Will Reed’s Barn – with Maurice Condy

Village Harvest Procession 1823

Village Harvest Procession 1823

I found a report of a harvest celebration  in a collection of cuttings from the Consett Chronicle in the Beamish Archive, and it gave me the idea for this song and the tune ‘Harvest home at Knitsley’; you can read the report under ‘Harvest Home at Knitsley’.  The Lancers was a popular dance in the mid 1800s, the Cushion Dance, involved all the men kissing all of the women in the course of the dance!  More information at http://www.hymnsandcarolsofchristmas.com/Hymns_and_Carols/Images/Davies_Gilbert/joan_sanderson_or_the_cushion_da.htm

 

Will Reed’s Barn, words and music by Michael Burns, Maurice Condy is on guitar.

There was wind and the threat of rain and hail
that harvest of eighty two
and if we’d get the crop safe in
but the Lord and the divil knew.
Well the lads and lasses and the horses
raced to beat the storm.
By the day’s last light t’was safe from harm
home to wash and feed and waarm.

What a neet we had in Will Reed’s barn
October of eighty two
we danced from seven ’till the early hours
we danced the whole neet through
there were jokes and songs, the company good,
the crack and music grand
three cheers for Will and Mary Reed,
Ted Parker and his band.

Our gaffer was canny William Reed
he’d the farm off Knitsley Lane
he was well relieved the crop was in
and safe from storm and rain.
We’d reaped the barley, oats and wheat
and picked the tatties reet
next day we made room in the barn
for a special harvest treat

What a neet we had in Will Reed’s barn
October of eighty two …

Well the spread was made by Mrs Slater, Mulligan and Reed,
there was tongue and pies and jugs of beer,
aye the food was grand indeed
pease pudding, ham and stotty cakes,
laughter and good cheer,
A feast for aal the company
for the friends from far and near,

What a neet we had in Will Reed’s barn
October of eighty two …

Ted Parker led his fine string band
& Frank Todd called the dance
Will Slater sang a canny song
when e’er he had the chance,
with song and dnace the neet soon went
until we saw the dawn
at 7.00 o’clock the cockerel crowed
to tell us it was morn

What a neet …

What a neet …

We danced Sir Rodger d’ Coverley,
Will and Mary showed us how,
We’d jigs and reels and the Cushion Dance,
The Lancers and Speed the Plough
and how we kept the dancing up
I couldn’t tell to thee
it was mebees the tunes or mebees the beer
or mebbes the company

What a neet …

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