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Bright Shiny Morning

[ Roud 2 ; Laws Q26 ; Ballad Index LQ26 ; trad.]

Bright Shiny Morning is one of countless songs of the Unfortunate Rake family. Norma Waterson sang it in 2000 as title track of her third solo album Bright Shiny Morning, accompanied by Alice Kinloch, euphonium, trombone, brass arrangement, Martyn Lewington, trumpet, Chris Parkinson, piano accordion. Norma Waterson commented in the album's sleeve notes:

From Beatrice Mapsey Johnson from St John in the West Indies. For four years I lived in the West Indies where I was introduced to West Indian music and was fascinated to discover the many shadows of British Isles music, song, ceremony and dance which still survive out there among the local population.

This video shows Norma Waterson singing Bright Shiny Morning, accompanied by Martin Carthy and Chris Parkinson, at the Royal Oak, Lewes on 18 March 2010:

Compare this to Norma singing The Unfortunate Lass on her and her sister Lal's album A True Hearted Girl, to A.L. Lloyd singing The Unfortunate Rake on his album English Street Songs and St James's Hospital on his album First Person, and to Steeleye Span singing When I Was on Horseback on their third album Ten Man Mop. All of these songs share the funeral verses.


Norma Waterson sings Bright Shiny Morning

One bright shiny morning as I was out walking
One bright shiny morning so early one day
Well who should I meet but my own darling daughter
She was wrapped up in flannel most colder than clay

Come dearest mother come sit down beside me
Oh come dearest mother come and pity my crime
For my sad heart is aching my poor heart is breaking
I'm deep in salvation and surely must die

Send for the young man that first introduced me
Send for that young man who hurried my fate
For my poor head is aching and my bones they are breaking
I'm deep in salvation and surely must die

Oh send for the doctor to come straightaway to me
Oh send for the doctor although it's too late
For if he would have told me after the pills he had sold me
For I am a young girl cut down in my prime

Six jolly sailors come carry my coffin
Six jolly young sailors come and walk by my side
And a bunch of primroses to put on my coffin
For the people will smell me when passing them by

For my name is Loretta but don't call my name


Transcription by Garry Gillard.