Sweet Apples from a Lemon Tree

by Andy McLaughlin

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1.
Peggy 03:51
Deeds undone, and sights unseen, long time ago Wondering what might have been, long time ago Instead of breaking all the rules, and acting like a bloody fool I'd done a little bit in school, long time ago I don't care what the neighbours say They don't like me anyway I'll go for a walk on a Sunday with Peggy on my good right arm There was a lassie in this town, long time ago I must confess, I let her down, long time ago Such empty promises are these, sweet apples from a lemon tree Better she deserved from me, long time ago Chorus If I'd known then what I know now, long time ago I like to think that still somehow, long time ago I would have chosen differently my habits and my company I wasn't very nice, you see, long time ago Chorus Nothing ventured, nothing gained, long time ago No-one left to take the blame, long time ago They say that every man is free to be the man he wants to be It didn't mean that much to me, long time ago Chorus
2.
Martha 02:31
Martha, will you marry me, for you know I love you dearly Martha, will you marry me, for you know I love you dearly And if you say you'll marry me I'll take a job at the factory We'll get a little house by the old canal, and have a bonny babe or two Have a bonny babe or two You know that I would marry you, says she, and oh so sweetly You know that I would marry you, says she, and oh so sweetly But my father is a prideful man, he'd never wed his daughter to a factory hand He'd never let me live by the old canal, or have a bonny babe with you Have a bonny babe with you I'll go to your father with a bottle of gin, and in the drinking talk him over I'll go to your father with a bottle of gin, and in the drinking talk him over I don't think much of your chances dear, he takes his drinking all so well He takes his drinking oh so well, I wouldn't waste your time with him I wouldn't waste your time with him But I went to the house with the big front door - I pray you, let me in, sir I went to the house with the big front door - I pray you, let me in, sir I've come for the hand of your own dear daughter, Martha says she'll marry me Martha says she'll marry me, if you'll only let her go If you'll only let her go Martha, she won't see you, and she's locked the chamber door again Martha, she won't see you, and she's locked the chamber door again And though you are a fine young man, your shoes are thin and your jacket's torn There's many another she's shown the door for the want of a shilling or two For the want of a shilling or two
3.
I wish I could go, instead of him; I'd go right now if they'd let me in But I'm too fat, and I'm too old, and I wouldn't do as I was told I wouldn't make much of a soldier The wheels on the bus go round and round, and the ducks on the pond make a funny sound Don't get too close, you might fall in, and you know your Daddy cannot Now he's gone to be a soldier Chorus When he passes out in his finery on the barrack square for all to see Look at me, Dad, aren't you impressed? I'll take a deep breath, and I'll say yes But I wish he hadn't gone for a soldier Chorus He'll travel the world, and he'll see the sights, and I won't sleep too well at night And when he comes back home to me, I'll lock the door and hide the key But I wish he hadn't gone for a soldier Chorus
4.
Sally 02:50
A sailor's life is a hard life, Sally For an old man, Sally, it's a bloody hard slog One more trip on the Oggin, Sally And that'll be the end for the old sea dog I'm off to sea, for six months more When I come back I'll be knocking at your door With a fine gold ring for the girl I adore And I'll go on the Oggin no more Don't you go off with a young man, Sally He won't know what an old man knows He'll cast you off like an old shoe, Sally Sure as the spring tide ebbs and flows Chorus Don't you go off with a rich man, Sally He'll turn your head with ribbons and bows And a house in the country with many fine jewels And what would a nice girl want with those? Chorus Two weeks out and there's rats in the galley Jiggers in me feet and the toothache too The bosun's mate is a Liverpool scally And he's in love with the whole damn crew Chorus It's been a long time since I left you, Sally, On the dockside, Sally, with a tear in your eye And I hope you'll be there in the dockside, Sally, When I come home sailing, by and by Chorus x3
5.
Rosie 02:47
I was in love with a beautiful servant girl Rosie by name, and by nature a pure delight She fancied me, or so I convinced myself, watching her lighting the candles at night One fine summer's day I plucked up the courage I asked her to marry me, "Rosie, please marry me!" Rosie said, "No, if just for the detail that I'm nearly thirty and you're only five!" Laden with grief I struggled to manhood And took to the service upon an Eastindiaman Better by far to reside on the ocean and far from sweet Rosie who had denied me Many years passed, and I never set eyes on her Until I caught sight of a barmaid in Liverpool Is it yourself? Is it Rosie my darling? Oh, tell me your story, and I'll tell you mine I'll tell you my story, I married a soldier And he went to war and he never came back to me Now I'm alone, and I'm looking for company, would you consider an old girl like me? You know, I just might! You don't look too bad to me Any port in a storm for a poor sailorman Gather your shawl, and collect your last wages, for no girl of mine works for fourpence a night And so we were wed, now she sits across from me Smoking a clay pipe, and not a tooth in her head I'll tell you for free, there's one thing for sure, you get nothing in life if you don't persevere!
6.
There were four men singing in the bar of the Admiral They all sang as one; they all sang together, oh One man was a Highland man, far from home and family One man was an Irishman who'd drunk the Liffey dry One man was a travelling man who'd spent his life in a caravan One man was an African with no home at all There were four men singing in the bar of the Admiral They all sang as one, they all sang together, oh The second bell rang in the bar of the Admiral They all stood as one; they all left together, oh Did one go to a rented room above the shops on the Broadway? Did one go to a late night bar to keep the beast at bay? Did one hide in the shadows until the morning came around? Did one ring the hostel bell, despite the midnight hour? The second bell rang in the bar of the Admiral They all stood as one; they all left together, oh Seven nights later in the bar of the Admiral There were no songs at all; there were no voices singing, oh
7.
