#00024
Come And I Will Sing You (Great Big Sea) videos
See also: The Ten Commandments (Figgy Duff)
And also: The Twelve Apostles (Kenneth Peacock)
#2215 YouTube video by GreatBigSeaOfficial
©2012 ~ Used with permission ~

Come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you one-o,
What will the one be?
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

Come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you two-o,
What will the two be?
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

Come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you three-o,
What will the three be?
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

Come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you four-o,
What will the four be?
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

Come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you five-o,
What will the five be?
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

Come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you six-o,
What will the six be?
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

And come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you seven-o,
What will the seven be?
Seven senators under the sky,
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

And come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you eight-o,
What will the eight be?
Eight Gabriel angels,
Seven senators under the sky,
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

And come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you nine-o,
What will the nine be?
Nine bright-eyed shiners,
Eight Gabriel angels,
Seven senators under the sky,
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

And come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you ten-o,
What will the ten be?
Ten, ten commandments,
Nine bright-eyed shiners,
Eight Gabriel angels,
Seven senators under the sky,
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

And come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you eleven-o,
What will the eleven be?
Eleven's eleven went straight to heaven,
Ten, ten commandments,
Nine bright-eyed shiners,
Eight Gabriel angels,
Seven senators under the sky,
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

And come and I will sing you,
What will you sing me?
I will sing you twelve-o,
What will the twelve be?
Twelve, twelve apostles,
Eleven's eleven went straight to heaven,
Ten, ten commandments,
Nine bright-eyed shiners,
Eight Gabriel angels,
Seven senators under the sky,
Six, the six pallbearers,
Five ferrymen under the bush,
Four gospel preachers,
Three of them are drivers,
Two of them are lily-white babes, clothèd all in green-o,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so,
One the one that's all alone forever more shall be so.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a traditional cumulative religious song ....####
This variant arranged and recorded by Great Big Sea (The Hard And The Easy, Warner Music Canada, 2005).

A variant was collected in 1952 from Gordon M Willis [1911-2001] of St John's, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Twelve Apostles in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 3, pp.800-801, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected in 1980 from Jack Carroll [1908-2008] of Stephenville, NL, by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best and published as the title song, #23, in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.39-40, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that Jack Carroll was originally from Red Island in Placentia Bay and would step-dance while singing this song; his wife, Ellen, usually answered on the second and fourth line of each verse, acting as the second voice. Mr Carroll did not know the meaning of the song but that it was 'stuff from way back, really old, long before anybody's time.' And indeed, this religious song seems to be of some antiquity, having both Christian and Hebrew versions.

Lehr further noted that this cumulative song, known also as the Ten Commandments And The Twelve Apostles, has enjoyed much popularity among folksingers in the southwest of England and throughout North America. Though it has been extensively collected, it is still a curiosity and somewhat of a puzzle to folksong scholars.

The video below features a solo performance by Bob Hallett of Great Big Sea (with help from the audience) at the El Rey Theater in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on Wednesday evening, October 8, 2008.


See more songs by Great Big Sea.

#132 YouTube video by dshorock
©2012 ~ Used with permission ~


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