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The Old Changing Way (Richard Thompson)

from Greening The Dark by Debra Cowan



One thing I love about Richard Thompson’s songs is the timelessness that seems to infuse many of his compositions. “Out of love with your brother” could describe what has happened to many families in these current and polarizing times. Thanks again, RT.


I'm Darby the tinker and my brother is Tam
We go where the work is, me boys, and we work where we can
With the mending and fixing, it's together we’d stay
Intending our fortunes to try on the old changing way

We come to your cities and we call on your wives
We'll fix up your kettles, please dear missus, we'll sharpen your knives
And we always agreed that together we'd stay
Intending our fortunes to try on the old changing way

Now times they grew scanty and the money grew thin
We worked for a song but the money it didn't come in
Now brothers are kindred but hard times betray
And so we stumbled apart on the old changing way

We never agreed to divide our tin
When you're out of love with your brother,
Then your hard times begin
For the spikes and the brothels,
They're shameful to see
But don't you travel alone, boys,
This warning you take from me
You must share with your nearest till the end of your days
Or else it's forever you'll roam on the old changing way


from Greening The Dark, released September 3, 2019
Debra Cowan: Vocals
Duke Levine : Guitars, Banjo
Richard Gates: Bass Guitar
Joyce Andersen: Fiddle
Dave Mattacks: Drums, Cymbals, Percussion, Keyboards
Billy Novick: Low Whistle


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Debra Cowan Shrewsbury, Massachusetts

Singer Debra Cowan performs a cappella and with guitar, interpreting a wide range of folk songs. Debra has two acclaimed solo recordings to her credit, and her third, “Fond Desire Farewell” was produced by former Fairport Convention drummer Dave Mattacks. A former California resident, she now resides in Massachusetts and tours all over North America and the United Kingdom. ... more

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