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Silver Dagger - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

The version of Silver Dagger in the YouTube video on this page is by Ebony Buckle - I love her voice.  The Silver Dagger chords I've provided are in the same key as Ebony Buckle's version, but the arrangement is a little different.  Her version, for example, doesn't start on an A chord - she just plays B Minor from the outset, and she changes chord a little less frequently than me.  The song focuses on a mother's warning about infidelity.  But Ebony Buckle does some interesting things with the lyrics.  The set of words that I've provided are as sung by Joan Baez in her famous version of Silver Dagger recorded in the 1960s.  In Ebony Buckle's version, however, it is the mother of the young man who is issuing the warning, not the mother of the young woman.  The song was first published in 1907, and may have British roots.

song - Silver Dagger - on iTunes

Click here to download Silver Dagger from the iTunes Store.

Chords

A                       Bm                         E              A
Don't sing me love songs, you'll wake my mother


A                        Bm  E6                    F#m
She's sleeping here right by my side
       
                   D                    A       
Bm
And in her right hand a silver dagger,

                        F#m  A                        E
She says that I           can't be your bride.

Lyrics

Ebony Buckle's lyrics:
Don't sing love songs - you'll wake your mother;
She's lying there - right by your side;
And in her right hand, the sliver dagger;
She says that I can't be your bride.

"All maids are false," says your mother -
"They'll tell you wicked, winning lies,
And the very next evening they'll love another,
Leave you alone to pine and cry."

Go find yourself a rich young maiden
And hope that she will be your wife,
For I've been warned and I've decided
To live alone all of my life."

 

'Standard' Lyrics:
Don't sing love songs, you'll wake my mother
She's sleeping here right by my side
And in her right hand a silver dagger,
She says that I can't be your bride.

All men are false, says my mother,
They'll tell you wicked, lovin' lies.
The very next evening, they'll court another,
Leave you alone to pine and sigh.

My daddy is a handsome devil
He's got a chain five miles long,
And on every link a heart does dangle
Of another maid he's loved and wronged.

Go court another tender maiden,
And hope that she will be your wife,
For I've been warned, and I've decided
To sleep alone all of my life.

Other American Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs