Posted by: David Harley | January 12, 2014

Raggle Taggle Man revisited

Lyrics by Alison Pittaway, with a traditional tune drastically arranged by me. And featuring the first recorded appearance of the Pelican Court Light Orchestra. The words have been published here before, but this demo is better recorded than the one with the previous version.

He was a raggle taggle man
In raggle taggle clothes
Reaching, reaching for the stars
As he wandered down the road

Once the world was at his feet
But then it fell apart
His friends becoming strangers
Who left him in the dark

His world was all in pieces
That he couldn’t shape at last
While the wind was blowing
Through the weeds and grass

People tried to reassure him
But still he lost all hope
And looking at his life
He knew he couldn’t cope

So home alone he went alone
And all alone he died
But everyone who knew him
Now remembers him with pride
He was so beautiful inside.

Oh raggle taggle, raggle taggle, raggle taggle man
Oh raggle taggle, raggle taggle, raggle taggle man…

Alison and I (among others) ran a folk club in London (at Jacksons Lane Community Centre, Highgate) for a while, and later on lived in the same part of Tottenham for several years. It’s only recently – when we haven’t met face-to-face decades and now live in different counties – that we’ve started to collaborate on songs, though.

The tune is a variation on a tune that Jean Ritchie used to sing as ‘False Sir John’. I don’t know why, it just seemed to fit the words.

Lyric copyright Alison Pittaway, 2013.

David Harley
Small Blue-Green World

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Responses

  1. […] There’s a more recent and better recorded version with a more sophisticated arrangement here. […]


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