Crazy Man Michael

(Richard Thompson & David Swarbrick) 

From the album The House Carpenter’s Daughter

Within the fire and out upon the sea, crazy man Michael was walking. He met with a raven with eyes black as coal and shortly they were talking. “Your future, your future I will tell to you your future you often have asked me. Your true love will die by your own right hand and crazy man Michael will cursed be.”

Michael, he ranted, and Michael, he raved, and he beat at the four winds with his fists-o. He laughed and he cried, he shouted and he swore for his mad mind entrapped him with a fist-hold. “You speak with an evil, you speak with a hate, you speak for the devil that haunts me. For is she not the fairest in all the broad land? Your sorcerer’s words are to taunt me.”

He took out his dagger of fine and broad steel and he struck down the raven through the heart-o. The bird fluttered long and the sky it did spin and this cold earth did wander ’round startled. Oh, where is the raven that I struck down dead and here did lie on the ground-o? I see my true love with a wound so red where her lover’s heart, it did pound-o.

Crazy man Michael, he wanders I’m told and he talks through the night and the day-o. His eyes they are sane and his speech is plain but he longs to be far away-o. Michael, he whistles the simplest of tunes as he asks of the wild wolves their pardon. His true love has flown into every flower grown and he must be keeper of the garden.