Folk Songs and Renovations

by Tim Chesterton

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about

Tim Chesterton sees himself primarily as an interpreter of traditional folk songs. He is inspired by the rich heritage of folk music - songs written in previous centuries, usually by unknown authors, and then passed down by word of mouth, moulded and re-moulded by each successive generation. He wants to take his place in that tradition, passing on these wonderful old songs to new audiences today. He especially loves songs that tell stories, and his own songwriting is mainly in the storytelling vein.

Tim's debut CD includes six of his own original songs and five traditional folk songs which he has arranged and 'renovated'. They are accompanied by Tim's masterful playing on guitar and cittern, with additional guitar and mandolin work on three tracks by Tim's long-time frend and musical collaborator, Alex Boudreau.

credits

released May 13, 2013

Tim Chesterton: vocals, guitar, cittern
Alex Boudreau: vocals, guitar, mandolin
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Stew Kirkwood at Sound Extractor Studios, Edmonton, Alberta

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about

Tim Chesterton Edmonton, Alberta

Tim Chesterton is inspired by the rich heritage of traditional folk music of the British Isles and North America, and enjoys interpreting traditional songs as well as writing new songs in the traditional style.

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Track Name: The Ballad of Jake and Rachel
The Ballad of Jake and Rachel
© 2007, 2011 Tim Chesterton

Jakob the farrier’s son
fled from Russia in twenty-one;
cleared land in Saskatchewan,
and there he built his home.

Rachel was newly wed
when/Hans was murdered by the Reds;
all the family fled
to a land they’d never known.

Jake rode to town one day,
goods to buy and bills to pay;
Rachel was passing that way,
and so she caught his eye.

She wasn’t easy to win -
the light of hope was burning dim -
but/in the end she married him
beneath the prairie sky.

Times were tough but smiles were cheerful;
cash was short but love was strong.
Work was hard but sleep was easy,
Though the days were long.

Children came along:
they had four girls and then one son;
always chores to be done,
and clothes to make and mend.

Crops failed in thirty-five,
they barely managed to stay alive;
somehow the farm survived
with help from all their friends.

Times were tough but smiles were cheerful;
cash was short but love was strong.
Work was hard but sleep was easy,
Though the days were long.

Times were tough but smiles were cheerful;
cash was short but love was strong.
Work was hard but sleep was easy,
Though the days were long.

Now they’re a flourishing tribe –
the family tree grows deep and wide!
Grandkids on every side
with children of their own.

Love flows on and on
Though Jake and Rachel now are gone;
God watches over them
in their heavenly home.
Track Name: Old
Old
© 2011 Tim Chesterton


I like an old book, its cover all faded,
its pages all dog-eared and torn;
I visit it like a familiar companion,
its company friendly and warm.

I like an old house with old-fashioned windows -
the rooms with their comfortable chairs,
the whistling kettle that sits on the stovetop,
the boards that go creak on the stairs.

I like an old forest, its trees scarred and weathered
with mosses and lichens below;
I like the old paths that lead off into shadow,
and clearings where wild flowers grow.

I like old people with white hair and wrinkles
and lessons they’ve learned through the years;
I like all the wisdom that’s etched on their faces
from decades of laughter and tears.

I like my old marriage; it’s been through its struggles,
But somehow our love has won through;
to walk hand in hand in the cool of the evening
and share in the quiet with you.
Track Name: William Glenn
William Glenn
Traditional, adaptation and tune © 2013 Tim Chesterton

There was a ship and she sailed the sea,
And she was bound for New Barbary.
Her captain’s name was William Glenn,
With/a crew of four and eighty men,
We’d only sailed but a week or two
When all that fine and hearty crew
They all fell sick but twenty-three
As we were sailing to New Barbary.

One night our captain he had a dream;
He heard a voice and it said to him,
“Prepare yourself and your company -
Tomorrow night you must lie with me”.
Our captain woke in an awful fright;
It being the darkest hour of night.
He called the Bosun with no delay,
And when he came, these words did say:

“Bosun, my friend, I’m sick at heart;
I know I’ve played a villain’s part.
I killed a man in Devonshire
Because I loved his lady fair.
It’s of his ghost now that I’m afraid,
Whose voice this night spoke from the dead.
I fear my curse hangs o’er the crew;
Only my death will see them through”.

That very night there blew a gale
And it quickly robbed us of many a sail.
The main mast sprung and down it fell;
We feared our ship was bound for hell.
At last the Bosun he did declare
That Captain Glenn was a murderer,
And so afraid were our whole ship’s crew
That overboard we our captain threw.

