> Eliza Carthy > Songs > Waking Dreams

Arise Arise / Awake Awake / The Drowsy Sleeper / Silver Dagger / Waking Dreams

[ Roud 22620 , 22621 ; Laws M4 ; Ballad Index LM04 ; Full English CJS2/10/2522A , CJS2/10/1891 ; trad.]

Steve Roud catalogues most of the English versions of this song as Roud 22620 and the American versions as Roud 22621.

Hedy West sang Drowsy Sleeper in 1963 on her eponymous Vanguard album, Hedy West. She commented in her sleeve notes:

Grandma and Uncle Gus learned Drowsy Sleeper from Virge West while he was courting their older sister, Molly. I have supplied a segment of the third verse, which was incomplete when I learned it.

Peggy Seeger and Tom Paley sang Who's That Knocking at My Window? (The Drowsy Sleeper) on their 1965 album Who's Going to Shoe Your Pretty Little Foot?.

John Wright sang Awake, Awake, You Drowsy Sleeper in 1978 on his Topic album Unaccompanied. He noted:

Awake, Awake You Drowsy Sleeper is from the Sharp manuscripts, no 1309, collected from Jack Barnard, Bridgewater, 4/4/07. There is a French song that begins Reveillez-vous belle endormie which is also about elopement, has the same poetic metre and, most surprising of all, is found with almost the same tune as that used here.

Maggie Boyle sang Silver Dagger in 1992 on her and Steve Tilston's album Of Moor and Mesa. They commented in their liner notes:

This song is most certainly the victim/beneficiary of folk-song tradition. Apparently derived from the English song Go from My Window, this Appalachian version is adapted here once more by the inclusion of a verse written by Steve.

Steve Tilston's daughter Martha Tilston sang Silver Dagger on her 2006 album Of Milkmaids & Architects.

Maddie Southorn sang Who Is At My Window Weeping? in 2005 on her Fellside CD The Pilgrim Soul. She commented in her liner notes that

This is a Canadian variant of The Drowsy Sleeper and is well known throughout the US and Canada.

The Devil's Interval sang Silver Dagger in 2006 on their WildGoose album Blood and Honey. They commented in their liner notes:

We like to name our ouwn sources unlike Dolly Parton, our source for this song, who failed to name her own source… Of course one can have too many condiments! It features on Dolly's album The Grass Is Blue, but there are many other versions of this widely collected traditional song, also known as Arise Arise.

Bryony Griffith sang Arise Arise on her and Will Hampson's 2011 CD Lady Diamond, followed by the tune The Rowling Hornpipe. They commented in their liner notes:

Known as Drowsy Sleeper from the book The Seeds of Love compiled by Stephen Sedley. The Rowling Hornpipe from the Joseph Kershaw MS The Music of a 19th Century Saddleworth Fiddle Player published by INWAC.

Fay Hield and Nancy Kerr sang Awake Awake on the Full English's eponymous 2013 Topic CD, The Full English.

Eliza Carthy sang Waking Dreams, a version of Awake Awake recorded from Marina Russell of Weymouth in 1907 by Henry Hammond, on her and Martin Carthy's 2014 duo album, The Moral of the Elephant. She commented in their album's sleeve notes:

The original comes from Marina Russell of Dorset, words and tune. I started to add bits of other songs years ago, and finally settled on this as we were recording. It's a song about loneliness for me, watching the world turn without you and the shock of suddenly being left behind in the dark, when you had just grown used to the lights being on again. The universe so often has different plans for us than we imagine for ourselves, even—or perhaps especially—when we're too busy getting by to dream.

Lyrics

Maggie Boyle sings Silver Dagger The Devil's Interval sing Silver Dagger

Oh, don't sing love songs, you'll wake my mother,
She's sleeping here, right by my side.
And in her right hand, a silver dagger,
She says that I can't be your bride.

Don't sing love songs, you'll wake my mother,
She's sleeping here, right by my side.
In her right hand is a silver dagger,
She says that I can't be your bride.

All men are false, says my mother,
They tell you wicked, loving lies.
And in the next breath they'll court another,
They'll leave you ere the sun does rise.

Young men are false, so says my mother,
They tell you wicked, loving lies.
And then they'll go and court some other,
Leave you alone to pine and cry.

My daddy is a handsome devil,
He has a chain five miles long.
On every link a heart does dangle
Of another maid he's loved and wronged.

My daddy is a handsome devil,
He's got a chain that's five miles long.
On every link a heart does dangle
Of another maid he's loved and wronged.

Oh then go home to your own garden,
Oh then go home, return no more.
No other man may come a-courting,
No other lover cross my door.

Go court another tender maiden
In hopes that she might be your wife.
For I've been warned so I've decided
To sleep alone all of my life.

(repeat first verse)

(repeat first verse)

Bryony Griffith sings Arise, Arise The Full English sing Awake, Awake

“Arise, arise, my drowsy sleeper,
Awake, awake, it's almost day.
Oh come unto your bedroom window
And hear what your true love does say.”

“Begone, begone, you'll awake my mother,
My father too will quickly hear;
Go tell your tale unto another
And whisper softly all in her ear.”

“Oh then, oh then, go ask your father,
If he'll consent you my bride to be.
If he denies you, come and tell me
And it's the last time I'll visit thee.”

“My father's in his chamber, writing,
And noting down on his merchandise,
And in his hand he holds a letter
And it speaks much of your dispraise.”

“To my dispraise, love, to my dispraise, love,
To my dispraise, love, how can it be?
I have never slighted, nor yet denied you
Until this night you've denied of me.

“Oh then, oh then, go ask your mother
If she'll consent you my bride to be.
If she denies you, come and tell me
And it's the last time I'll visit thee.”

“My mother's in her chamber sleeping,
And words of love she will not hear,
Go tell your tale unto another
And whisper softly all in her ear.”

“The fish shall fly, the sea run dry, love,
The rocks shall melt all in the sun;
And the labouring man shall forget his labour,
Before that I shall return again.”

Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
Awake, awake, it is dawn of day.
How can you lie there so long in sleeping
Since you have stolen my heart away?
Awake, awake, it is dawn of day.
How can you lie there so long in sleeping
Since you have stolen my heart away?

Be gone, be gone, you will wake my father,
My mother she will you quickly hear.
Go tell your tales to some other lover
And whisper softly all in her ear.
Awake, awake, it is dawn of day.
Go tell your tales to some other lover
And whisper softly all in her ear.

I won't be gone for I have no other,
You are the girl I do much admire.
'Tis I my dear who do love you deeply
And thoughts of love that have brought me here.
Awake, awake, it is dawn of day.
'Tis I my dear who do love you deeply
And thoughts of love that have brought me here.

The old man heard the young couple talking,
So nimble he stepped out from his bed.
He put his head to the bedroom window,
Young Johnny dear, he has turned and fled.
Awake, awake, it is dawn of day.
He put his head to the bedroom window,
Young Johnny dear, he has turned and fled.

So much for love and the valiant hearted,
So much for faithful and strong young men.
I'll turn my bed on the morrow morning
And call young Johnny return again.
Awake, awake, it is dawn of day.
I'll turn my bed on the morrow morning
And call young Johnny return again.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café threads Lyr Req: Awake Ye Drowsy Sleepers (Ian & Sylvia) and Lyr Add: The Drowsy Sleeper.