Lover's Lament - Chords, Lyrics and Origins


This song was written by James Hunter, who also performs this version of it. According to James, it is, "A song written about a woman, her lover and the futility of war. Initially I thought it was set in Scotland in 1916 but when it was finished I realised it applied to all conflicts anywhere in the world. Women are heroes and politicians the villains."

James writes, "My name is James Hunter and I confess to writing folk music. I have lived in Northern Ireland through all the bad times and the not so bad times. I am not a musician nor singer and I cannot write music, but I enjoy srtinging together a few words and trying to find guitar chords to go with them. I have a pretty eclectic musical taste from Johnny Cash to the Flaming Lips, but have always had a soft spot for singer-songwriters, John Martyn, Niel Young, Leonard Cohen, Nick Drake and Bob Dylan to name a few. I hope you like what you hear.

If you want to contact me, email me at"

Click below to play Lover's Lament.


 G   C7G    
   C7 D    
G  C7 G    
  C7    D7  


You once said you'd stay forever

'Til the rivers all run dry

Til the mountains turn to rubble

You would not leave me 'til we die


Now you say that you are leaving

Does this flag mean more than me

Gone you say to fight for freedom

Leave me weeping after thee


Well men are fools and fools are plenty

Follow causes to their grave

While women weep for sons and lovers

Pray for souls they can not save


Since you've gone they've damned the river

Of the mountain quarries made

Me, I've gone and found another

In your place he's often laid


He is father to your children

Him they run to in the night

You are but a fading memory

Like that cause for which you fight


Well listen now you men of valour

Keep your women close at hand

Heed not the words of politicians

your not their thing to command


For patriotism a poor man's folly

Still they rally to the cause

They are blind they will not see now

It's poor men die in rich men's wars 


Copyright © James Hunter 2008.

Other Contemporary Folk Songs