Denny, Sandy - Bruton Town Lyrics




In Bruton Town there lived a noble man
He had two sons and a daughter fair
By night and day they were contriving
For to fill their sister's heart with care

One night one night our restless young girl
One brother rose up from his bed
He heard the servant court their sister
Oh, he heard they had a mind to wed

Oh when he rose the very next morning
Went searching for the servant-man
And when he found him this young man he murdered
Oh, left him lying in the briars around

Oh, she went to bed a-crying and lamenting
And thinking of her own true love
And as she slept she dreamt that she saw him
A-lying in the countryside all covered with gore and blood

Oh brothers, brothers why do you whisper
And what's become of this servant man?
Oh, we lost him when we were a-contending
We lost him were he won't ever be found

Oh, she early rose the very next morning
And searched the countryside around
And there she saw her own dear jewel
A-lying in the briars where he'd been found

Three days and nights she'd lie by him
She thought her heart it would break with woe
When a cruel hunger came upon her
And in despair to her home she did go

Oh sister, sister why do you whisper
And won't you tell us where you've been
Stand off, stand off you bloody butchers
My love and I you have all slain





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Denny, Sandy Bruton Town Comments
  1. Ralph H.

    on a well-tuned 12 string hitting the high note on the 2nd verse link...

  2. Alan

    I don't understand - Pentangles Bruton Town is so different in melody

    xxjoeyladxx

    Alan
    Does it matter? It’s still an awesome cover :))

    Alan

    @xxjoeyladxx no it doesn't matter it's just different for some reason

  3. Morten Hovde

    So nice!!

  4. Alex Porter

    One contriving brother disliked this song.....

    Ralph H.

    Yes,of course...very good....

  5. Emanuel Vetton

    maravillosa Sandy..

  6. Alf Gilzean

    The best version of this song by miles. Thank you Sandy x

  7. micky donavan

    Irish blood.

  8. RapeState U

    Sandy Denny said that this song was "about a poor lady. They all are, you know. 'Cause men are so rotten."

  9. Edi Camon

    Aquesta noia anglesa i les nord-americanes Eva Cassidy i Kate Wolf se'n van anar massa aviat. Les tres tenien una veu que feia posar la pell de gallina, descanseu en pau.

  10. mickigoe

    "Breathes there the man with soul so dead..." that would thumb-down Sandy Denny. Incredibly there breathes one.

    tedcroaker

    Yep, there are bound to be a few, just take a look around at the state of the world today.....

    mickigoe

    Thanks for posting this gem, Ted.

  11. Richard Day

    The Best at Her Best and yet never was she less than brilliant X

    tedcroaker

    So many people, like yourself, have immense reverence for Sandy. She is already a legend, but who knows what glorious music she would have produced, and how many millions more she would have reached, had it not been for such a cruel hand of fate.

    Richard Day

    So true and beautifully said !!

  12. Snodge Kat

    In Bruton Town there lived a noble man
    He had two sons and a daughter fair
    By night and day they were contriving
    For to fill their sister's heart with care

    One night one night our restless young girl
    One brother rose up from his bed
    He heard the servant court their sister
    Oh he heard they had a mind to wed

    Oh when he rose the very next morning
    Went searching for the servant-man
    And when he found him this young man he murdered
    Oh left him lying in the briars around

    Oh she went to bed a-crying and lamenting
    And thinking of her own true love
    And as she slept she dreamt that she saw him
    A-lying in the countryside all covered with gore and blood

    Oh brothers, brothers why do you whisper
    And what's become of this servant man?
    Oh we lost him when we were a-contending
    We lost him were he won't ever be found

    Oh she early rose the very next morning
    And searched the countryside around
    And there she saw her own dear jewel
    A-lying in the briars where he'd been found

    Three days and nights she'd lie by him
    She thought her heart it would break with woe
    When a cruel hunger came upon her
    And in despair to her home she did go

    Oh sister, sister why do you whisper
    And won't you tell us where you've been
    Stand off, stand off you bloody butchers
    My love and I you have all slain

    Songwriters: BERT JANSCH, TERRY COX

    Bruton Town lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC

    tedcroaker

    Thanks for posting the lyrics.

