11:06 p.m. - June 20, 2007
Sandy Dennis takes the vocals and is spot on perfect, but the band, featuring Richard Thompson on guitar, Dave Swarbrick on violin and Dave Mattacks on drums all turning in vital performances. Mind you, one of the variations of this is about 30 verses long (they had a lot of time to kill back in the day) so Fairport do you a favor.
Letís dissect this one, shall we?
A holiday, a holiday, and the first one of the year
Well, according to my Catholic Church calendar, the first holiday of the New Year is on New Yearís Day. And Iím assuming this is ye olde church. So Lord Donaldís wife is out, being the good wife that she is, but thenÖwhat what? Sheís looking out an about and sees little Matty Groves. I assume that heís small in stature, and not like 13 or something with the adjective ďlittleĒ. Please, letís hope so.
"Come home with me, little Matty Groves, come home with me tonight
Not exactly the kind of conversation that you expect the wife of Lord Donald to strike up with you after church. Thatíd be like Tony Blairís wife coming onto you after Sunday services.
"Oh, I can't come home, I won't come home and sleep with you tonight
Trust me Matty, go with your first instinct.
"But if I am Lord Donald's wife, Lord Donald's not at home
Ah, while the Lord is away, the Lady shall play.
And a servant who was standing by and hearing what was said
So the servant is a huge brown-noser, I guess. Selling out little Matty Groves for a tuppence is going to get him far. Actually, I think itís a tuppence, some extra gruel, and one less beating.
He was in a hurry too, bending his armor and losing his shoes. I hope he carried the shoes, because running through a forest with bare feet. Yeowch!
Little Matty Groves, he lay down and took a little sleep
Uh-oh, this doesnít look good for our hero.
Saying "How do you like my feather bed and how do you like my sheets
Lord Donald has a sense of humor?
"Oh, well I like your feather bed and well I like your sheets
Is your wife a goer? Eh, know what I mean, nudge nudge, say no more!
"Well, get up, get up," Lord Donald cried, "get up as quick as you can
Lord Donald has NO sense of humor, but a sense of fairness, at least.
"Oh, I can't get up, I won't get up, I can't get up for my life
Mattyís unarmed, so Lord Donald at least gives him a sporting chance. But I think Lord and Lady Donald should have gone through couples counseling or something. Thereís some dynamic thatís not working in that relationship, with him out all the time so she goes around picking up peasants at church services. I think there are some issues, and killing poor Matty Groves isnít going to help them.
So Matty struck the very first blow and he hurt Lord Donald sore
See, Matty. Go with the first instinct. You wind up less dead that way.
And then Lord Donald took his wife and he sat her on his knee
Ouch, babe! Thatís harsh!
Lord Donald he jumped up and loudly he did bawl
Temper, temper. Though wasnít this in a Tarantino movie? Anyway, Sonny Chiba would be proud.
"A grave, a grave," Lord Donald cried, "to put these lovers in
Again, Lord Donald has proper etiquette. He is burying the adulterers together, but sheís on top. Wait, wouldnít Matty like that? (Oh, Smed, behave!)
Well, as you see, the moral of the story is: Watch out at church and donít use it for a pickup joint. You never know when a husband will ram a sword through you for sleeping with his wife.