The Modern Folk Musician

2. Matty Groves


Lead Vocal and Guitar: Mike Agranoff
Bass: Dan Pagdon
Fiddle: Pete Sutherland
Mandolin: Barry Mitterhoff
Bodhran: John Lamb

A holiday, a holiday, the first one of the year.
Lord Donald's wife come to the church, the gospel for to hear.

And when the meeting it was done she cast her eyes about.
And there she saw little Matty Groves, a-standing in the crowd.

"Come home with me, little Matty Groves, come home with me tonight.
Come home with me, little Matty Groves, and sleep with me this night."

"Well, I can't come home, I won't come home, I can't come home this night
By the rings on your fingers I can see you are Lord Donald's wife."

"Well, what if I am Lord Donald's wife, Lord Donald is not home.
He's away in the far off fields bringing the yearlings home."

But a servant who was standing by and hearing what was said,
He swore Lord Donald ,he'd find out before the sun was red.

And in his haste to carry the news he took to his heels and ran.
"I may be my lady's servant, but I am Lord Donald's man!"

So the lady took little Matty home and there he fell asleep.
And when he awoke the very next day, Lord Donald was at his feet.

Saying, "How do you like my featherbeds and how do you like my sheets
And how do you like my lady gay who lies in your arms asleep?"

"It's well I like your featherbeds and well I like your sheets,
But it's best that I like your lady gay who lies in my arms asleep!"

"Get up! Get up, little Matty Groves! Get up as quick as you can!
For never be said in fair England I slew a naked man!"

"Well, I can't get up. I won't get up. I can't get up on my life
For you have got two beaten swords and I but a pocket knife."

"Well it's true I have two beaten swords and they cost me deep in the purse,
But you shall have the better of them, and I shall have the worse.

And you shall strike the very first blow, and strike it like a man,
And I shall strike the very next blow, and I'll kill you if I can!"

And Matty struck the very first blow and hurt Lord Donald sore.
Lord Donald struck the very next blow, and Matty struck no more

And up he took his own dear wife, set her upon his knee,
Saying "Whom do you like the better now, little Matty Groves or me?"

And up then spoke his own dear wife, never heard to speak so free.
"Better a kiss from dead Matty's lips than all of your finery!"

And up, Lord Donald he did jump and loudly he did ball.
He pierced his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall.

"A grave, a grave!" Lord Donald cried, "To put these lovers in.
But bury my lady at the top, for she was of noble kin!"