    Michael Igoe

    Verse 2 line 1 should have "... of restless slumber". Verse 5 line 3 surely is " ... when we was a hunting" (with the balladeer's customary disdain for proper grammar). Just saying !

  13. robert hessler

    Hi Ted. I saw that two of your other favorite Sandy songs are Fotheringay and Crazy Man Michael. Mine too.
    Banks of the Nile is up there too. From the opening "oh hark..." her voice is just perfect and pure melancholy.
    And yes, no one can make me tear up like Sandy's voice can.

    tedcroaker

    I'm sure I replied to this a while back but it seems to have disappeared. Yes, that too is a great song, Robert. Mind you, Fotheringay and Crazy Man Michael are my firm favourites. I'm guessing it was RT who wrote the lyrics for Crazy Man Michael, but Sandy's vocals get the hairs standing every time. Sandy is the author of Fotheringay, and it's probably the standout track on What We Did On Our Holidays. It's a great example of painting a picture with words. Every time I listen I can vividly picture the doomed Mary Queen Of Scots penned up in that room high in Fotheringay castle, looking out at the freedom of the world outside that was never to be hers again. I visited the castle a few years ago, solely on the strength of that song, and though there's now not much left standing I recalled the lyrics and felt a little close to the ghosts of both Sandy and that ill-fated queen.

  14. Shawna

    feel sorry for the thumbs down downer

    tedcroaker

    Yeah, who was that and why did they even bother visiting? If they don't enjoy this performance then i'm not really sure they will ever 'get' Sandy Denny.

    Robert Cope

    How can ANYBODY remotely think that Sandy was not worth listening to? This wonderful lady quite simply was the finest singer in all genres this country has ever produced.

    oncydium

    It was probably a nobleman whose wife left him for some guy named Dave.

  15. Jasmine crossland

    STUNNING

  16. Chris O Video

    Love it. Thank you.

  17. Chris O Video

    This is FOTHERINGAY.

    tedcroaker

    As far as I know, this is a Sandy Denny live solo performance. If you can convince me otherwise I'll change the header note.

  18. Portcullis

    I only heard this performance for the first time about two and a half years ago, and despite listening to it many times, it still gives me chills. She was slightly before my time, but I get the impression that although Sandy Denny knew that she had talent, she probably didn't appreciate just how awesome she really was, despite what other people said about her (like so many talented artists).

    tedcroaker

    You may well be right. Her voice in particular was quite unique, and capable of delivering a wide range of emotions with conviction, as exemplified on Fairport's Liege And Lief, with the joyful Come All Ye and the heart-rending, plaintive Crazy Man Michael. As a songwriter she also had great talent, and Fotheringay is imo a great example of convincing storytelling that places you in the moment. If you visit the site in Northampshire you may see and feel what I mean.

  19. manrico fiorentini

    immensa...unique and inimitable!!!

    tedcroaker

    Absolutely. :-)

    manrico fiorentini

    the Queen of folk rock!!!

  20. Lucrezia Duffell

    just beautiful....

  21. Patrick Costine

    Glorious!

  22. Paul Richards

    fucking beautiful

  23. Stephen Bateman

    Sublime. Just sublime. Thanks for sharing :)

    tedcroaker

    It's a pleasure. I've just listened to it again, the first time for several months. I've rarely heard a vocal performance so beautiful and emotive.

  24. jackal59

    The best description of Sandy Denny's talent I've read is (by memory) that she sang traditional songs as if they were written yesterday and contemporary songs as if they had survived for centuries.

    tedcroaker

    I certainly wouldn't be one to argue with that.

    Karma Norbu

    Sandy's talent transcends time.

    LeMarteau63

    Good one, well said indeed.

  25. onomatopoeia99

    Good to see this back, it's been on my favourites for a long time but inaccessible.  Have loved this performance since I bought the boxed set of LPs more than 25 years ago (still have them too).

    tedcroaker

    I'm not sure why it got removed. I hadn't expected it to be reinstated but am glad that the censors relented.

    mesechabe

    @tedcroaker Censors? Really? What, they considered this a snuff song?

