9. The House Carpenter


Guitar, Banjo, Vocal - Robin
Bass - Barry Wiesenfeld

Child Ballad 243#. This song is known in many versions with many verses and is related to the medieval story “Daemon Lover” and the Child #10 “The Twa Sisters”. Its Anglo supernatural origins have morphed into a standard love triangle. Many Anglo songs have this theme: i.e., a ship with a guilty party aboard will not sail.

The House Carpenter

"Well met, well met, my own true love"
"Well met, well met," cried he
"I've just returned from the salt salt sea
And it's all for the love of thee"

" I could have married the King's Daugher dear
And she would have married me
But I refused her crowns of gold
And it's all for the love of thee"

"You could have married the King's Daugher dear
I'm sure you are to blame
For I am married to a house carpenter
And he is a fine young man"

"Will you forsake your house carpenter
And come away with me?
I'll take you to where the grass grows green
On the banks of the salt salt sea"

"If I forsake my house carpenter
And come away with thee
What have you got to maintain me upon
And keep me from poverty?"

"Six ships, six ships are on the sea
Seven more on dry land
A hundred ten bold sailor men
Shall be at your command"

She picked up her sweet littlebabe
Gave it kisses one two three
Saying "you stay right here with the house carpenter
And you keep him good company"

She dressed herself in rich attire
So glorious to behold
And as she rode upon her horse
She shone like glittering gold

They had not out about two weeks
Two weeks or maybe three
When this lady began to weep
And she wept most bitterly

"Tell me why are you weeping so?
Do you weep for your golden store?
I am weeping for my sweet little babe
Who I shall see no more"

They had not been at sea three weeks
three weeks or maybe four
When the ship ite sprang a leak
And it sank to rise no more

Once around spun our gallant ship
Twice around spun she
Three times spun around our gallant ship
Til she sank to the bottom of the sea

"Farewell, farewell, my own true love"
"Farewell, farewell," cried she
"I have forsaken my house carpenter
Now I'll die at the bottom of the sea"