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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      $20 USD or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      $8 USD  or more




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


all rights reserved



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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Track Name: Lord Bateman
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.”
Track Name: Song of the Olive Tree
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.
Track Name: The False Bride
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
Track Name: Cod Banging & Oscar Woods' Jig
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

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
Track Name: Deportee
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.
Track Name: Sir Aldingar
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.
Track Name: Bedlam
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”
Track Name: The Man You Don't Meet Everyday
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

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.”
Track Name: Brother Can You Spare a Dime
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?
Track Name: The Cruel Mother
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.”
Track Name: Trespassers Will Be Celebrated
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

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.

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