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from Jewels by Chris Foster

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I first heard this beautiful version of 'Georgie' (Child ballad number 209) sung by Pete Timmins a very good singer and guitarist who used to sing in the folk clubs around Bradford in the 1970's. He told me he had found it in 'Songs of the Midlands' edited by Roy Palmer, so I got the book and learned the song. It was collected from a Mary Haynes of Hartlebury, between Worcester and Kidderminster in 1908.


As I crossed over London Bridge
It was on one morning early
There I beheld a fair woman
Lamenting for her Georgie

"Go fetch to me some little boy
That can go on an errand quickly
That can run ten miles in an hour
With a letter for a lady"

"And saddle to me my milk white steed
Bridle him so rarely
That I may go to Newcastle gaol
To plead for the life of Georgie"

And when she came to Newcastle gaol
She bowed her head so lowly
And down on her bended knees she fall
Saying "Spare me the life of Georgie"

"O it’s no murder George have done
Nor have he killed any
But he took twelve of the King’s fat deer
And sold them in the army"

The judge looked over his right shoulder
And seeming very sorry
He said "I'm afraid you have come too late
He is condemned already"

"Well six babies I have with me
And I love them so dearly
And I would part with them every one
If you will spare me the life of Georgie"

The judge looked over his left shoulder
And seeming very hard hearted
He said "I'm afraid you have come to late
Because there is no pardon granted"

"Well let George hang in a chain of gold
Which a few there are not many
Because he came from a noble life
And he was loved by a virtuous lady"

© traditional arranged Chris Foster


from Jewels, track released February 1, 2017
Chris Foster vocal and guitar


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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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