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Sorry the Day I Was Married

[ Roud 1561 ; Ballad Index WB2046 ; trad.]

Mike Waterson sang Sorry the Day I Was Married on the Watersons' 1966 album A Yorkshire Garland. As The Yorkshire Tup from the same album, it was re-released in 1999 on the CD reissue of his self-titled album Mike Waterson. A.L. Lloyd commented in the original album's sleeve notes:

Frank Kidson got this lively lament of a maumariée, a girl unhappily married (but seemingly not taking it too much to heart) from Charles Lolley of Leeds, a remarkable purveyor of fine songs. The tune is a slightly slowed down version of an Irish slip jig called Scaip an drucht by some fiddlers. As Mr. Lolley had it, the song possessed a “fa-la-la” chorus that betrays its origin in the dance.

Tim Hart & Maddy Prior sang Sorry the Day I Was Married in 1971 on their third duo album, Summer Solstice. This track was also included in 2002 on the Topic anthology The Acoustic Folk Box.

Kathy Henderson, Frankie Armstrong and Sandra Kerr included Sorry the Day in 1979 in their song book My Song Is My Own. The Rheingans Sisters learnt it from this book and recorded it in 2012 for their CD Glad Gold Hearts.

Kate Burke and Ruth Hazleton sang Sorry the Day I Was Married on their 2000 album A Thousand Miles or More.

Crucible sang Sorry the Day I Was Married in 2005 on their WildGoose CD Crux. They cautiously commented in their liner notes:

We put this much told tale to a tune we got from Nancy Kerr called Gan to the Kye and added some extra verses from James Orchard Halliwell's nursery songs and rhymes. All characters herein are not meant to resemble any real person, either living or dead.

Liz Davenport sang Sorry the Day I Was Married on her and Paul Davenport's Hallamshire Traditions 2008 CD Songbooks.

James Findlay sang Sorry the Day I Was Married in 2011 on his Fellside CD Sport and Play.

This video shows A Fanfare of Strumpets singing Sorry the Day I Was Married live at BRFM Radio in 2012:

Lyrics

Mike Waterson sings Sorry the Day I Was Married Tim Hart & Maddy Prior sing Sorry the Day I Was Married

Sorry the day I was married
And sorry the day I was wed
And it's Oh, if I only had tarried
When I to the altar was led.

Sorry the day I was married
And sorry the day I was wed
And it's Oh, if I only had tarried
When I to the altar was led.

Young William sure there's no pleasing
And let women do what they can
For it's always your heart they'll be teasing
For that is the way of a man.

Young William sure there's no pleasing
For let women do what they can
It's always your heart they'll be teasing
For that is the way of a man.

When I was a young lass I was merry
Had silks and had jewels to wear
And it's red were my cheeks as a berry
And my heart it was free from all care.

When I was a young lass I was bonnie
Had silks and bright jewels to wear
And red were my cheeks as a berry
And my heart it was free from all care.

Silks now I have none for me wearing
My jewels have all gone away
And it's surely this life there's no bearing
I'm pale as a primrose today.

Silks now I have none for me wearing
My jewels have all gone away
And surely this life there's no bearing
I'm pale as a primrose today.

Think, pretty maids, ere you marry
Stick fast by your dear liberty
And as long as you can you must tarry
And not be lamenting like me.

Think, pretty maids, ere you marry
Stand fast by your sweet liberty
And as long as you can you must tarry
And not be lamenting like me.

(repeat first verse)

(repeat first verse)

Acknowledgements

Transcribed from the singing of Mike Waterson by the wonderful Greer Gilman.