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Stumbling On

[Lal Waterson, Oliver Knight]

Lal Waterson, Maria Gilhooley and Jo Freya sang Stumbling On, accompanied by Jo Freya on sax and Oliver Knight on guitars, in 1996 on the album Once in a Blue Moon.

Eliza Carthy sang Stumbling On in 1998 on her album Red. This track was also included in 2003 on Eliza Carthy’s anthology, The Definitive Collection, and in 2004 on the Watersons’ 4 CD anthology Mighty River of Song.

Cover Versions

  1. Jo Freya’s Lal Waterson Project, Lal (2007)
  2. Jeb Loy Nichols on Migrating Bird: The Songs of Lal Waterson (2007)


Lal Waterson, Maria Gilhooley and Jo Freya sing Stumbling On

Chorus (after every other verse):
Oh, my dear don’t leave me here
In this god-forsaken place.
Was it me that broke my heart?
Did I have a heart to break?
It was laid in armour,
Covered in silver plate,
Done by me deliberately
If I had a heart to break.

A refugee has gone to sea,
For the need to be alone.
He took the breeze and memories
And left the rest at home.

Comes on the darkness
Evening stretched her cloak,
All over my steel guitarist
In a beautiful pea green boat.

Well I breathed in a sigh,
from a passer by
in a beautiful kingdom.
His eyes were dry,
he was tongue tied
in a foreign land.

You put your soul
in a beggar’s bowl
people just walk on.
And you wonder why
when your heart has died,
that your feet go stumbling on.