One, two, three four five, five little bankers all in a line Hands outstretched with a begging bowl - you must be bloody joking! Here's my wallet, you can take the lot, there's not much left but it's all I've got You can save it all for a rainy day, or stick it where the sun don't shine! You're a bunch of bloody chancers! You're not welcome here any more Sling your hook, and don't come back - don't need the likes of you Fat little piggies, all in a row, pink little arses all on show Snouts in the trough, go boys go! Get it while you can! A nice little house in Tuscany, a pied-a-terre in the Pyrennees I'll take my money where I please; mind your own bloody business! I'm all right Jack, devil take the rest, I will do what I do best I'll charge you compound interest and spend it all on me! Chorus There's a man lives not too far from me - he's not a bad fellow for an old Tory So I thought I'd ask, how can it be you let them have our eyes out? We've got to pay them all full whack, or they'll be gone, and won't come back Over the hills and far away, and what would we do then? Chorus Not content with what they've got, they'll squeeze you for each tiny drop I'd like to take the bloody lot and march them to the gallows! Stand the buggers back to back, put a rope around each neck String 'em up, and watch 'em dance, doing the Tyburn Hornpipe! Chorus
8.
There's a light in the window of Flanagan's bar; it's a quarter to two in the morning There'll be singing and dancing and all kinds of noise; I wish I could be there now Old Danny will try for The Coolin again, and he'll hope that the drink won't confound him But he'll straighten his back, and he'll rosin the bow; I swear I can hear him now I don't know what's in store for me In a strange country across the sea Is it cold at night? Do the stars shine bright? Are the same stars shining on you tonight? And I'll hold on to the memory Of a fond kiss on a crowded quay There were grown men crying for all to see My poor heart's breaking inside of me If I close my eyes now I can hear the sun rise, and the mist in the valley below me And I don't have to be there to hear the cock crow; I swear, I can hear him now Will you walk in the meadow, as oft times you do, in the earliest part of the morning? Will your footsteps appear in the sweet foggy dew? I wish I could be there now Chrous There's not much to do, and there's not much to tell, I'm a thousand miles out on the ocean The daily grind over, I go to my slumber, and fall to my foolish dreams Are you standing alone at the harbour wall, are you watching an empty horizon? There's nothing between us but blue sky and sea. I wish I could be there now Chorus
9.
10.
Molly 02:24
Molly, dear, you know you are the apple of my eye You are my consolation when the winter winds do cry I would not leave you, Molly, had I freedom of my heart And so it grieves me, Molly, that the two of us must part There is a golden country, far away, so I am told Golden sunsets in the sky, and golden sands below And golden people, Molly dear, but here's a dreadful thing For all their airs and graces they don't let their women sing Hand me down my sword and shield, for I must ride away And I will teach them, if I can, the error of their ways I'll teach them in the name of God, for God's the only king And God is on my side, and they will let their women sing Molly, like a broken bird, she fluttered to the floor He's gone, he's gone, sweet Molly cried, I'll never see him more He was my pride, and my delight, and he did a precious thing He went to fight the madmen who don't let their women sing Oh Molly, can you hear me, dear, I've something to confess I might have offered up my life for something rather less As I lay upon the battleground, with broken bodies all around I swear that in the distance I could hear a woman sing
11.
As I went a-walking one dark stormy morning, down by the cold waterside I met with a lassie, she was standing and staring, and weeping alone by the tide Are you grieving for someone, says I, like a fool, and she tosses her curly black hair It was all of her answer, she was gone in a moment 'Twas if she had never been there I dreamt of her nightly, and I pictured her daily, walking the strand in the rain And I wondered what manner of mine might beguile her, should ever I meet her again For courage in plenty, and many fine words have I, with a glass in my hand But all my brave talking couldn't ease my heart's longing As I thought of the lass on the strand Many's the morning I stood at the seashore, and always the waiting in vain And the season was changing, and the sun sweetly shining, the morning I saw her again She was gay as the springtime, and dressed all in green, and her eyes were the sparkling dew Where are you going, in the morning so early, in the loveliest part of the year? For the weather being pleasant, and the sun on the meadow, I thought we might take the air I cannot go with you, kind sir, she said, and I beg you do not make so free For I'm bound for the docks, and the arms of my sweetheart For today he returns from sea
12.
Hey Miss Merrydown, ho Miss Merrydown Hey Miss Merrydown, you please me But I've been a long time in your service, now, it's time to set me free I'm a foolish man, and I'm easily led You've been knocking at an open door It would not dismay me should I never meet you more Hey Miss Merrydown, ho Miss Merrydown Hey Miss Merrydown, you please me But I will no longer pay the price you daily ask of me You're a handsome lass, and you're very well bred And I will miss you when you're gone But now and then I'll take a glass for Auld Lang Syne Hey Miss Merrydown, ho Miss Merrydown Hey Miss Merrydown, let me be You've been the ruin of many a finer figure of a man than me I kissed you once by the kitchen door And I never asked or offered more But the fruit of the branch of the apple tree will always apples be Hey Miss Merrydown, ho Miss Merrydown Hey Miss Merrydown, you please me But I've been a long time in your service, now, it's time to set me free I'm a foolish man, and I'm easily led You've been knocking at an open door It would not dismay me should I never meet you more
13.

credits

released January 29, 2021

Recorded by Chris Davison at the Forum Music Centre, Darlington
Designed by Tricia McLaughlin from her original artwork. She has the patience of a saint!

With grateful thanks for help, contributions, and friendship to Dan Hands, Stephen Fletcher, Barbara Thow, Martin Matthews, Neil Mason, Chris Davison, Roly Hindmarsh, Tricia McLaughlin, and James McLaughlin

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Andy McLaughlin Durham, UK

Celtic accompanist and singer/songwriter

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