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The Quern Song

[ Roud - ; Mudcat 123718 , 159607 ; Alfred Perceval Graves]

The Quern Song, “adapted from an old song”, is printed it Charles Villiers Stanford, Alfred Perceval Graves: Songs of Erin: A Collection of Fifty Irish Folk Songs : Op. 76, Harvard University, 1901. Quern-stones are stone tools for hand-grinding a wide variety of materials, especially for various types of grains [Wikipedia].

The Devil’s Interval sang The Quern Song live at the “Frost and Fire: Singing the Seasons” concerts with Waterson:Carthy in Winter 2006. I don’t know of any official recording of this song by The Devil’s Interval.

One of these concerts, recorded live at the Farnham Maltings on 11 December 2006 and broadcast on the Andy Kershaw Show, BBC Radio 2, on 17 December 2006 was posted by Kev Boyd in his blog Come Sing It Plain… and can be found on YouTube:


The Devil’s Interval sing The Quern Song

Maids at morn, grind the good corn
Each in her mill, with a will!
In go the oats, wheats and pearly barley,
Down in a shower falls the flour.

Winding strong, grinding all day long,
Round, round and around goes the mill;
Grinding turn-about, till the meal is out,
Must never, ever stand still.

Those hands that are the strongest
Will find a welcome here,
And they who work the longest
Shall earn the best cheer.

(repeat first verse)