonight on the moorlands, my Mary Don’t stay out late tonight on the moorlands from me For it’s little was our notion when we sailed upon the ocean That forever we’d be parted from the banks of the Lee For I loved her very dearly, so true and sincerely There is no one in this wide world I loved more than she Every bush and every bower, every tree and every flower Reminds me of my Mary on the banks of the Lee I will pluck my love some roses, some blooming Irish roses I will pluck my love some roses, the finest ever grew And I’ll place them on the grave of my own true loving Mary In the cold and silent churchyard where she sleeps ’neath the dew For I loved her very dearly, so true and sincerely There is no one in this wide world I loved more than she Every bush and every bower, every tree and every flower Reminds me of my Mary on the banks of the Lee
8.
Tráthnóinín déanach ’s mé dul a’ bhálcaoreacht ’Sea do dhearcas an spéirbhean a’ caoi Airiú, d’fhiosraíosa féin di - gur labhair sí a scéal liom Táim cortha ó bheith im’ aonar im’ luí, im luí Táim cortha ó bheith im’ aonar im’ luí One evening of late as I carelessly strayed I espied a fair maid in deep mourn I asked her the matter, she quickly made answer I am weary from laying alone, alone I am weary from laying alone A’s a mhúirnín donn dílis, suigh anso taobh liom Agus aithris dom scéala ar t’aois A cúig a’s a sé a’s a’ sárú dhá naoi A’s táim cortha ó bheith im’ aonar im’ luí, im luí Táim chomh cortha ó bheith im’ aonar im’ luí My comely young damsel, sit down here ’longside me And tell me the years that have flown Oh it’s seven and one and eleven years long That I’m weary from laying alone, alone That I’m weary from laying alone Dá bhfaighinnse ógánach éigin do thógfadh gan spré mé A’s go mbeinnse ’ge féinig mar mhnaoi Ní chéilfinnse ar éinne é ’s do neosfainn don saol é Go bhfuilim cortha ó bheith im’ aonar im’ luí, im luí Go bhfuilim cortha ó bheith im’ aonar im’ luí If I’d a comely young man would take me without fortune And make me a wife of his own For the truth is I’ll say is I’ll die in despair If I lie any longer alone, alone If I lie any longer alone Tá róisín breá néata sa gháirdín seo taobh linne Á, baineam a’s déanam é fhí Mar is ró-ghearr ’na dhiaidh san go mbeadh sé ró-thraochta Leis a naoi bhíodh ná h-aonar na luí, na luí Leis a naoi bhíodh ná h-aonar na luí There’s a neat sweet little flower in this garden ’longside us Take it away, sure ’tis your own For the flower it will fade, and so also will the maid For she’s weary from laying alone, alone For she’s weary from laying alone
9.
10.
A man may drink and not be drunk A man may fight and not be slain A man may court a pretty girl And perhaps be welcome back again But as it has so ordered been What is, once past, can’t be recalled So fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be with you all Oh if I had money enough to spend I’d spend it in good company And for all the harm that I have done I hope it’s pardoned I will be But as it has so ordered been What is, once past, can’t be recalled So fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be with you all Oh of all the friends that e’er I’ve had They’re sorry for my going away And of all the sweethearts that ever I’ve had They’d wish me one more day to stay But as it has so ordered been What is, once past, can’t be recalled So fill to me the parting glass Good night and joy be with you all

about

When I first came across traditional Irish music as a teenager, what drew me was the fire and the passion. I began playing jigs and reels because I loved the feeling of being swept up and carried away by a tune, losing myself in the current of the music. I also loved the feeling of connection with other musicians when you’re playing together in a session and the spark happens, the flow of energy between one player and another.

It took me a while to discover that all these elements are in the quieter tunes and songs as well, that a soft approach can still be a source of joy, intensity, even wildness. On this recording I’ve tried to bring out that gentler side of the music.

I’m so very grateful to all the people who contributed to this recording. Thanks to Trevor for his endless patience, for letting us take over his sitting room and kitchen, for his Exciting Chicken Dish and for his excellent ears. Thanks to Johnny, Colm, Kevin and Rod for coming in and playing, to Niamh for doing the song with me and to Dermot for manning the board when Trevor was off playing the double bass in Australia. Thanks to my mother, Iarla and Nora for teaching me songs and to Dáibhí for making sure I got the words right on Táim cortha. Thanks to Noel for getting me started playing tunes and for being my encyclopaedia when I ring him up to pick his brain! The Irish Traditional Music Archive on Merrion Square has also been a wonderful source of information and illumination. Most of all, thanks to Gerry for making this album what it is, for letting the production be spare and lonely, for his wonderful musicianship, for fussing over the details and for making sure we all ate well and took our vitamins.

credits

released February 1, 1997

Recorded and mixed at Marguerite Studios, Dublin
Produced by Gerry O’Beirne
Engineered by Trevor Hutchinson and Dermot Behan
Mastered by Frank MacNamara at Park House Studios
Booklet design and original cover artwork by Mary Guinan
Photography by Colm Henry

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Sarah McQuaid Penzance, UK

Sarah McQuaid is a singer, songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist, based in the UK and touring internationally. See www.sarahmcquaid.com for more info.

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