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by Chris Foster

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Chris' 6th solo album contains a mix of old traditional songs and ballads along with a few from the last 60 years. Comes in a beautifully designed 3 fold digipak with a booklet containing all song lyrics and featuring cover art by Chris. The album was a runner up in the 2008 fROOTS magazine, best folk / world music album of 2008.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Outsiders via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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      £8 GBP or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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Lord Bateman 07:37
Lord Bateman was a noble youth A noble youth of some high degree He shipped himself on board a vessel Some foreign country he would go see He sailed east and he sailed west until he came to proud Turkey Where he was taken and put in prison Until his life it grew quite weary And in the middle of this prison There grew a tree both stout and strong Where he was chained all about his middle Until his life it was nearly gone The Turkish gaoler he had a daughter The fairest creature you ever did see She stole the keys to her father’s prison And swore Lord Bateman she would set free “Have you got silver, and have you got gold? Have you got lands in your own country? What would you give to a bold young woman Who out of prison would set you free?” “Yes I’ve got silver and I’ve got gold And I’ve got lands in my own country And I’d give them all to any woman Who out of prison would set me free.” She took him to her father’s cellar And she gave to him a glass of wine And every health that she drank to him Was “I wish, Lord Bateman that you were mine.” “For seven years we will make a promise And for seven years we will keep it strong That if you wed with no other woman Then I’ll not marry with no other man.” Then she took him to her father’s harbour And gave to him a ship of fame Saying “Fare thee well, farewell Lord Bateman I fear I’ll never see your face again.” Now seven years were passed and over And forty days I tell to thee When she packed up all her gay gold clothing And to find Lord Bateman then she put to sea. And when she came to Lord Bateman’s castle So boldly then she rang the bell “Who’s there, who’s there?” cried the proud young porter “Who rings so boldly, come quickly tell?” She said “Is this Lord Bateman’s castle? And is his lordship now within?” “O yes, this is Lord Bateman’s castle And he’s just taken his new bride in.” “Go and bid him send me a slice of cake And a bottle of his best red wine And bid him remember the bold young woman Who did release him when he was confined.” Away then went that proud young porter And quickly to his lord went he And when he came to Lord Bateman’s chamber There he went down on his bended knee “What news, what news, O my proud young porter? What news, what news do you bring to me?” “Well there is one of the fairest women That ever my two eyes did see And she’s got golden rings on every finger And on her middle one she has got three There’s enough gold lace all about her clothing To buy your castle and your lands from thee.” “And she bids you send her a slice of cake And a bottle of your best red wine She bids you remember the brave young woman Who did release you when you were confined.” Now when Lord Bateman he heard this news He smashed his sword in splinters three He said “I’ll give away all of my father’s riches If my Sophia has crossed the sea.” Then up and spoke the young bride’s mother She had never been heard to speak so free “You’ll not disgrace my only daughter Although Sophia has crossed the sea.” Then Lord Bateman said to the young bride’s mother She'll be none the better nor the worse for me She came to me on a horse and saddle Now she’ll ride home in a coach and three.” Then he prepared another wedding And both their hearts were full of glee He said “I’ll roam no more into foreign countries Since my Sophia has come to me.”
My father’s father’s father planted here In this now broken earth an olive tree And as a child I sang to it my secrets And as I grew I felt it part of me. It’s branches gave me shelter from the sun. Its grey green leaves shaded my young dreams. The fruit it bore was like a gift of hope. Of all the olive trees I loved this one. The settlers came. They beat us black and blue. They said “Next time we shoot you. Understand?” But still we dared to come. We had no choice. We came at night like thieves to our own land. Like ghosts we came, men women young and old To pick the crop as we have always done For centuries we harvested in peace. The oil we pressed was sweet, precious as gold. Now look. This is a cemetery for trees. Their great machines crushed hope into despair. They ripped the heart from every living tree Except for one. My tree they chose to spare. They dug it up. They smuggled it away. This ancient tree – they saw it as a prize For some Israeli rich enough to pay. Five thousand dollars’ worth, that’s what they say. Do you believe in ghosts? Last night I dreamed My father’s father’s father came to me. He took my hand and held it in his own And said “Take heart. Here is my olive tree.” And when I woke, it was a kind of birth And in my hand I found an olive stone And in the field where once my tree had been A thousand shapes rose out of the earth. I saw their faces, women, children, men And each hand held a perfect olive stone And each heart held a vision of to come When all our olive trees will rise again.