Our treacherous captain, him being gone,
Immediately there came a calm;
The winds abated and calmed the sea,
And so we came to New Barbary.
Now seamen all who hear my tale,
I pray my warning it will prevail:
If you love your life, then have a care,
And never sail with a murderer.

Now seamen all who hear my tale,
I pray my warning it will prevail:
If you love your life, then have a care,
And never sail with a murderer.
Track Name: Jonah
Jonah
©2007 Tim Chesterton

Sitting on my porch one day,
I thought I heard the Lord God say,
“Go down to Nineveh, with no delay!
Speak my words, and point them to my way”.

This was not my cup of tea -
I’d rather have my weekends free –
So I found a ship and sailed across the sea,
In search of a place where God wouldn’t bother me.

But he sent a storm and I ended up in the drink,
Inside a fish with plenty of time just to sit and think.

The fish burped me up on the shore,
I thought it best to rebel no more,
So it’s off to Nineveh, to lay down the law.
Them Ninevites will string me up for sure!

But to my surprise they listened to what I said;
Left behind their wickedness and turned to God instead.

I was none too pleased with this,
The judgement plan had gone amiss.
I wanted to see God using his mighty fist.
“Come and wipe them out, O God, I must insist!”

But he laughed at me with my face all in a pout;
He said, “Jonah I love those Ninevites,
and I want to help them out”.

You just can’t argue with the Lord,
He always gets the final word,
So I slipped off home to think on what I’d heard.
Sometimes the love of God seems quite absurd.
Track Name: Fire of Love
Fire of Love
© 2006, 2011 Tim Chesterton

Deeper than the storms that shake us,
older than the ancient sands,
wider than the widest ocean,
holding life within your hands.

Wiser than our wisest sages.
Full of love beyond our scope,
patient through the years of longing,
holding fast to stubborn hope.

Brighter than the brightest morning,
yours the face I long to see.
Candle flame in deepest darkness,
fire of love so full and free.

Far beyond the farthest heaven
Old before the dawn of time
First and last and longest living
Brightest sun, in glory shine.

Brighter than the brightest morning,
yours the face I long to see.
Candle flame in deepest darkness,
fire of love so full and free.

Through the clouds of our confusion
Through the night time of our fears
Through the storms of war and anger
See the light of hope appears

Here among us as our neighbour,
speaking truth and living grace;
love, embracing friend and stranger,
came to us in time and space.

Brighter than the brightest morning,
yours the face I long to see.
Candle flame in deepest darkness,
fire of love so full and free.

Brighter than the brightest morning,
yours the face I long to see.
Candle flame in deepest darkness,
fire of love so full and free.
Track Name: Cold Blow and the Rainy Night
Cold Blow and the Rainy Night
Traditional, arrangement ©2012 Tim Chesterton

My hat is frozen to my head,
my body is like a lump of lead,
my shoes have frozen to my feet
from standing at your window.
Let me come in the soldier cried,
cold blow and the rainy night,
let me come in the soldier cried,
I'll never come back again - oh.

My Dad he’s working down the street,
my Mum the bedroom keys she keeps,
the doors and windows they all creak,
I cannot let you in - oh.
Let me come in the soldier cried,
cold blow and the rainy night,
let me come in the soldier cried,
I'll never come back again - oh.

Then she got up and she let him in
She kissed her true love cheek and chin,
they went back to bed again
and the soldier he won her favour.
Then she blessed the rainy night,
cold blow and the rainy night ,
then she blessed the rainy night,
that ever she let him in - oh.

Well now you've had your way with me,
soldier won’t you marry me?
Oh no my love, that never can be,
so fare you well forever.
Then she wept for the rainy night,
cold blow and the rainy night,
then she wept for the rainy night,
that ever she let him in - oh.

Then he got up and out of bed
He put his hat upon his head,
she had lost her maidenhead
and her mother had heard the din - oh.
Then she cursed the rainy night,
cold blow and the rainy night,
then she cursed the rainy night,
that ever she let him in - oh.

Then she cursed the rainy night,
cold blow and the rainy night,
then she cursed the rainy night,
that ever she let him in - oh.
Track Name: Lord Franklin
Lord Franklin
Traditional

We were homeward bound one night on the deep
Swinging in my hammock I fell asleep
I dreamed a dream and I thought it true
Concerning Franklin and his gallant crew

With a hundred seamen he sailed away
To the frozen ocean in the month of May
To seek a passage all around the pole
Where we poor seamen do sometimes go.

