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The Ox and the Ax

by Cath and Phil Tyler

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    140g black vinyl packaged in a heavyweight reverse board sleeve

    Thread Recordings / Crowfoot Records (2018)

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Ox and the Ax via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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    edition of 300 

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Ferric Mordant (2018)

    Includes unlimited streaming of The Ox and the Ax via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Poster/Print

    'The Ox and the Ax' artwork, by David Hand. Numbered limited edition of 50. Mailed in sturdy cardboard tube. A3 heavyweight art print on 300gsm grey recycled board.
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 50 

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1.
Two sisters at the river's brim Bow it down, bow it down Two sisters at the river's brim Bow it down to me Two sisters at the river's brim The eldest pushed the youngest in True true to your true love And he'll prove true to thee O sister dear give me your hand And you can have my house and land No I won't give to you my hand But I will have your house and land O sister dear give me your glove And you can have my own true love No I won't give to you my glove But I shall have your own true love O first she sank and second she swam Until she reached the miller's dam The miller threw out his fishing hook And caught her by the petticoat He stripped her from her toe to her chin And then he threw her in again First she sank and second she swam Until she reached her long-sought home The miller was hanged for her sake Her sister burned up tied to a stake
2.
The wind it blows today my love And a few small drops of rain I never had but one true love And she in the grave is lain I'll do as much for my true love As any young man may I'll sit and mourn all on her grave For twelve months and a day The twelve months and a day being done The dead began to speak O who sits weeping on my grave And will not let me sleep Tis I your love sits on your grave And will not let you sleep For I crave one kiss from your clay cold lips And that is all I seek Your lips are as the roses sweet Mine as the sulphur strong And if you get one kiss from my lips Your time will not be long Tis down in yonder garden green love Where we used to walk The finest flowere that e'er was seen Is withered to a stalk Withered and dried it is sweetheart And the flower will ne'er return And since I lost my own true love What can I do but mourn Mourn not for me my own true love Mourn not for me I pray For I must leave you and the world And go into my grave.
3.
Rainbow 03:49
Last night I dreamed of my true love All in my arms I held her But I awoke, she was not there Now I must live without her Her yellow hair, like strands of gold Was streaming over my pillow Oh, she's the only one I love My rainbow mid the willow I searched for her high and I searched for her low I made some low inquiries But they all said, "No, we've seen no such We would have no such in our keeping" But when she heard from me those words She whispered low at her window "Oh honey I'd be in your company But locks and chains doth hinder" Now when I heard those words of hers I swore that room I would enter Or I would pray or know the reason why She was locked and chained within there Up stepped her father, stern and wise Likewise two stalwart brothers "Before you enter that locked room In your life's blood you'll wallow" They've taken away my own true love Now tears do wet my pillow Oh, she's the only one I love My rainbow mid life's willow
4.
It rained a mist it hailed a mist It rained all over the world and all the boys in London Town Went out a-tossing ball First they tossed it again so hgh And then again so low They tossed it nto the gracious garden Where nobody there could go Come in come in my own dear boy Come in come in she said Come in come in my dear little thing You shall have your ball and play I can't come in I won't come in Unless some of my playmates come too For it is a sin if I ever come in I'll never get out no more First she showed him a mellow apple And then a gay gold ring And tnhen she showed him a ripe bunch of cherries To entice that littlle boy in She took him by his little white hand Led him to the garden green She took him to the cellar so deep Where no-one could hear his sweet name Come put my prayerbook in my hand And the Bible at my feet If any of my playmates ask for me You can tell them I'm asleep Come put my prayerbook in my hand And the Bible at my head If any of my playmates ask for me You can tell them I am dead
5.
King Henry 03:44
A Princess was I in a castle high King Henry has set me free As I walked out and in again T'was from the dead the living came O Six there were and seven there'll be A napkin hung on a silver pin All for to wipe my tears of sin Now I'm the queen in a castle high
6.
Lady Dysie 05:32
There was a king and a glorious king a king a king of noble fame he had a daughter fair and bright lady dysie was her name She had a boy and a kitchen boy kitchen boy of mighty scorn she loved him sweet she loved him long but o the grass o'ergrew the corn all on a night and a winters night the king the king could take no rest he has come to his daughters bed wandering like any ghost, rise lady dysie rise rise rise and put on your gown I see that where you went so slim I fear that now you go so round if I do despise me not he and he is all my joy and I would give my house and land that I could marry my kitchen boy the king has called his merry men all all of thirty all of three catch to me this pretty young boy catch him kill him secretly they have caught this pretty young boy caught him twixt two feather beds nothing was heard and nothing was spoke til this young boy was smothered and dead and they cut out his pretty young heart put it in a cup of gold given it to his lady dysie saying lady now behold come to me my honey my heart come to me my sweet my joy come to me my honey my heart my love my one my kitchen boy and she has taken this cup of gold she has laid it on a stone saying better I love this bonny young boy than you and all my fathers land and she has taken him heart in hand she has laid it on the floor the tears sprang dazzling from her eyes but o the heart it bled no more
7.
We plow and sow, we’re so very, very low,   That we delve in the dirty clay; Till we bless the plain with the golden grain,   And the field with the fragrant hay. Our place we know, we’re so very, very low,   ’Tis down at the landlord’s feet; We’re not too low the grain to grow,   But too low the bread to eat.   Down, down we go, we’re so very, very low,   To the hell of the deep-sunk mines; But we gather the proudest gems that glow,   When the crown of the despot shines; And when’er he lacks, upon our backs   Fresh loads he deigns to lay; We’re far too low to vote the tax,   But not too low to pay.   We’re low, we’re low—we’re very, very low,—   And yet from our fingers glide The silken floss and the robes that glow   Round the limbs of the sons of pride; And what we get, and what we give,   We know, and we know our share; We’re not too low the cloth to weave,   But too low the cloth to wear.   We’re low, we’re low, we’re very, very low,   And yet when the trumpets ring, The thrust of a poor man’s arm may go   Through the heart of the proudest king. We’re low, we’re low—mere scum, we know—   We’re only the rank and the file; We’re not too low to kill the foe,   But too low to share the spoil.
8.
Wallington 05:51
When we were silly sisters, seven sisters so mild, Five went to bride bed and five dead with child. Then it's up spoke young Mary and it's single she'd bide, For if ever she was in man's bed, the same death she'd die. “Oh it's take no vows, Mary, for fear they broke be, For there's a knight in Wallington asking good will of thee.” “Oh if there's a knight, mother, asking good will of me, Then it's in three quarters of a year you may bury me.” Well, she had not been in Wallington three quarters and a day Till she was big with baby as any lady. “Oh where's the boy in this town that will run swift and true?” Then it's up spoke a little page-boy, “Your bidding I'll do!” “Give respects to my mother and tell her what's done; Ask her how she likes the news; she's lost all but one.” When her mother she heard this in anger cried she And she's kicked out at the table with her foot and her knee. Then she's called for her serving-maid and also her groom: “Bring me my riding cloak and saddle the brown.” But when they came to Wallington, into Wallington Hall There were four and twenty ladies there that let the tears fall. Oh her daughter had a scope into her cheek and her chin, For to keep her sweet life until her mother come in. Now she's taken out a razor that was both sharp and fine And from out of her left side took the heir of Wallington. “Oh, there is a race in Wallington, that I rue full sore Though the cradle be well prepared, the bride-bed is bare.” When we were silly sisters, seven sisters so mild, Five went to bride bed and five dead with child. Then it's up spoke young Mary and it's single she'd bide, For if ever she was in man's bed, the same death she'd die.
9.
Talk about suffering here below And let's keep a-loving Jesus. Talk about suffering here below And let's keep a-following Jesus. Oh, don't you hear it, sisters*? And don't you want to go? And leave this world of sorrow And trouble here below. The gospel train is coming Oh, don't you want to go? And leave this world of trials And troubles here below. *sisters, brothers, children

