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George's Son

[John Kirkpatrick]

John Kirkpatrick sang his own song on Brass Monkey's 1986 album See How It Runs. According to the album sleeve notes, he wrote it “for a dramatisation by the Orchard Theatre company of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd but not used in the end. This song is a synopsis of chapter five.” The LP was re-released in 1993 as second half of the CD The Complete Brass Monkey.

Lyrics

Oh there was George and there was George's Son
Two finer dogs, oh they never did run
And they worked the sheep, and they worked them well
Oh but George's Sun, he could run like hell

For one dark night when all were safe asleep
To George's Son, oh, some devil did creep
Saying, “Show your master, come show him true,
What George's Son with those sheep can do.”

Oh how they scambled and how they flew
And how they thundered that parish through
And how high the cliff he drove them along
Oh and in his ears ran that devil's song

Their clattering bells roused that shepherd bold
And at that sound, oh his blood ran cold
And he prayed for mercy with all his might
Saying, “Some demon rides with my sheep this night”

And quickly, quickly he ran the ground
And quickly, quickly that cliff he found
And quickly, quickly he raised his gun
And the devil smiled on young George's Son

A flock was lost, and a fortune too
And a brisk young farmer could ruin knew
To some labouring job he was forced to come
But his saddest loss was young George's Son

Oh there was George and there was George's Son
Two finer dogs, oh they never did run
And they worked the sheep, and they worked them well
Oh but George's Sun, he could run like hell

Acknowledgements

Lyrics copied from the See How It Runs sleeve notes.