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post #23297 of (permalink) Old 10-16-2019, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by modm View Post
Sorry for the long post !!! I put the entire lyrics/poem at bottom. I can easily see the imagery of the Poem.

Thanks ABTLH I learned some things while researching!
You don't ever have to apologize to me for long posts when they are the results of lyrics (or even poems)

Kris Kristofferson - Best I can tell at least from internet he at least was part writer of the songs - more to the story??? Me and Bobby McGee - Fred Foster was the other guy and Sunday Morning Coming - looks like he did and Ray Stevens and Johnny Cash sang it. And Me and Bobby McGee - I really just recall Janis Joplin singing it
Well, I thought that Kris was the co-writer of both Me and Bobby McGee and Sunday Morning Coming Down--but the first site I looked at say they were entirely the work of someone else. Kris wrote some songs that Johnny Cash sang, and one of his songs (can't remember the title) was done over 100 times as a cover by other groups and singers--and it was one I can't remember that he ever sang.

Bob Dylan - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues - Guess I do not know a ton of his songs other than the "main stream" ones (Like a Rolling Stone, Mr. Tambourine Man, Knockin' On Heaven's Door, and Blowing In The Wind...etc...)
I think (and have always thought) that a lot of Dylan's best songs were never much played on the radio (which was where most of us of my vintage heard about them just plain because they were so long. I read somewhere that most popular songs on radio are less than 5 minutes. And I can remember a disk jokey bitching about all the requests he got from (um--don't tell me I'm going to go blank now--no, got it) Bohemian Rhapsody because it was so long.

Phil Ochs - I definitely had not heard of Phil - looks like his life was a bit hard...I liked some of the songs I listened to. I came across this one he sang: The Highwayman
I had already known that one but from Loreena McKennitt. It is a poem by Alfred Noyes.[?QUOTE]

I actually knew the poem long before I ever heard any of the various artists modified it some and sang it. Had a very good English teacher in high school who made us read it and later discuss it. Again it's one where the imagery of the lyrics just wows me.

I think Judy Collins also sang an abbreviated version of it--I'll change the bolding and bold the version I think she sang (it's been a very long time since I've heard it.)

below - the bolded parts are not in Loreena's version...Phil's version cut some more is long
Now bolded by me for what I remember was the Judy Collins version

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees.
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas.
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.

He’d a French cocked-hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin,
A coat of the claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin.
They fitted with never a wrinkle. His boots were up to the thigh.
And he rode with a jewelled twinkle,
His pistol butts a-twinkle,
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jewelled sky.

Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn-yard.
He tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred.
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.

And dark in the dark old inn-yard a stable-wicket creaked
Where Tim the ostler listened. His face was white and peaked.
His eyes were hollows of madness, his hair like mouldy hay,
But he loved the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s red-lipped daughter.
Dumb as a dog he listened, and he heard the robber say—

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize to-night,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

He rose upright in the stirrups. He scarce could reach her hand,
But she loosened her hair in the casement. His face burnt like a brand
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast;
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight,
(O, sweet black waves in the moonlight!)
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west.


He did not come in the dawning. He did not come at noon;
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise of the moon,
When the road was a gypsy’s ribbon, looping the purple moor,
A red-coat troop came marching—
King George’s men came marching, up to the old inn-door.

They said no word to the landlord. They drank his ale instead.
But they gagged his daughter, and bound her, to the foot of her narrow bed.
Two of them knelt at her casement, with muskets at their side!
There was death at every window;
And hell at one dark window;
For Bess could see, through her casement, the road that he would ride.

They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest.
They had bound a musket beside her, with the muzzle beneath her breast!
“Now, keep good watch!” and they kissed her. She heard the doomed man say—
Look for me by moonlight;
Watch for me by moonlight;
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way!

She twisted her hands behind her; but all the knots held good!
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood!
They stretched and strained in the darkness, and the hours crawled by like years
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight,
Cold, on the stroke of midnight,
The tip of one finger touched it! The trigger at least was hers!

The tip of one finger touched it. She strove no more for the rest.
Up, she stood up to attention, with the muzzle beneath her breast.
She would not risk their hearing; she would not strive again;
For the road lay bare in the moonlight;
Blank and bare in the moonlight;
And the blood of her veins, in the moonlight, throbbed to her love’s refrain.

Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot! Had they heard it? The horsehoofs ringing clear;
Tlot-tlot; tlot-tlot, in the distance? Were they deaf that they did not hear?
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill,
The highwayman came riding—
The red coats looked to their priming! She stood up, straight and still.

Tlot-tlot, in the frosty silence! Tlot-tlot, in the echoing night!
Nearer he came and nearer. Her face was like a light.
Her eyes grew wide for a moment; she drew one last deep breath,
Then her finger moved in the moonlight,
Her musket shattered the moonlight,
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him—with her death.

He turned. He spurred to the west; he did not know who stood
Bowed, with her head o’er the musket, drenched with her own blood!
Not till the dawn he heard it, and his face grew grey to hear
How Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
The landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there.

Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky,
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high.
Blood red were his spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat;
When they shot him down on the highway,
Down like a dog on the highway,
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with a bunch of lace at his throat.

. . .

And still of a winter’s night, they say, when the wind is in the trees,
When the moon is a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
A highwayman comes riding—
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door.

Over the cobbles he clatters and clangs in the dark inn-yard.
He taps with his whip on the shutters, but all is locked and barred.
He whistles a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there
But the landlord’s black-eyed daughter,
Bess, the landlord’s daughter,
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair.
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