about

Cath and Phil Tyler play Anglo-American folk music using guitar, banjo, voice and fiddle. Cath was a member of the band Cordelia’s Dad when she lived in Massachusetts, USA in the 1990s. Phil, from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, has played in various folk, rock and ceilidh bands for many years. Coming together musically through a shared love of traditional narrative song, Sacred Harp singing and sparse mountain banjo, they have performed on stages as diverse as the Royal Opera House in London, and Morden Tower on the old city walls of Newcastle.

'The Ox and the Ax' is Cath and Phil Tyler's third album and their first in over eight years.


Album of the Year 2018, Runner Up – fRoots

Albums of the Year 2018 – Folk Radio

“Simultaneously deadpan yet breezy, dark yet light, monotone yet colourful, The Ox and the Ax is both a great British folk album and a unique synthesis of opposites” ★★★★ Songlines

“Of the many artists currently working with the warp and weft of traditional folk, Cath & Phil are one of the closest to the source” 8/10 UNCUT

“Folk balladry has rarely been performed with such commitment and intensity” ★★★★ Record Collector

"Strikingly raw" ★★★★ MOJO

“The Ox and the Ax’s wider impact on the British roots scene will be felt for years to come” ★★★★★ RNR

credits

released March 30, 2018

Produced and digitally mastered by Phil Begg at ICMuS
Mastered for vinyl by Peter Fletcher at Black Bay Studio
Artwork by David Hand

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about

Cath and Phil Tyler Newcastle, UK

Cath & Phil Tyler play Anglo-American folk music using guitar, banjo, voice and fiddle. Coming together musically through a shared love of traditional narrative song, full voiced sacred harp singing and sparse mountain banjo, they have performed on stages as diverse as the Royal Opera House in London and a dank tower in the old city walls of Newcastle. ... more

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