O the week before Easter A day long and clear How pretty shone the sun And how cold blew the air I went down in the forest Some flowers to find there But the forest wouldn’t yield me any posies As I was returning All late in the night I met my false lover Dressed all in milk white And I lifted my hat To bid her a goodnight And adieu to my false love for ever The next time I saw my love It was to the church go With brides-men and brides-maids She cut a fine show And I followed after With my heart full of woe To see her getting wed to another The parson was standing And this he did say If anyone forbid it I would have them draw nigh And I thought to myself I’d a good reason why But I had not the heart to forbid her The last time I saw my love Was at her wedding feast I sat down beside her But nought could I eat For I loved her sweet company Far better than meat Although she was tied to another Come dig me a grave That is long wide and deep And strew it all over With flowers so sweet So that I might lie down there And take a long sleep Because that’s the best way to forget her Yes, I think that’s the best way to forget her
Come, come my lads and listen here A fisherman’s song you soon shall hear What I did and undergo When first I went a cod-banging O Chorus To my lal fol the day Riddle all day This is the smacksman’s life at sea How well I remember the fourteenth of May A big barque ship she came our way She came our way and she did let fly And the topsail halyards they flew sky high And now we draw near Harwich pier The young and the old folks they both draw near To see us get our fish on deck And crack their skulls with a little short stick And now my song it is nearly done And I hope that I’ve offended none But I don’t think I’ve got it complete ‘Cos I’ve only been in the trade about a week
Deportee 05:26
Well the crops are all in and they need us no longer. The oranges are stored in their creosote dumps. They’re sending us back to the Mexican border. It takes all our money to go back again. So farewell to my Juan, goodbye Rosalita Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria You won’t have a name when you ride the big aeroplane. All they will call you will be deportees. My father’s own father did wade through the Rio. You took all the money that he made in his life. My sisters and brothers they worked in your fruit fields. Rode on your trucks ’till they laid down and died. Some of us are illegal and all are not wanted. Our work contract’s out and we must move on. The six hundred miles to the Mexican border. You drive us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves. Our sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos canyon. Like a fire ball of lightening it fell from the sky. Who are these friends lying there like dead leaves? The radio say’s “They were just deportees.” Well we died on your hills and we died in your valleys. We died on your mountains and we died in your plains. We still die ’neath your trees and we die ’neath your bushes. Both sides of your borders, you know we still die just the same.
Sir Aldingar 10:33
The birds sang clear as any bell They never sang so well The queen has gone to her chamber To talk with Aldingar “I love you well my queen my dame More than lands and rents so clear And for to spend one night with you I would bear pain most severe.” “Away, away you Aldingar You are both stark and stoor Would you defile the king’s own bed And make his queen a whore? Tomorrow you would be taken sure And like a traitor slain And I would be burned at the stake Although I am the queen.” Then there came a leper to the queen’s door He was a leper blind and lame Aldingar took him upon his back And on the queen’s bed has him lain He told the leper to lie still And not to go away And he would be a healthy man By the dawning of the day. Then he has gone out of the queen’s door As quickly as he could go And he’s gone straight to the very place Where the king himself did go The king said unto Aldingar “What news have you for me?” He said “Your queen is a false woman As I did plainly see.” Then the king has gone into the queen’s door So costly and so fine And he’s gone straight to her bed chamber Where the leper man was lain He looked down on the leper man As he lay on his queen’s bed Then he lifted up the snow white sheet And unto him he said. “Since she has lain into your arms She shall not lie in mine Since she has kissed your ugly mouth She’ll never more kiss mine If you were a man as you are not It’s here that you would die But a pair of gallows shall be built To hang you on so high.” Then in anger he went unto the queen Who fell upon her knee He said “You false and unchaste woman What is this you’ve done to me? If you had taken a comely knight Well the lesser would have been your shame But you have taken a leper man Who is both blind and lame.” Then the queen she turned herself around A tear was blinding her eye She said “There’s not a knight in all your court Dare make such a claim to me.” He said “’tis true what I do say For I a proof did make Now you shall be taken from my bower And burned at the stake.” She said “I thought that dreams were