Some Tyrant Has Stolen My True Love Away


Jon Says, “A beautiful song that I listened to fairly obsessively on Eliza Carthy’s Red Rice album. I never got around to learning it so have done so now, albeit a different version. I couldn’t resist the last verse.”

This seems to relate to the war of American independence and this Mudcat thread would indicate a broadside for the mid C17th. There have, however, been several different versions of this and also different sources. It’s another that seems to have floating verses and a mixed purpose as you can see from the Steeleye version at Mainly Norfolk, where the tyrant has become a rival. Still it’s stirring stuff. I think the last verse is a much later addition.
You can buy the January digital album now from all good download stores.


30 Responses to “Some Tyrant Has Stolen My True Love Away”

  1. Reinhard says:

    According to Malcolm Douglas in the Mudcat thread mentioned, all but the first verse “is from Henry Hills, late of Lodsworth in Sussex. It was included with other songs noted from him by W Percy Merrick in The Journal of the Folk Song Society, vol. I (3) 1901, p. 96, titled My True Love I’ve Lost.”

  2. Phil says:

    I’ve said it before, but I love the way you make the concertina sound like a harmonium, Jon – is that deliberate? With one obvious exception, there’s all too little harmonium in folk!

  3. SRD says:

    Wot???? No Burns??????

    But this is pretty good, and I agree about the accompaniment. Does the tune remind anyone else of a hymn tune? I can’t quite put my finger on which one.

  4. Rosie says:

    Really loved this, even though I,m completely hooked on the Liza Carthy version.
    I agree totally with the comments Phil made about the Harmonium. ( How I wish that I could play mine !)

  5. Jon Boden says:

    Doh! Totally forgot about Burns night. Sorry everyone (particularly any Scottish listeners). Jon

  6. muzza(s.e.England) says:

    @SRD……..Ref the Hymn..I remember my chorister days and suggest “Immortal Invisible”..especially the last line…what a long memory I have.

  7. Joe Offer says:

    The Mudcat thread has an interesting version of this song titled “The Americans Have Stolen My True Love Away.” I have to say that as an American traveling in Europe, I never had any luck stealing anyone’s True Love….


  8. SRD says:

    Thanks muzza, that’s the one.

  9. Jane Ramsden says:

    Very well sung, but not quite up my street; perhaps because of the hymn-like overtone. Much prefer the tune to ‘Immortal Invisible’ though – thnx, Muzza, for the memory jogger, & Phil for reminding me it’s a concertina sounding like a harmonium.

  10. Jane Ramsden says:

    After John Kelly, the man with a mission for world dominance with a harmonium, I’ve got to go to bed! I feel like I’ll never catch up on AFSAD, as there seem to be 365 songs in January alone! I’m jiggered! Never mind January Man, I’m January Jane!

  11. muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    Some tyrant has stolen my harmonium/bagpipes away……..(mercifully)-(only joshing!)
    Lucky you Jane- I can’t remember when I was last jiggered!………….
    Happy Burns night and devolution to all those north of the border from your sassenach friends on AFSAD.

  12. Diana says:

    Another good song – there is quite a few different verses to this one I find.

    @Jane: I know you are used to cats but do take care with the feral one. I was attacked some years ago – still got a few scars to show for it. Both front paws claws in my wrist and its teeth in my hand – it is a wonder that I still like cats. Arm in sling for days!

    @Peter: Did you manage to tape the Bellowhead show – lucky you if you did. I won’t presume to use Jane’s lovely French name for you, so what about Pietro. It sounds good. Much better than Pewter don’t you think?

  13. Tedd O'Ramsden says:

    I find I like the hymnal quality more this year than last… what’s that all abaht? Hahahaha! I re-worked out the ‘Immortal Invisible’ connection afore reaching Muzza’s comment. I’m not sure what you think ‘jiggered’ means in your neck of the woods, Muzzy, but it just means kn*ckered in mine! I think I put extensive notes on this word somewhere on here at one time, maybe to do with ‘The Rigs of the Times,’ but maybe not. If ye are not jiggered at your age, then you are d*mn lucky! And you are not cynical, far from it!

