Thank You for Hearing Me: The Definitive Sinéad O'Connor Discography

“Lord Baker (feat. Christy Moore)”

Traditional, arranged by John Reilly/Christy Moore/Dónal Lunny/Sinéad O'Connor

(Source: Sean-Nós Nua)

2 versions


Sean-Nós Nua album




(Source: Sean-Nós Nua)

There was a Lord who lived in this land.
He being a Lord of high degree,
He left his foot down a ship's board
And swore strange countries he would go see.
He's travelled east and he's travelled west,
Half the north and the south also,
Until he arrived into Turkey land.
There he was taken and bound in prison
Until his life, it grew weary.
And Turkey bold had one only daughter,
As fair a lady as the eye could see.
She stole the key to her Daddy's harbour
And swore Lord Baker, she would set free.
Singing, "You have houses and you have linen,
All Northumber belongs to thee.
What would you give to Turkey's daughter,
If out of prison she'd set you free?"
Singing, "I have houses, I have linen,
All Northumber belongs to me.
I would will them all to you, my darling,
If out of prison you set me free?"
She's brought him down to her Daddy's harbour
And filled for him was the ship of fame,
And every toast that she did drink round him,
"I wish, Lord Baker, that you were mine."
They made a vow for seven years
And seven more for to keep it strong,
Saying, "If you don't wed with no other woman,
I'm sure I'll wed with no other man."
And seven years been past and over,
And seven more they were rolling on.
She's bundled up all her golden clothing
And swore Lord Baker she would go find.
She's travelled East east and she's travelled West west ,
Until she came to the palace of fame.
"Who is that, who is that?" called the young foot soldier,
"Who knocks so gently and can't get in?"
"Is this Lord Baker's palace?" replied the lady,
"Or is his lordship himself within?"
"This is Lord Baker's palace," replied the porter.
"This very day took a new bride in."
"Well, ask him to send me a cut of his wedding cake,
A glass of his wine that been e'er so strong,
And to remember the brave young lady
Who did release him in Turkey land."
In goes, in goes the young foot solder,
Kneels down gently on his right knee.
"Rise up, rise up now the brave young porter.
What news, what news have you got for me?"
Singing, "I have news of a grand arrival,
As fair a lady as the eye could see.
She is at the gate
Waiting for your charity."
"She wears a gold ring on every finger,
And on the middle one, where she wears three.
She has more gold hanging around her middle
Than'd buy Northumber and family."
"She asked you send her a cut of your wedding cake,
A glass of your wine, it been e'er so strong,
And to please remember the brave young lady
Who did release you in Turkey land."
Down comes, down comes the new bride's mother.
"What will I do with my daughter dear?"
"I know your daughter; she's not been covered,
Nor has she shown any love for me."
"Your daughter came with one pack of gold.
I'll avert her home now, with thirty-three."
He took his sword all by the handle
And cut the wedding cake in pieces three,
Singing, "Here's a slice for the new bride's mother,
A slice for me new love, and one for me."
And then Lord Baker ran to his darling.
Of twenty-one steps, he made but three.
He put his arms around Turkey's daughter
And kissed his true love most tenderly.


Liner notes

This song I first heard fifteen years ago on a Planxty record, with Christy Moore singing it. Christy got it from a settled traveller named John Reilly, who lived in Roscommon. Christy altered some of the words, as he couldn't always understand John's pronunciation. DK Wilgus and Tom Munnelly recorded 36 of Reilly's songs in 1968. Reilly died of pneumonia at the age of 43, six weeks after the recordings were made. Some of his songs were released later on a Topic album named 'The Bonny Green Tree.' For me, the song has similarities with the great 'Song of Solomon' in the Judaic and Christian Holy scriptures. It speaks of a love relationship between a man and a woman and a promise made of undying love. But underneath, the subtext tells the story of the relationship between God and Mankind. They make a vow for seven years and seven more. Seven is the number of God. I like the fact that, (unusually), the woman represents God and sets Baker free, making him promise loyalty and love. Baker almost breaks his promise, as his faith weakens with age, and Turkey's daughter arrives just in time to prevent him marrying a false love who only cares for his material wealth. The song reminds me of some very beautiful lines in 'The Song of Solomon,' otherwise known as 'The Song of Songs'-'Set me as a seal upon thine heart, as a seal upon thine arm: for love is strong as death; and jealousy is cruel as the grave; the coals thereof are coals of fire, which have a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, he would be laughed to scorn.'

Sinéad O'Connor (Source: Sean-Nós Nua)

she's not been covered:

The marriage hasn't yet been consummated, so the jilted bride won't suffer a complete loss of honor.

Of twenty-one steps, he made but three:

Lord Baker's not only in a hurry, but he must also have supernaturally long legs to skip seven steps at a time.


(Source: Sean-Nós Nua)

Sinéad O'Connor vocals
Alan Branch percussion
Abdullah Chhadeh quanun
Nick Coplowe Hammond
Dónal Lunny acoustic guitar , bouzouki , keyboard , bodhrán , bodhrán bass
Kieran Kelly whistle
Skip McDonald electric guitar
Christy Moore vocals
Rob Ó Géibheannaigh flute , strings
Carlton "Bubblers" Ogilvie drums , bass , piano
Bernard O'Neill acoustic bass
Professor Stretch drum programming , bass programming
Sharon Shannon accordion
Steve Wickham mandolin , banjo

All artwork, lyrics, and liner notes are copyrighted by their respective owners. Every effort is made to properly attribute copyrighted content, when known. Everything else © copyright Jason R Tibbetts 2007-2023. All rights reserved.

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