> Eliza Carthy > Songs > Waking Dreams
The Drowsy Sleeper / Arise Arise / Awake Awake / Silver Dagger / Waking Dreams
; Master title: The Drowsy Sleeper I
; Laws M4
; Henry H722
; Ballad Index
; VWML CJS2/10/2522A
; Mudcat 17334
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 (Emily Portman, Lauren McCormick and Jim Causley) sang Silver Dagger in 2006 on their WildGoose album Blood and Honey. They commented in their liner notes:
We like to name our own 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.
This video shows them rehearsing in April 2015:
Josienne Clarke sang The Silver Dagger in 2011 on her and Ben Walker's CD The Seas Are Deep.
Bryony Griffith sang Arise Arise on her and Will Hampson's 2011 CD Lady Diamond, followed by the tune The Rowling Hornpipe. They noted:
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. Fay noted:
Awake, Awake appears in many versions from England to the Appalachians, with a similar first verse, but from there they diverge and have different shaped tunes. Typically the father sends the lover away and his daughter pines, often to death. I have built this version from various texts, changing the tune and altered the ending to have him turning tail and she wishing him to return even if he is a bit of a cad. Controversial and callous treatment of a sacred text or the folk process at work? Discuss!
Eliza Carthy sang Waking Dreams, a version of Awake Awake collected 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 noted:
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.
Burd Ellen sang Awake Awake on their 2019 CD Silver Came. Debbie Armour noted:
On the perennial but pertinent subject of the persistent man. This is an American tune in the Silver Dagger song family. Suzannah Park learned it from her granny and was kind enough to share it with the world.
Amy and Gavin Davenport sang Drowsy Sleeper on their 2019 CD A Boat of Promises. They noted:
Silver Dagger is perhaps the best-known version of this song, itself really just a collection of floating verses. We've cherry picked a few here. Folk music in Liverpool always has had on foot in the Atlantic and Amy has sung a version of it for many years, learned from the Green Moose's very own Silkie Hamilton.
Lucy Farrell sang Awake Awake in 2020 on her and Andrew Waite's CD Calm the Lions.
Gigspanner Big Band sang Awake Awake in 2020 on their CD Natural Invention. They noted:
This song is taken from Cecil Sharp’s English Folk Songs from the Southern Appalachians. The tune at the end, Ellen Smith, was found in unpublished extra notes from the collection, in the archive at Cecil Sharp House, London. Handwritten next to the notation was the comment, “played by two youths, the one playing the air on the fiddle (con-sordini, i.e. by hinging over clasp knife with partially opened blade on the bridge), accompanied by the other with arpeggios on the banjo. The thing was very skilfully played, plumb in tune, and its constant repetition had a quasi-hypnotic effect on me and apparently also on the players…” (Cecil Sharp, manuscript notes, 30 July 1917).
|Maggie Boyle sings Silver Dagger||The Devil's Interval sing Silver Dagger|
Oh, don't sing love songs, you'll wake my mother,
Don't sing love songs, you'll wake my mother,
All men are false, says my mother,
Young men are false, so says my mother,
My daddy is a handsome devil,
My daddy is a handsome devil,
Oh then go home to your own garden,
Go court another tender maiden
(repeat first verse)
(repeat first verse)
|Bryony Griffith sings Arise, Arise||The Full English sing Awake, Awake|
“Arise, arise, my drowsy sleeper,
“Begone, begone, you'll awake my mother,
“Oh then, oh then, go ask your father,
“My father's in his chamber, writing,
“To my dispraise, love, to my dispraise, love,
“Oh then, oh then, go ask your mother
“My mother's in her chamber sleeping,
“The fish shall fly, the sea run dry, love,
Awake, awake, you drowsy sleeper,
Be gone, be gone, you will wake my father,
I won't be gone for I have no other,
The old man heard the young couple talking,
So much for love and the valiant hearted,
|Eliza Carthy sings Waking Dreams|
Awake, awake, you drowsy traitor,
You learned my secrets, warmed in comfort
Farewell my friends, farewell my family,
I thought I heard your voice a-shouting,
I loved his face, I loved his body,
Now take my heart, I do not need it.