Claudy Banks

Since our first days singing together in 1969, it has been a rare show in which we did not include a piece from the Copper Family of Rottingdean in Sussex. Since we take so many songs from Kipling and the Coppers, a pleasing link for us is that Rudyard Kipling moved from his house "Naulakha" in Brattleboro, VT (where Tony makes his home), to live in Rottingdean.

'Twas on one summer's evening, all in the month of May
Down by a flowery garden where Betsy she did stray
I overheard a fair maid in sorrow to complain
All for her absent lover who ploughed the raging main.

I stepped up to this fair maid, I put her in surprise
I own she did not know me, I being all in disguise
I said , "My charming creature, my joy and heart's delight,
How far have you to travel this dark and stormy night?"

"The way kind sir to the Claudy Banks if you will please to show
Pity a poor girl distracted, it's there I have to go,
I am in search of a young man and Johnny is his name
And I'm told it's here on Claudy Banks today he do remain."

"If my Johnny he was here this night he'd keep me from all harm
But he's cruising the wide ocean, in tempest and in storm,
He's a-cruising the wide ocean for honour and for gain."
"But I'm told his ship got wrecked all on the coast of Spain."

Now when she heard this dreadful news, she fell into despair,
A-wringing of her hands and a-tearing of her hair.
"Since my Johnny's gone and left me, no man on earth I'll take
But it's all my life on Claudy Banks I'll wander for his sake."

Now Johnny hearing her say so, he could no longer stand,
But he fell into her arms, crying, "Betsy, I'm the man!
I am that faithful young man and whom you thought was slain
And since we've met on Claudy Banks we'll never part again."

© Golden Hind Music