(This score available as
a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available
Manchester Rambler (Ewan MacColl) I've been over Snowdon, I've slept upon Crowdon I've camped by the Waynestones as well I've sunbathed on Kinder, been burned to a cinder And many more things I can tell My rucksack has oft been me pillow The heather has oft been me bed And sooner than part from the mountains I think I would rather be dead Ch: I'm a rambler, I'm a rambler from Manchester way I get all me pleasure the hard moorland way I may be a wageslave on Monday But I am a free man on Sunday The day was just ending and I was descending Down Grinesbrook just by Upper Tor When a voice cried "Hey you" in the way keepers do He'd the worst face that ever I saw The things that he said were unpleasant In the teeth of his fury I said "Sooner than part from the mountains I think I would rather be dead" He called me a louse and said "Think of the grouse" Well i thought, but I still couldn't see Why all Kinder Scout and the moors roundabout Couldn't take both the poor grouse and me He said "All this land is my master's" At that I stood shaking my head No man has the right to own mountains Any more than the deep ocean bed I once loved a maid, a spot welder by trade She was fair as the Rowan in bloom And the bloom of her eye watched the blue Moreland sky I wooed her from April to June On the day that we should have been married I went for a ramble instead For sooner than part from the mountains I think I would rather be dead So I'll walk where I will over mountain and hill And I'll lie where the bracken is deep I belong to the mountains, the clear running fountains Where the grey rocks lie ragged and steep I've seen the white hare in the gullys And the curlew fly high overhead And sooner than part from the mountains I think I would rather be dead. ----------------------------------------------------------------- recorded by Ewan MacColl on "Black And White" (1983) copyright Ewan MacColl Ltd. "One of the earliest of MacColl's songs, written in the early 1930s, this is widely believed to be a traditional folksong. You can still hear walkers sing it in the pubs on rambles. It was written in 1932 for the mass trespass over Kinder Scout, Derbyshire, when 3000 unarmed walkers and hikers faced gamekeepers with clubs and police with truncheons. Many of the ramblers went to prison for their action. A plaque in the Edale Tourist Information office celebrates both the trespass and this song" Most of the place names in here seem to belong to the Peak District, but I'm not too sure about the spelling of some of them. MJ
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!