The Wandering Ballad – Song no. 8: Wake Up

This is the eight in a series of blogs about the songs on our new CD “The Wandering Ballad”.

Wake up is yet another ballad telling the story of Earl Brand/King Vallemo. The ballad has now sailed over the Atlantic with migrants, and as usual it has adapted to its surroundings. The melody has a definite American twang to it and the young man is now proclaiming that his father is a regal king and his mother a Quakers queen.

As the young couple rides out of town the father and the seven brothers of the runaway girl are rippling over the plain in hot pursuit.

But like in the ballads from the Old World it ends badly once again with a fight between the young man and the father and seven brothers.

“Get you up you seven brothers, and bring your sister down.

For it never shall be said that a steward’s son has taken her out of town!”

“I thank you kindly sir he said, I am no steward’s son.

My father was a regal king, my mother a Quaker’s queen.”

She mounted on a milk white steed. He rode a dappled gray.

He hung a horn round his neck, and they went riding away

They had not come three miles out of town, when he looked back again,

and saw her father and seven brothers, come rippling over the plain.

“Get you down sweet Ellinor” he said”, and hold my horse by the rains,

while I play a while with your father, and your seven brethren!”

She mounted on a milk white steed. He rode a dappled gray.

He hung a horn round his neck, and they went riding away

I have taken the liberty on the CD to use fragments of the song, namely “wake up, ride away” for a voice on voice arrangement as I felt this added to the general idea of the song.

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