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The Miller of Dee​/​Begone Dull Care

from Roots&Branches by GreenMatthews

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A medley of two songs. The first is a song that first appears in Isaac
Bickerstaffe’s play Love in a Village (1762) and then appears in various
versions in a variety of different sources over the next 100 years. Chris wrote the melody for our version. The second song is from the mid-17th century. Both songs extol the virtues of simple pleasures and constitute
six verses of unalloyed joy - something of a rarity in English folk songs.


There was a jolly miller once
Liv'd on the river Dee ;
He danc'd and he sang from morn till night,
No lark so blithe as he.
And this the burden of his song
For ever us'd to be
I care for nobody, no, not I,
If nobody cares for me.

The reason why he was so blithe,
He once did thus unfold
The bread I eat my hands have earn'd;
I covet no man's gold ;
I do not fear next quarter-day;
In debt to none I be.
I care for nobody, no, not I,
If nobody cares for me.

Begone, dull care!
I prithee begone from me;
Begone, dull care!
You and I will never agree.
Long time thou hast been sitting here,
And faith, thou wouldst me kill;
But faith, dull care,
You never shall have your will.

Too much care
Will turn a young man grey;
Too much care
Will turn all men to clay.
We'll hunt the wild boar through the wood,
And merrily pass the day;
At night, over a flowing bowl,
We'll drive dull care away.

A coin or two I've in my purse,
To help a needy friend ;
A little I can give the poor,
And still have some to spend.
Though I may fail, yet I rejoice,
Another's good hap to see.
I care for nobody, no, not I,
If nobody cares for me.

So let us his example take,
And be from malice free;
Let every one his neighbour serve,
As served he'd like to be.
And merrily push the can about
And drink and sing with glee;
If nobody cares a doit for us,
Why not a doit care we.


from Roots&Branches, released September 11, 2019
Chris: voice, mandocello
Sophie: voice, English border bagpipes


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GreenMatthews Coventry, UK

Chris Green and Sophie Matthews play English traditional songs and tunes in a thoroughly 21st-century kick-ass style. Using a blend of ancient instruments such as cittern, English bagpipes and shawm as well as modern folk instruments such as guitar, flute and piano accordion, they breathe new life into material from hundreds of years ago, making it fresh and relevant for a modern audience. ... more


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