Fairport Convention - The Deserter Lyrics

Fairport Convention Liege & Lief cover art
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As I was a-walking down Radcliffe highway
A recruiting party came a-beating my way
They enlisted me and treated me till I did not know
And to the Queen's barracks they forced me to go

When first I deserted, I thought myself free
Until my cruel comrade informed against me
I was quickly followed after and brought back with speed
I was handcuffed and guarded, heavy irons put on me

Court martial, court martial, they held upon me
And the sentence passed upon me, three hundred and three
May the Lord have mercy on them for their sad cruelty
For now the Queen's duty lies heavy on me

When next I deserted, I thought myself free
Until my cruel sweetheart informed against me
I was quickly followed after and brought back with speed
I was handcuffed and guarded, heavy irons put on me

Court martial, court martial, then quickly was got
And the sentence passed upon me, that I was to be shot
May the Lord have mercy on them for their sad cruelty
For now the Queen's duty lies heavy on me

Then up rode Prince Albert in his carriage and six
Saying "Where is that young man whose coffin is fixed?
Set him free from his irons and let him go free
For he'll make a good soldier for his Queen and country

Track Listing
12" Vinyl 1
  • 1 Come All Ye
  • 2 Reynardine
  • 3 Matty Groves
  • 4 Farewell, Farewell
  • 5 The Deserter
  • 6 Medley: The Lark in the Morning / Rakish Paddy / Foxhunter's Jig / Toss the Feathers
  • 7 Tam Lin
  • 8 Crazy Man Michael


  • Credits
    album: Track 5 in album Liege & Lief
    release date: 1969-12
    popularity : 186 users have visited this page.
    length: 4:24
    producer: Joe Boyd
    drums: Dave Mattacks
    vocal: Sandy Denny
    engineer: John Wood
    arranger: Fairport Convention
    violin: Dave Swarbrick
    guitars: Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol
    viola: Dave Swarbrick
    bass guitar: Ashley Hutchings
    composer: [unknown]
    Album Information
    label: Island
    country(area): United Kingdom
    format: 12" Vinyl
    script: Latin