Sovay Sovay all on a day
She dressed herself in man’s array
With a brace of pistols all at her side
To meet her true love, to meet her true love, away she rides
As she was galloping over the plain
She met her true love and bid him stand
“Stand and deliver, young man,” she said
“And you do not, and if you do not, I’ll shoot you dead.”
He delivered up his golden store
And still she craved for one thing more
“That diamond ring that I see you wear
Oh hand it over, oh hand it over, and your life I’ll spare.”
“From my diamond ring I would not part
For it’s a token from my sweetheart
Shoot and be damned you rogue,” said he,
“And you’ll be hanged, and you’ll be hanged for murdering me.”
Next morning in the garden green
Young Sovay and her true love were seen
He spied his watch hanging from her clothes
Which made him blush lads, which made him blush lads, like any rose
“Why do you blush you silly young thing?
I thought to have that diamond ring;
Twas I who robbed you all on the plain,
So here’s your gold, love, here’s your gold and your watch and chain.”
“I only did it for to know
If you were be a man or no
If you’d given me that ring she said
I’d have pulled the trigger – pulled the trigger and shot you dead.”
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Here is a Christmas song of a different kind! Sacred Harp singers belt out Sherburne, an early American tune by Daniel Read, 1785.
You’ll hear them sing through the song once using the names of the notes (Fa Sol La and Me) then again using the words.
Sacred Harp singing puts you in touch with something raw, powerful and authentic: community singing in one of its finest forms. If you ever get the chance to try it out, do it.
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
All glory be to God on high
And to the earth be peace,
Goodwill henceforth from heaven to men
Begin and never cease.