never true But now I’ve proved them true at last. I dreamed a dream the other night In my bed where I lay I dreamed a great and a gruesome beast Had carried my crown away My gorget and my belt of gold And all my fair head gear.” “How he would have worried me with his claws And carried me into his nest Saving there came a little hawk Flying out of the west Saving there came a little hawk Which men call merlion And with his claws he struck him down And dead he did fall down.” “Then the king said “I will give you forty days To find you a man there in But if you find not a man in forty days In a hot fire you shall burn.” So she called up all her messengers And sent them to the west But they couldn’t find none to fight for her Nor enter in the contest. Then a messenger the queen sent east Who rode for many a day And as he rode along by a riverside There he met with a little boy Who said “Turn again you messenger Greet well our queen from me And bid her remember what she has dreamt In her bed where she lay.” Then the day came on that was to do That dreadful tragedy But the little boy was not come up To fight for our lady So before the hour the queen was brought The burning to proceed And in a black velvet chair then she was set It was a token for the dead And she saw the flames ascending high A tear blinded her eye “Oh where is the worthy knight?” she said “Who is to fight for me.” Then up and spoke the king himself “My dearest have no doubt For yonder comes a little boy As bold as he set out.” Then the child advanced to fight the dual And his sword was tempered steel He struck the first stroke at Aldingar And he cut his legs off at the knee. “Stand up, stand up you false traitor and fight upon your feet Now I have taken your legs away At an even height we shall meet “Confess your treachery now” he said “Confess it before you die.” “Oh I do confess it” said Aldingar “For I can no longer lie.” “Now take your wife you king Henry And love her with your all For the queen she is as true to thee As the stones on your castle wall.” And the leper under the gallows tree Was a healthy man and small And the leper under the gallows tree Was made steward in the king’s hall.
Bedlam 04:12
It was through Moorfields I rambled by myself all alone I heard a maid in Bedlam making her sad moan She was ringing of her tender hands and a-tearing of her hair Crying O my cruel parents you have proved to me severe It was all through my own true love your apprentice boy you know You have forced him to the seas which has proved my overthrow And this sad disconsolation which makes me to complain Crying O shall I never see my own true love again It was early the next morning this young sailor came on shore He walked and he talked down alongside of Bedlam door He overheard this fair young maid most grievously complain I am afraid I shall never see the lad I love again The sailor looked around him and he stood in a surprise Then looking through a window he saw her lovely eyes Then he gave to the porter a shining piece of gold Saying “Show me to my wife for she’s the joy of my soul.” Well when that the young man this young damsel he did see He took her from her strawy bed and he set her on his knee “O are you that young man that my father sent to sea Or are you just come hither to make a fool of me?” “O yes I am that young man that your parents sent to sea And I have now come back again all for the love of thee” “Well if it be so I can go free all my sorrows they are fled I’ll bid adieu unto these chains and this cold and strawy bed”
I’ve a neat little cottage that’s built out of mud Not far from the county of Kildare I’ve got acres of land and I grow my own spuds I’ve enough and a little to spare Don’t think I’ve come over to look for a job It’s only a visit to pay Be easy and free when you’re drinking with me I’m the man you don’t meet every day Chorus So fill up your glasses and drink what you please Whatever’s the damage I’ll pay Be easy and free when you’re drinking with me I’m the man you don’t meet every day When I landed in Liverpool a few days ago I thought I would go to the star And the first man I saw there was young Paddy White With a glass of best ale at the bar I spoke to him kindly, took him to one side To him these words I did say You can be easy and free when you’re drinking with me I’m the man you don’t meet every day When I landed in Liverpool O what a sight Met my eyes as I walked on the shore There was Paddy Bolin and Paddy McGhee, Michael Laney and one or two more They all burst out laughing to see me walk They treated me in a fine way I says “Look here you young scarecrows, don’t you think I’m a ghost ’cos I’m the man you don’t meet every day.” There’s a neat little maiden that lives around here And it’s her I’ve come over to see We’re going to be married next Sunday and then She’ll come back to old Ireland with me And if you come over twelve months from today This I would venture to say We will have a smart lad, who will say to his Dad “I’m the man you don’t meet every day.”
