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Matty Groves

trad. / Fairport Convention: Liege & Lief (1969)

1. A holiday a holiday and the first one of the year.
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_ Lord Arnold's wife came into the church, the gospel for to hear.
2. When the meeting it was done she cast her eyes about,
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_ And there she saw little Matty Groves, walking in the park.
3. "Come home with me, little Matty Groves, come home with me tonight. 
_ Come home with me, little Matty Groves and sleep with me 'til light." 
4. "Oh I can't come, I won't come and sleep with you tonight. 
_ By the rings on your fingers I can tell you are Lord Arnold's wife." 
5. "What if I am Lord Arnold's wife, Lord Arnold is not at home, 
_ He is out in the far corn fields, bringing the yearlings home." 
6. And a servant who was standing by and hearing what was said, 
_ He swore Lord Arnold he would know before the sun would set. 
7. And in his hurry to carry the news, he filled his breast and ran, 
_ And when he came to the broad mill stream he took off his shoes and swam. 
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8. Little Matty Groves, he lay down and took a little sleep. 
_ When he awoke, Lord Arnold he was standing at his feet. 
9. Saying "How do you like my feather bed and how do you like my sheets? 
_ And how do you like my lady, who lies in your arms asleep?" 
10. "Oh well I like your feather bed, and well I like your sheets. 
_ But better I like your lady gay who lies in my arms asleep." 
11. "Well Get Up! Get Up!" Lord Arnold cried, "Get Up as quick as you can!
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_ It'll never be said in fair England I slew a naked man!"
12. "Oh I won't get up, I won't get up, I can't get up for my life.
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_ For you have two long beaten swords and I not a pocket knife."
13. "Well it's true I have two beaten swords, they cost me deep in the purse. 
_ But you will have the better of them and I will have the worst. 
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14. "And you will strike the very first blow and strike it like a man. 
_ I will strike the very next blow and I'll kill you if I can." 
15. So Matty struck the very first blow and he hurt Lord Arnold sore. 
_ Lord Arnold struck the very next blow and Matty struck no more. 
16. And then Lord Arnold he took his wife and sat her on his knee, 
_ Saying "Who do you love the best of us, Your Matty Groves or me?" 
17. And then spoke up his own dear wife never heard to speak so free: 
_ "I'd rather a kiss from dead Matty's lips than you or your finery." 
18. Lord Arnold he jumped up and loudly he did bawl, 
_ He stuck his wife right through the heart and pinned her against the wall. 
19. "Oh, a grave! A grave!" Lord Arnold cried, "To put these lovers in. 
_ But bury my lady at the top for she was of noble kin." 

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