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Flandyke Shore, The - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

The song 'the Flandyke Shore' is another made famous by Nic Jones on his 'Penguin Eggs' album of 1982. The lyrics reprinted here are those from his version. The interesting thing about the Nic Jones version is that it is actually only a fragment, not the complete song. Some people think that this makes the song more mysterious and so adds to its allure and I'm of this camp myself. I'm a little loathe to puncture the mystery, but here is a bit about the song's background.

'The Flandyke Shore' seems to originate prior to 1696, and 'Flandyke' is almost certainly a corruption of 'Flanders', a country made up of parts of modern day Belguim and France. In 1693 Britain was at war with Flanders, and a man heading for the Flanders shore was likely to have been going to war. So the protagonist in the original song was probably a soldier. You can find out more about the origins and development of the song 'The Flandyke Shore' in this fascinating discussion, where you can also see several more extensive versions of the lyrics.

As an aside, the Albion Band also recorded a version of 'The Flandyke Shore'. It featured the same first three verses as the Nic Jones version, but they added an additional (made up) fourth version that gave the song a happy ending!

When I play this song, I use D-shape chords. I turn my capo upside down and place it so that it covers all of the strings except the bottom E (i.e. the thickest, deepest string on the guitar). The effect is similar to de-tuning your bottom E string to D and playing without a capo. But the nice thing about this method is that you can still finger other standard chords that rely on the bottom E string in exactly the same way, and they will still work.

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Chords

Capo at 2nd Fret

                 D        (play C# in bass)

I went unto my own love's

Bm7                        G
Chamber window,

            D        Bm7  A7
Where I had often been before,

     G           D              Bm7        A7
To tell my love unto Flandyke shore,
  
G       D              A7

Unto Flandyke shore,

          
D      G         Bm7 A7          G

Never to return to En--gland no more,

           
A7   D          Bm7 A7          D
Never to return to En--gland no more.

            A7   D          Bm7 A7          D

Lyrics

I went unto my own love's chamber window,

Where I had often been before,

To tell my love unto Flandyke shore,

Unto Flandyke shore,

Never to return to England no more,

Never to return to England no more.

 

I went unto my own love's chamber door,

Where I had never been before.

I saw a light springing from her clothes,

Springing from her clothes,

Just like the morning sun when first arose,

Just like the morning sun when first arose.

 

As I was walking on the Flandyke shore

Her own dear father I did see.

"My daughter she is dead," he cried.

"She is dead," he cried.

"And she's broken her heart all for the love of thee."

So I hove a bullet onto fair England's shore,

Onto fair England's shore,

Just where I thought my own true love did lay.

 

Traditional, arranged by Peter Webster

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs


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