Tag Archives: Carpenter’s Son

A Shropshire Lad XLVII (The Carpenter’s Son)

A Shropshire Lad XLVII (The Carpenter’s Son)
Words by A.E. Housman, musical setting by David Harley, copyright 1977. All rights reserved.

This is still a demo version but now has an updated version of the guitar part. [updated 23-5-2015]

And here’s a purely instrumental version:

The poem itself is reproduced below from Martin Hardcastle’s page here.

`Here the hangman stops his cart:
Now the best of friends must part.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.

`Oh, at home had I but stayed
‘Prenticed to my father’s trade,
Had I stuck to plane and adze,
I had not been lost, my lads.

`Then I might have built perhaps
Gallows-trees for other chaps,
Never dangled on my own,
Had I left but ill alone.

`Now, you see, they hang me high,
And the people passing by
Stop to shake their fists and curse;
So ’tis come from ill to worse.

`Here hang I, and right and left
Two poor fellows hang for theft:
All the same’s the luck we prove,
Though the midmost hangs for love.

`Comrades all, that stand and gaze,
Walk henceforth in other ways;
See my neck and save your own:
Comrades all, leave ill alone.

`Make some day a decent end,
Shrewder fellows than your friend.
Fare you well, for ill fare I:
Live, lads, and I will die.’

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

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