Death and the Lady

Charles Cowling

Posted by Vole

Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy with their version of Death and the Lady

As I walked out one day, one day
I met an aged man by the way.
His head was bald, his beard was grey,
His clothing made of the cold earthen clay,
His clothing made of the cold earthen clay.

I said, “Old man, what man are you?
What country do you belong unto?”
“My name is Death—have you not heard of me?
All kings and princes bow down unto me
And you fair maid must come along with me.”

“I'll give you gold, I'll give you pearl,
I'll give you costly cheap cialis professional rich robes to wear,
If you will spare me a little while
And give me time my life to amend,
And give me time my life to amend”

“I'll have no gold, I'll have no pearl,
I want no costly rich robes to wear.
I cannot spare you a little while
Nor give you time your life to amend,
Nor give you time your life to amend”

In six months time this fair maid died;
“Let this be put on my tombstone,” she cried,
“Here lies a poor distressed maid.
Just in her bloom she was snatched away,
Her clothing made of the cold earthen clay.”

(Repeat first verse)

0 0 votes
Article Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] “These three essays are about Lloyd Chandler (1896-1978), an itinerant Freewill Baptist preacher from Madison County, North Carolina, and the assertion that he authored “Conversation with Death” (better known by the title “O Death”) after receiving a God-sent vision in 1916. The notion of Chandler’s authorship has encountered great skepticism. The essays examine, from both insider and outsider perspectives, the reasons why people who knew Lloyd Chandler believe in his authorship while those who did not know him reject the notion out of hand. Barbara Chandler bases her argument that Chandler wrote the song on her personal knowledge of… Read more »

8 years ago

This is a gem!

gloria mundi
8 years ago

This is a….rigorous song, indeed, and by a strange (well, to me) coincidence, I heard the version by Shirley and Dolly Collins, recorded40-odd years ago, just yesterday. That version, too, is wonderful. The ultimate musical “memento moro?”

8 years ago
Reply to  gloria mundi

That sent me off to listen to Shirley and Dolly, and I see what you mean GM, in comparison there’s a twist of bitters in the middle of these verses that brings the chill of the grave into the song.

I love the simplicity here and the beautiful interplay of guitar and voice – Carthy and Waterson at their best.