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Newcastle

[ Roud 8086 ; trad.]

Shirley Collins recorded Newcastle in London in 1958/59 for her 1959/60 Collector EP English Songs. This track was also included in 2002 on her Fledg'ling anthology Within Sound. She commented in the latter album's booklet:

This romantic and tender song is set to one of the loveliest English dance tunes (also known as Newcastle) from Playford's English Dancing Master, published in 1651. The words sound to me as though they were added a century or so later. It's a wonderful tune both to sing and to dance to, but since it's quite an energetic dance, not at the same time!

Lyrics

Shirley Collins sings Newcastle

Come you not from Newcastle?
Come you not there away?
O met you not my true love,
Riding on a bonny bay?
Why should I not love my love?
Why shouldn't my love love me?
Why should I not speed after him,
Since love to all is free?

[ There’s not a stouter yeoman
That treads the heath’ry moor,
There’s not a heart more constant,
More gentle or more pure.
In childhood we were plighted
And until death, will prove
That gold, which conquers pride and pow’r,
Can never shake our love. ]

My father, once his true friend,
Now turns him from the door.
My mother owns him worthy,
But bids me love no more.
The Squire, his boyhood's playmate,
Would now his rival be,
And Willie madly rides away
To sail the stormy sea.

But spite of blame and danger,
With Willie I will roam.
His arms my safe depender,
His breast my happy home.
Why should I not love my love?
Why shouldn't my love love me?
Why should we not together roam,
Since love to all is free?