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The Fine-Looking Pilgrim


by

mrattue

 Genre: Ballad

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Description
From the album ‘North of the Humber’ (1 of 10)

This song is the first of ten written with the County of Northumbria in England as a focus, after a holiday in that locality last year. It is not a very well-developed area, with little industry and a sparse population but it has been a powerhouse politically and spiritually perhaps in part because of its distance from the influence of London and the south. The men who built the castles by the low, sweeping shoreline and looked west to the distant Cheviot mountains and east over the North Sea, called themselves kings and held themselves as subject to no one.
Also, and perhaps even more famously, it was a cradle of Celtic Christianity, with the Holy Island of Lindisfarne as the focus where the marvellous illuminated gospels of that name were fashioned, the saints Aidan and Cuthbert lived, and as is less fondly remembered, was the first place to be sacked by the Vikings in AD 793

This first song recounts the unfortunate adventures of an unwary pilgrim who counted upon making an impression on Lindisfarne with his staff and palm (brought back from Palestine) but reckoned without the way the tide cuts the island off for a few hours every day, and had nothing but bad luck when he tried to force the issue instead of waiting for the ebb! The resemblance of the songwriter to this puffed-up and smug adventurer is far too close for comfort!

The photograph shows the Lindisfarne causeway still half submerged, with the island itself in the far distance.
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Lyrics
The Fine-Looking Pilgrim




A fine-looking pilgrim,
Came one day,
With palm and staff,
From faraway,
And all could see,
As he went by,
That he was a Holy Man,

Well, sir, I’m sorry,
But the tide's all wrong,
The grey sea lies round Lindisfarne,
So you can’t walk there yet today,
On the sands of the Pilgrim’s Way, sir.

But the Pilgrim ranted
And he roared,
Cursed his luck,
For being so poor,
Vowed he’d cross the water to the shore!

Well, there's Fisher Jackie,
and his coble so fair,
For a coin or two,
we'll take you there,
And you'll be well,
And sound and dry
As we row you over the tide, sir,

So, fair and dry,
We came to land,
By Cuthbert's Isle,
To the haven strand,
But, for shame, the staff,
And the palm so fine,
We've done and left them both behind, sir!

Well, the pilgrim ranted,
And he roared,
Cursed the man
And boat so sore,
Said he'd never lost his staff before!

Well, sir, i'm sorry,
But the boat's long gone,
But maybe the tale is not quite done,
If we look by the line of the falling tide,
The sea will maybe provide, sir,

And so they went,
With the man still glum,
Down to the shore,
Where the driftwood comes,
But as we searched for a staff where the flotsam led,
A gannet dropped a present on his head!

Oh, the pilgrim ranted
And he roared,
Cursed the sky,
And cursed the bird,
Couldn't see for droppings by the shore!

Well, sir, I’m sorry, but
The gannet didn't know,
That a Holy Man,
Was there below,
If you'll go down
To the foaming sea,
You can give your head a good clean, sir!

And so the pilgrim.
Knelt down low,
And washed his head,
In the sea below,
But he leaned too far,
And slipped and fell,
And washed all his robes as well!

Oh, the pilgrim ranted,
And he roared,
Blamed the tide,
And blamed the shore,
Cursed the island strand forevermore!

Well, sir, I’m sorry,
But you can’t go now,
To Aidan’s Church,
So high and proud,
You’ll have to change,
Your glorious plan,
And go like a humble man, sir.
Song Stats
Hits: 2224
Comments: 25
Fans: 7
Plays: 38
Downloads: 45
Votes: 0
Uploaded: Jan 29, 2011 - 10:53:52 AM
Last Updated: Jan 30, 2011 - 12:59:47 PM Last Played: Jan 30, 2017 - 02:06:11 AM
Song License
Creative Commons License:
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Creative Commons

Song Actions
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Hardware:
Hohner Leyanda Classical Guitar
Software:
Garageband
Comments
neilh79 said 2511 days ago (January 29th, 2011)
Fine looking pilgrim
As usual mate a good solid tune. Imagine barbecues aplenty awash with the good music. Good vocal arrangement too which i enjoyed. When it first started thought it was going to break into Moonlight Shadow!! Nice melodies well done
mrattue said 2511 days ago (January 29th, 2011)
Cheers, Neil!
Glad you got on with it. Thanks for listening and leaving your thoughts.

You could have done an album in the time it took me to do this song!


Cheers


marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
neilh79 said 2511 days ago (January 29th, 2011)
haha
doubt that very much!! well done mate
michaeljayklein said 2511 days ago (January 29th, 2011)
The one and only...
Having tried a few myself, I know how hard it is to convincingly put across a folk song, particularly in the way the lyrics are delivered. You've written a very fine song and sang this beautifully! Your musical accompaniment never overshadowed your vocal and was very well done--a very good balance (I think the recorder addition was just perfect too). Thanks again--and keep up the great work! Michael
Check out my latest song called There Ain't Nobody Here but Us Chickens!
mrattue said 2511 days ago (January 29th, 2011)
Hi Michael!
Thanks for stopping by!

Very glad that you liked the arrangement. This is one of my first forays into the potential of GB and uses quite a number of its software instruments and effects so it's a bit of a learning process. When does songwriting of any sort stop being that, i suppose!

Still smiling after listening to your song.

Cheers!


Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
RAVENS said 2511 days ago (January 29th, 2011)
Lovely
I always say it, but your voice is so soothing. Hard to explain, it's just very appealing and smooth. Wonderful song!