    @ Diana: I think Pewter is brilliant and far better than Pietro, though I’m sure Peter has no problem with multiple (starry beautiful!) wimmin calling him Pierre!

    The feral is proving elusive, and no doubt will until it’s way too late. But if I don’t catch her that could undo all my good work in my locality for years to come. However, I am but one jiggered, cynical woman. I won’t give up, but I cannot be as assiduous as I would like, since my ‘drive’ reserves are low! I have been severally bitten by a feral requiring emergency hospital treatment. When its teeth were in my arm and blood pouring out, I’d be d*mned if I’d let go then as would not get another chance. I got it to the vet, then went for the emergency treatment. It was worse than when her relative bit me on the hand, and the pain is more than you would ever expect. I guess this is why I am not quite as assiduous as I once was! Yes, still got the scars… that one in a perfect O from the full set of teeth!

  14. Peter Walsh says:

    Yup Diana! Got it; ’twas from the Latitude Festival last year and they kicked off with a rousing version of ‘Yarmouth Town’ – I knew having Sky would pay off eventually!

  15. Diana says:

    Good grief Jane, you got it worse than me – I only ended up at the docs, so I was far luckier than you with your hospital treatment. It is a bit terrifying though when you can’t get the cat to let go. The doc said I was the second person attacked by the same flipping cat and her wounds (the person not the cat) had gone septic. All I can say is that you are extremely brave to persevere like you do.

    Well Pewter the concensus seems we both (Jane and I) prefer Pewter so it doesn’t seem to matter what you would prefer, us women always win!
    “Yarmouth Town” is a great way to start off a programme, so glad you enjoyed it.

  16. Diana says:

    Pewter I found out quite a while ago that the motto for Yarmouth in Maine, USA is “Our latchstring always out”. Rather funny when you think of the song isn’t it? One can put quite an interpretation to the song now!

  17. muzza (N.W Surrey-UK) says:

    @Diana…….that was my motto until quite recently…………my case comes up next week!

  18. Dainer says:

    Muzza you are a dreadful man. Hope we don’t read about you in the newspapers! What have you been up to now?

  19. Simon says:

    As you’ll see back here , my imagination with the Yarmouth Maine motto also made the leap, although SRD was on hand with a bucket of water!

  20. Diana says:

    Simon I thought it was you that I remembered this little snip of information from, and if memory serves me without going to your link, you said that the mind boggles at the thought. I shall now go to the said link and see if I am right.

  21. Diana says:

    By the way, it seems strange to think that back in August I used to listen to the songs, read the comments etc. but it was 2 months later before I got up the nerve to actually post a comment of my own – how things change!

  22. Diana says:

    Still an great song!

  23. Linda says:

    @Diana. the 14th Going to see Bellowhead at Sheffield. Think I prefere Eliza’s version of this song.

  24. Diana says:

    I know you will enjoy it – they have never let us down yet.

  25. Old Muzza(NW Surrey.UK says:

    My motto USED to be…’my latchstring is always out’…
    several years have passed and these days I have trouble even finding the damn thing…(ooer-I suspect I will be moderated!)

  26. Old Muzza (NW Surrey UK) says:

    Do you know…..I have solved my 2016 problem by actually attaching a latchstring!

  27. Old Muzza (NW Surrey-UK) says:

    with all that cat biting and transfer of DNA…..I wonder if she (and all cat caring ladies) go through the menoPAWS!

  28. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    Thank goodness for the old latch string…..getting a tad frayed now

  29. OldMuzza(NWSurrey UK) says:

    …..Tempus fugit……(Ooooer….hope that isn’t something rude in Latin!)
    Sadly, have had to attach magnifying glass to frayed latch string….works though!
    What next….I hear you ask!

  30. OldMuzza(NW Surrey UK) says:

    What next was my jocular 2023 comment….
    .bally rebore.. that’s what’s next…
    I hope it works for King Charles next week!
    Happy Burn’s night to those north of the border

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