  26. Gun Of A Preacher Man

    This video is sadly unavailable on this platform (iPhone). Not fair....

    tedcroaker

    Corporate wars perhaps. It's all about making money rather than serving the public. I am sure that Sandy would have been outraged that her music was treated in such a fashion. For a while this video was completely removed from YouTube and I was pleasantly surprised to see it at least partially reinstated, because it's a bit of a rare gem.

  27. Portcullis

    She sings this as though it is from personal experience-so much feeling.Such a sad spring day,thirty six years ago today when that voice was lost to us.

    tedcroaker

    Her voice lives on in the amazing songs she recorded, and will never die. Two of my other favourites, in a similar vein to this, are songs she recorded with Fairport: Fotheringay and Crazy Man Michael, both immensely beautiful imo, and capable of sending a shiver down my spine or bringing a tear to my eye.

  28. Portcullis

    Went to Cropredy two or three times in early to mid-nineties-been meaning to go again but it usually coincides with a family holiday that appears to be set in stone in mid- August every year. Maybe this year will be different!

  29. Portcullis

    Apologies for all the random letter A's and strange punctuation marks in my last post-not sure why it does that as I checked the spellings and punctuation before posting. Dodgy computer or dodgy eyes?

    tedcroaker

    I'm not sure which, but your post looks ok now!  :-)  I went to Cropredy in 2012, the first time for about 8 years, and really enjoyed it. Fortunately there was a short break in that awful weather we had that year - they ran out of programmes by late Friday afternoon because they'd assumed the festival wouldn't sell, but a rare dry sunny spell gave a last minute boost to the numbers.There's something truly magical about the vibes at this friendly festival, and the historic village and canal is a great setting (if you know Fairport's Red And Gold, written for them by Ralph McTell, you'll know what i mean). It was great to see Swarb back after a long illness, and Richard Thompson's set on the Friday was excellent. I gave it a miss last year but might be tempted again this year depending on the support lineup.

    tedcroaker

     As a postscript to this, I missed out on Cropredy 2014 in the end. By the time I'd noticed the stunning support lineup that included Al Stewart, Australian Pink Floyd, Marillion and Steve Hackett it was, unsurprisingly, sold out. I'm really gutted that I missed this one, I love all the bands mentioned above and I don't think there's ever been a better lineup of support artists. 

  30. Portcullis

    I bought the 'Boxful of Treasures ' box set at Christmas (along with 2 other Sandy Denny box sets!) and I heard this track for the first time a few weeks ago. I happened to be reading a book about the British countryside and the battles fought to save our remaining wetlands (another passion of mine).The combination of reading about all that has been lost in wildlife terms since the mid 20th Century and Sandy Denny's haunting version of this traditional song quite literally sent shivers down my spine. Her voice has the ability to affect you in a way that few others can, particularly on tracks such as this one, 'Banks of the Nile', 'No End', 'Fhir A Bhata'. . . there are just so many!  I think that it must be something to do with the combination of melancholy and power. . but sometimes it is pointless trying to analyse and de-mystify these things. Better just to be grateful and enjoy. 

    tedcroaker

    I think you've summed up the magic and mystique of Sandy's voice as far as it's possible to. I'm not familiar with the last two songs you mention, but this and Banks Of The Nile, which drip with emotion, exemplify why Sandy has become so revered by many. Her untimely death was a tragic loss to music, and who knows how many other gems might have materialised. Her spirit lives on in the annual Cropredy Festival, worth investigating if you haven't already done so.

  31. Ed Phillis

    i come from Bruton town. Tis true, its a bloody place.

    tedcroaker

    Ha ha, it's not that bad! I remember passing through it when walking the Leland Trail in the mid 1990s. Quite a quaint old town i thought.

    tedcroaker

    From memory this traditional song appears in different guises using different place names, so it's highly unlikely it was written specifically about Bruton anyway. I'm glad this upload is attracting so much attention, it's one of many Sandy gems but is presumably one of the more obscure ones on YouTube.

  32. tedcroaker

    @CookieOfTheHousie I will check the Pentangle song out, i don't know it. Glad you enjoyed the Sandy Denny performance.

  33. CookieOfTheHousie

    I wanted to compare this version to Pentangle's but this are two completely different songs!! Both incredible.

  34. Amy McCann

    Beautiful...