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Come, See the Boys Go Round

[Paul Davenport]

Paul and Liz Davenport sang Paul’s song Come, See the Boys Go Round, in 2014 on their Hallamshire Traditions album Wait for No Man. This track was also included in 2015 on the Talking Elephant anthology And the Ladies Go Dancing…. They noted on their album:

The longsword dance is not short on songs, mostly of the calling-on variety. Paul wrote this when he realised that there is no song describing the sword dance itself. We have a technical point here. When the dance ends, the swords are ‘tied’ together in various shapes, all of these structures are called ‘locks’. The generic six-pointed star variety of lock is most commonly referred to by the old guys, as ‘The Rose’

Melrose Quartet sang Come, See the Boys Go Round on their 2019 album The Rudolph Variations.


Paul and Liz Davenport sing Come, See the Boys Go Round

Chorus (after each verse):
Come, see the boys go round,
How sweet the music flows.
Bring forth the plough to break the ground,
Raise up the shining Rose.

When Christmastide is gone and past,
When fields lie stark and bare,
Then let us brave the winter’s blast
Without a fear or care.
Without a fear or care, my boys,
Let each with one accord.
Now dance the round on frozen ground
With ribbons, drum and sword.

Now first of all comes Besom Bess,
A-sweeping with her broom,
To drive out winter’s cold distress,
To clear and make the room.
To clear and make the room, my boys,
That we may sport and play
With swords that clash and brightly flash
Upon this holiday.

Let Lord and Lady start the game,
Let Tom Fool sing the song
That wakes those heroes of great fame
Who roll the year along.
Who roll the year along, my boys,
For only they know how
The plough becomes the shining sword,
The sword becomes the plough.

Now enter in those heroes bold,
Those heroes of great fame.
Their forefathers in days of old
Each bore a glorious name.
Each bore a glorious name, my boys,
Likewise a shining blade
They leap and spin, the swords go in,
And thus the Rose is made!