Recorded live at The ACE Space, Newbury, 23 March 2019.
'The Ballad of Sarah Gray' is our name for the English folk song called 'William Taylor'. The song is more about her than him though. A classic tale of love, betrayal and death. The words are traditional. Music and arrangement by Paul James and the Drowned Lovers.
Paul James - vocals, saxophone, keyboards,. Fiona Barrow - violin. Emma Holbrook - drums. Victor Nicholls - guitar, electronica. Jo Wadeson - bass guitar.
The Ballad of Sarah Gray
I'll sing you a song about two young lovers, Who from Lichfield town they came, The young man's name was William Taylor, The maiden’s name was Sarah Gray. William Taylor, he enlisted, For a soldier he has gone, He’s gone and left his own true lover, For to sigh and for to mourn.
Sarah’s parents, they did despise her, They filled her heart with grief and woe, And then at last she vowed and told them, For a soldier she would go. She's dressed herself in man's apparel. Man's apparel she put on, To go and seek her own true lover, For to find him she has gone.
One day as she was exercising, Exercising with the rest, A silver chain fell from her waistcoat, And exposed her lily-white breast. The Sergeant Major he came up to her, Asked of her what brought her here, "I've come to seek my own true lover, Who has proved to me so dear".
If you've come to seek your own lover, Pray you tell to me his name, His name, it is Bold William Taylor, And from Lichfield town he came. If his name is William Taylor, William Taylor he’s not here, He lately married a rich young lady, Worth ten thousand pound a year.
If you rise early in the morning, Just before the break of day, There you will see Bold William Taylor, Walking with his lady fair, She called out for sword and pistol, Sword and pistol she put on, She’s fired and shot bold William Taylor, With his bride at his right hand.
Traditional English folk song.