The House Carpenter

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Clarence Ashley

"Tom" Clarence Ashley (September 29, 1895 – June 2, 1967) was an American clawhammer banjo player, guitarist and singer. He began performing at medicine shows in the Southern Appalachian region as early as 1911, and gained initial fame during the late 1920s as both a solo recording artist and as a member of various string bands. After his "rediscovery" during the folk revival of the 1960s, Ashley spent the last years of his life playing at folk music concerts, including appearances at Carnegie Hall in New York and at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island. more »


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We'll met we'll met said an old true love
We'll met we'll met said he
I'm just returning from the salt salt sea 
And it's all for the love of thee

Climb in climb in my old true love
And have a seat with me
It's been three-fourths of a long long year 
Since together we have been

Well I can't come in or I can't sit down
For I haven't but a moment's time
They say you're married to a house carpenter 
And your heart will never be mine

Now it's I coulda married a king's daughter here
I'm sure she'da married me
But I've forsaken her crowns of gold 
And it's all for the love of thee

Now will you forsaken your house carpenter
And go along with me
I'll take you where the grass grows green 
On the banks of the deep blue sea

She picked up here little babe
And kisses gave him three
Says stay right here my darling little babe 
And keep your pappa company

Well they hadn't been on ship but about two weeks
I'm sure it wasn't three
Well his true love began to weep and mourn 
And he weeped most bitterly

Says are you a-weepin' for my silver or my gold
Says are you weeping for my store
Are you weeping for that house carpenter 
Whose face you'll never see any more

No it's I'm not a-weepin' for your silver or your gold
Or neither for your store
I am weeping for my darling little babe 
Whose face I'll never see any more

Well they hadn't been on ship but about three weeks
I'm sure it wasn't four
'Til they sprung a leak in the bottom of the ship 
And they sunk for to rise no more

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"The House Carpenter Lyrics." STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 15 Oct. 2019. <>.

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