"House Carpenter" as written by and Jansch Cox....
Well I once could have married the king's third son
And a fine young man was he
But now I'm married to a house carpenter
And a nice young man is he1

"When will you forsake your house carpenter
And a-go along with a me
I will take you to where the grass grows green
On the banks of the River Dee."

"What will you have to maintain me upon
To keep me from slavery?"2
"Well I have seven ships
They will soon be at land
And they at your command shall be."

She took her two babes by the hand
And gave them kisses three
"Sit still at home you darling little babes,
Keep your father sweet company."

Now she dressed herself in her very best
Like a high-born lady was she
She shimmered and she shivered3 and she proudly stepped
As they walked by the banks of the sea

Well she hadn't been gone but a short, short time
Until she wept for sor'4)
"I would give all the gold in this round world
Just to see my babes once more."

Well if you had all the gold and the silver too
That ever did cross the sea
You never would be at land anymore
And your babes you will never more see

Well they hadn't been sailing but a short, short time
About two weeks, three or four
When the ship sprang a leak and they were doomed
And they were far away from the shore

"I see bright hills of Heaven my dear
Where angels come and go
I see bright hills, that's Hell my dear
Where you and I must go."

"Oh I wish I was back to my house carpenter
I'm sure he would treat me well
But here I am in the raging sea
And my soul is bound for Hell."

- - -

1) PJC suggests "And a noisy old man is he"
This site suggests "And a nice young man is he".
2) PJC suggests "But will you have to maintain me a bound/To keep me in slavery?".
This site suggests "But what will you have to maintain me upon/To keep me from slavery?".
3) PJC suggests "She shivered and she shimmered".
This site suggests "She shivered and she shivered".
Shirley suggests "She shimmered and she shivered" or "She shimmered and she shimmered".
I think it sounds like "She shimmered and she shivered".
4) PJC suggests "Until she wept for sore".
This site suggests "Until she wept forsore".
I think it sounds like "Until she wept for sor'", with "sor'" being a contraction for "sorrow".
* Help with these lyrics came from this website and emails from PCJ and Shirley


Lyrics submitted by annazoff

"House Carpenter" as written by Jansch Cox

Lyrics © BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

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House Carpenter song meanings
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