Through cruel misfortunes they vainly strove
Their ships on mountains of ice were drove
Only the Eskimo with his skin canoe
Was the only one that ever came through

In Baffin Bay where the whale fish blow
The fate of Franklin no man may know
The fate of Franklin no tongue can tell
Where Lord Franklin with his sailors dwells

It’s been seven long years since those ships of fame
Took my Lord Franklin across the main;
Ten thousand pounds I would freely give
To know on earth, that my Franklin lives.
Track Name: Master Kilby
Master Kilby
(traditional, arr. Tim Chesterton)

In the heat of the day when the sun shines so freely,
I met Master Kilby, so fine and so gay.

I pulled off my hat and I bowed to the ground,
And I said, Master Kilby, oh where are you bound?

I’m bound for the West, in the hopes to find rest;
And in the arms of my Nancy I will build a new nest.

She's the girl I adore, she's the choice of my heart,
Her skin shines like silver in every part.

And if I were the master of ten thousand pounds,
in bright gold and silver, or King William's crown,

I’d part with it all from my own heart so freely
And it’s all for the sake of my charming Nancy.

I give her some kisses, it was down by the sea shore,
But still she lay asking, lay asking for more.

In the heat of the day when the sun shines so freely,
I met Master Kilby, so fine and so gay.
Track Name: I Know You Will Be There
I Know You Will Be There
©Tim Chesterton, May 2010

I don’t know the day of my death,
the day I will draw my last fading breath;
and I don’t know how it may come –
the end of my days under the sun.
But as I cross the horizon
on a path my eyes cannot see,
I know you will be there walking with me.

I might live to healthy old age
in gladness and joy to the end of my days.
But then again in the blink of an eye
the summons may come – the day I must die.
But as I let go the moorings
and drift out into your sea
I know you will be there sailing with me.

Even now when the day’s work is done
I lie down and sleep ‘til the morning light comes.
And I know when I reach my last rest,
safe in your care I will wake up refreshed.
And on that bright morning
when the world is made new and free,
I know you will be there awakening me.
Track Name: What a Day It Will Be
What a Day It Will Be
© 2007 Tim Chesterton

I believe the day will come
when the killing is finally done;
when the war on hate is won -
what a day it will be!
Lambs and lions lying down
on redundant battlegrounds;
children laughing all around –
what a day it will be!

When the saints come marching in
what a mighty song they’ll sing!
Round the world their joy will ring –
in hymns of jubilee!
Every nation, every race,
joined at last in glad embrace,
all the earth one holy place –
what a day it will be!

Then the rich will stand amazed
as their lives are reappraised;
homeless beggars will be raised –
what a day it will be!
Generous hearts will then receive,
doubting souls at last believe;
all their dreams will be achieved –
what a day it will be!

When the saints come marching in
what a mighty song they’ll sing!
Round the world their joy will ring –
in hymns of jubilee!
Every nation, every race,
joined at last in glad embrace,
all the earth one holy place –
what a day it will be!


On the mountain of the Lord
love will be its own reward;
all that’s lost will be restored -
what a day it will be!
God will mend each broken soul
every grief will be consoled;
all the earth will be made whole -
what a day it will be!

When the saints come marching in
what a mighty song they’ll sing!
Round the world their joy will ring –
in hymns of jubilee!
Every nation, every race,
joined at last in glad embrace,
all the earth one holy place –
what a day it will be!

When the saints come marching in
what a mighty song they’ll sing!
Round the world their joy will ring –
in hymns of jubilee!
Every nation, every race,
joined at last in glad embrace,
all the earth one holy place –
what a day it will be!
what a day it will be!
what a day it will be!
Track Name: As I Roved Out
As I Roved Out
Traditional

As I roved out on a fine May morning
To view the meadows and flowers gay
Whom should I spy but my own true lover
As she sat under yon willow tree

I took off my hat and I did salute her
I did salute her most courageously
When she turned around, well the tears fell from her
Sayin' "False young man, you have deluded me

A diamond ring I owned I gave you
A diamond ring to wear on your right hand
But the vows you made, love, you went and broke them
And married the lassie that had the land"

"If I'd married the lassie that had the land, my love
It's that I'll rue till the day I die
When misfortune falls sure no man can shun it
I was blindfolded I'll ne'er deny"

Now at night when I go to my bed of slumber
The thoughts of my true love run in my mind
When I turned around to embrace my darling
Instead of gold sure it's brass I find

And I wish the Queen would call home her army
From the West Indies, Amerikay and Spain
And every man to his wedded woman
In hopes that you and I will meet again.