They used to tell me I was building a dream And so I followed the mob When there was earth to plough or guns to bear I was always there, right there on the job They used to tell me I was building a dream With peace and glory ahead So why should I be standing in line Just waiting for bread? Once I built a railroad, made it run Made it race against time Once I built a railroad, now it’s done Brother can you spare a dime? Once I built a tower to the sun Made of brick and rivet and lime Once I built a tower, now it’s done Brother can you spare a dime? Once in khaki suits Well didn’t we look swell We were full of that yankey doodely dum There was half a million boots went slogging through hell And I was the guy with the drum Say don’t you remember? You called me Al O yes it was Al all the time Say don’t you remember? I’m Al your pal Brother can you spare a dime?
There was a lady, a lady in York All alone and alone - ee - o She fell a-courting her own father's clerk Down by the greenwood side - ee - o She loved him long and many a day ’Til big with child she had to run away She’s gone into the wild wilderness Great was her sadness and distress She’s leaned her back against an oak She’s pushed and she’s pushed ’till it very nearly broke She’s laid her head against a thorn Two bonniest babies ever were born She’s got nothing to wrap them in Nothing but her apron and that was very thin She’s taken out her little penknife And she’s parted them from their sweet lives Then she has taken a length of twine And together their bodies she did bind Then she has dug a hole in the ground And there she’s laid her bonnie babies down She’s gone back to her father’s castle hall She was the smallest maid among ’em all She’s looked over her father’s castle wall Saw two bonnie babies playing with a ball One was dressed in the scarlet so fine The other one was naked just as she was born “Oh dear babies, if you were mine I would give you bread and I would give you wine” “Oh dear Mother, when we were thine You never treated us so very kind” “Oh dear babies if you were mine I’d dress you up in the silk and satin fine” “Oh dear Mother, when we were thine Around our bodies you bound the twine” “O bonnie babes can you tell to me What sort of death for you I must die?” “Yes cruel mother we will tell to thee what sort of death for us you must die” “Seven years you’ll be an eel writhing in the flood And seven years a bird a whistling in the wood” “Seven years you’ll be a fish finning through the tide And seven years a snake on your belly you must slide” “Now we are going to the heavens so high But in the hell fires you will die.”
Joan alone on Stanage Finds the air to clear her head Lift her spirits, calm her nerves and bring her peace While the ramblers group is raring To walk Bleaklow’s boggy wastes Kitted out with compass, map and fleece Hassan’s on his first trip with his classmates from his school He’s never heard the eerie curlew cry All owe their Sunday freedom to those who went before The ones who tried to reach out for the sky Chorus: Trespassers will be celebrated Now their will is done Trespassers will be celebrated Glorious kingdom come By those who walk the southern downs The high and windy moor Trespassers will be celebrated Freedom is won Gill and Tony’s little family Clamber madly over stones Delight in rushing streams and frightened sheep The baby’s in her backpack Rocking gently through her dreams And cooing with the beck from deep in sleep Rose and Madge are wandering, their working life is done Their time’s their own, they range for miles around While blokes out on the Roches crawl like spiders up the rock But know nought of those who won this hallowed ground See campaigners through the ages Walk together side by side Watt Tyler, Benny Rothman hand in hand Carpenter, Winstanley and the Diggers on the hill The commoners who dared to seize the land Stephen Morton, Barbara Castle, Bert Ward and Terry Howard The Greenham women cutting down the fence Elsie Gaskell and the Buntings, young Woodcraft singers too, Tom Stephenson, MacColl and Thomas Spence Remember those who stuck at nothing But kept slogging up the hill For the right to spread their wings and take their space Negotiators, demonstrators, all who spun the dream That you and me might claim our rightful place Trespassed for us and against those Who kept beauty for themselves Who fenced us out for profit and for greed But now the way is open for us all to share this land And the beauty and the glory’s ours indeed.


Chris' 6th solo album contains a mix of old traditional songs and ballads along with a few from the last 60 years. Comes in a beautifully designed 3 fold digipak with a booklet containing all song lyrics and featuring cover art by Chris. The album was a runner up in the 2008 fROOTS magazine, best folk / world music album of 2008.


released April 23, 2008

Chris Foster: vocals, guitar and langspil
Val Regan: fiddle and vocals
Trevor Lines: double bass and hammer dulcimer
Bára Grímsdóttir: vocals and kantele
Laura Fiddaman: cello
Ruth Angel: viola and fiddle
Joe Broughton: mandolin
Fraser Spiers: harmonica

Engineered and mastered by Joe Broughton
Design by Inga Elsa Bergþórsdóttir


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Chris Foster Reykjavik, Iceland

Chris Foster grew up in the south west of England. A master of his trade, he was recently described as “one of the finest singers and most inventive guitar accompanists of English folk songs, meriting legend status.” Over the past 40 years, he has toured throughout the UK, Europe, Canada and the USA. He has recorded six solo albums as well as working on many collaborative projects. ... more

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