> Eliza Carthy > Songs > Blind Fiddler

Blind Fiddler

[ Roud 7833 ; Ballad Index FSWB055 ; trad.]

Eliza Carthy played and sang the Blind Fiddler in 1996 on her first solo album, Heat Light & Sound. This track was also included on the anthology New Electric Muse. She noted:

An American song, learned from Pete Seeger via my Dad and a banjo. It was collected from Emma Dewsbury, who sold it in return for a cow.

Show of Hands sang The Blind Fiddler on March 24, 1996 on their live album Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

Broom Bezzums sang The Blind Fiddler on their 2008 album Under the Rug.

Mawkin sang The Blind Fiddler on their 2018 album Down Among the Dead Men. They noted:

First heard from the voice of Phil Beer, the song follows the story of an unfortunate blacksmith that goes blind and consequently is forced to wander the country earning his living from playing the fiddle. James [Delarre] wrote The Cabin whilst wandering around the country trying to make his living from playing the fiddle.

Lyrics

Eliza Carthy sings Blind Fiddler

I lost my eyes in the blacksmith's shop in the year of '56
While cleaning out a T-flange that was out of fix
It bounded up from out of the tongs and there concealed my doom
I'm a blind fiddler and far from my home

I've been to San Francisco, I've been to Dr Lane
He operated on one of my eyes, nothing could he gain
He says I will be blind for life, there's no use to mourn
I'm a blind fiddler and far from my home

I have a wife and three little babes depending now on me
They go through all my trials, wherever they may be
I hope that they'll be happy now while I am forced to roam
I'm a blind fiddler and far from my home

Acknowledgements

Transcribed by Kira White. Thanks to Garry Gillard for corrections.