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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Charlie Baum Lyr Req: The False Fly (58* d) RE: Lyr Req: The False Fly 09 Jul 07


Len Graham of Northern Ireland has a version of the False Knight on his CD "The One Tradition: traditional Ulster songs for all the family." (Cranagh Music CMCD 4450, 2004). I caught him at the 2007 Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the Mall in Washington, DC.

He sings a version very similar to the first one in the thread:


Oh. where are you going?
Said the false false knight
to the lovely little child on the road
I am going to my school
said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old.

What have you in your bag?
Said the false false knight
to the lovely little child on the road
I have my bread and books
Said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old.

Will you come along with me?
Said the false false knight
To the lovely little child on the road
No, I won't go with you
Said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old

I will give you a ball
Said the false false knight
To the lovely little child on the road
Then you'll be lord of all
Said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old

What is longer than the way?
Said the false false knight
To the lovely little child on the road
Love is longer than the way
Said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old.

What is higher than the tree?
Said the false false knight
to the lovely little child on the road
Heaven's higher than the tree
Said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old.

What is deeper than the sea
Said the false false knight
to the lovely little child on the road
Hell is deeper than the sea
said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old

Then he turned into fire
this false false knight
to the lovely little child on the road
'Twas the devil in disguise
Said the lovely little child
who was only but seven years old.

The tune is identical to one I heard from Merle Roessler, who sings "False, False Fly" (and who got it from an unnamed, unknown source on the radio).
I inquired of Len as to his source. He told me he got his version from Bridge[t?] McGowan for Connemara, and that he deliberately changed "fly" back into "knight"--it was "fly" in Ms. McGowan's rendition. This version and variants seem to have had some circulation in Co. Galway of Ireland.

--Charlie Baum


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