RAVEN ;-)
Check out my latest song called Tattooed Scars (w/ Sigmund, Scofugate, Rok41)
mrattue said 2511 days ago (January 30th, 2011)
Hi Dani!
Glad this one didn't let the side down. I am happy with soothing!

Thanks for listening.

Still got that window open after listening to your song!


Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
PeterB7858 said 2511 days ago (January 30th, 2011)
Appealing and authentic
Hi Marc. Nice ballad that I enjoyed. Your vocals are very appealing and authentic. Your arrangement is also satisfying but not intrusive. It supports the song very nicely. Very well done. A bit different from many MJ songs but I like it. Downloaded. Take care, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Losing You
mrattue said 2510 days ago (January 30th, 2011)
Thanks, Peter!
Thought you said 'appalling' for a moment there!

Glad you liked it. Proves that there's no song that's far enough off the track to deter MJammers from seeing something worthwhile in it!

Thanks for giving it a go and leaving such a good comment.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
FEEL said 2510 days ago (January 30th, 2011)
Great vocals
and accompaniment. Very celtic for sure. Like the added current percussion. Thanks for sharing.
Check out my latest song called Crazy Clown Dreamer w/sammydix
mrattue said 2510 days ago (January 30th, 2011)
Thank You!
Glad you enjoyed it. Celtic is good in this context, really pleased that you think it is more or less on message!

Thanks for listening


Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
ted23 said 2509 days ago (January 31st, 2011)
You
do have a way of weaving a story with your music.
The percussion adds an unexpected, different and pleasing flavour to this style of music.
I feel like i've been a part of a story here and thats great.
Hats off to you sir.
mrattue said 2509 days ago (January 31st, 2011)
Thanks, Ed!
I tip my hat to you, too, for taking the trouble to listen and leave a comment.

Glad the story came across and that the accompaniment assisted rather than obstructed.

Cheers now!


marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
VicDiesel said 2508 days ago (February 1st, 2011)
You need a microphone!
Lovely song, and your guitar actually sounds decent, but the vocal mic generates tons of hiss. If you're serious about your music (and you should be, this is good stuff!) you should get a better mic & preamp.

Check out my latest song called Monodrone
mrattue said 2508 days ago (February 1st, 2011)
Hiss
Thanks for listening!

Actually, all the guitar work and vocals are just recorded through an open int mic on my mixer, so the hiss sort of builds up. The software GB instruments don't add to it, of course, but everything that is 'live' if you like has a little hiss with it. i have got a microphone around somewhere, but i was hoping the song would overcome the background noise. i shall have to experiment a little if it gets in the way of the experience too much.

Thanks for listening, and all hints and advice are very welcome!


Cheers now

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
K.I.S.KISMET said 2508 days ago (February 1st, 2011)
engaging
lost in the imagery and warm delivery. wonderfully written!! i like learning something new every day...especially this way:)
Check out my latest song called Mad Lands
mrattue said 2508 days ago (February 2nd, 2011)
Thank You!
Glad the tune took you somewhere new!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Encourages me greatly.

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
lholden said 2508 days ago (February 2nd, 2011)
storytelling
I love song that tell a story and it's not easy to do. You have a really calming tone to your voice - beautiful. Of course, the overall recording quality could be improved, but it was an enjoyable Celtic listen. Thanks for sharing! All the best:)
Check out my latest song called If Only We Could
mrattue said 2507 days ago (February 2nd, 2011)
Hi, Laura!
Thanks for listening. Glad you enjoyed it. I think i will have to experiment sometime soon with better mic for my guitar, to try and reduce the hiss a bit. Hope it didn't detract too much. i know the quality is poor compared to a lot of tracks on this site.

Thanks for the comment!


Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
Little_Hooligan said 2507 days ago (February 2nd, 2011)
Fine Looking Pilgrim
Very throughfully put together, lyrically and musically..A piece of history set to music.. Loved the instrumentation
Check out my latest song called Worry Is a Pile Of Noise
mrattue said 2507 days ago (February 2nd, 2011)
Thanks, Joyce!
Good to hear that it did something for you, especially chuffed with your comment about the instrumentation. Just getting to grips with the possibilities of Garageband so that is very encouraging!

Thanks for listening.


Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
PaulaMunk said 2507 days ago (February 2nd, 2011)
Cautionary
to be sure but gentle prodding will rarely dissuade any who are hell bent on their own agenda, as we have seen in arenas big and small. It is so heartwarming that you are keeping alive an old world kind of story telling and a truly warm and caressing musical sound. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called O, Shenandoah
mrattue said 2507 days ago (February 3rd, 2011)
Old World Thanks!
Glad it appealed. And old story in an old form coming round again. Like that!

Thanks for listening!

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
KCsGROOVE said 2507 days ago (February 3rd, 2011)
Good song!
You're a real storyteller!
I like it!
KC
Check out my latest song called Love the one you're with
mrattue said 2506 days ago (February 3rd, 2011)
Thanks, Cees!
Glad you stopped by for a listen, and stayed to hear the end of the story!

Music and narrative are both magical in their own way. It's nice to get a combination of the two.

Cheers for the comment

Marc
Check out my latest song called Second Wind
Artist Info
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Name: Marc Rattue
Location: Warminster United Kingdom
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Forty something (just!), reclusive, seafaring latecomer, up until a year or so ago a writer of poetry, but more recently moved into music, having found that the production of songs was possible with a minimum of talent with the aid of modern technolo... [see more]

Check out some of my other songs:

Genre Info
A ballad is a story in a song, usually a narrative song or poem. It is a rhythmic saga of a past affair, which may be heroic, romantic or satirical, political (affected by the previous three types mentioned, refers to either glorifying the exploits o

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