https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/7sU47nrUMo1uf2js5

A song that is the result of a collaboration between musician Barry Hunt and myself. Barry kindly offered to set the poem to music and the finished article is something with which we can both be proud.

THE EMERALD RING

I sent my girl up to St Mary’s church

For to fetch to my bedside the priest.

As knowing I am not long for this world;

With the good Lord I need to seek peace.

Unburden me, Father, give my soul ease.

It’s thirty years I’ve seen pass

Since I did commit a terrible sin

Which I need you to hear me confess.

I have in my keep a detestable prize

An infamous, sought-after thing.

My curse lay inside this old wooden box;

All I own – is an emerald ring.

CHORUS

Green, the colour of his fine emerald ring;

As green as the envy that burned in my eyes.

And why should his like, have that sort of thing;

When for their lack a child of mine dies?

‘Twas on the night of an October storm                                                             

God took my two-year-old son.

And me in much need of solace and peace,

Sought the cliffs to find myself some.

The consolation that I so desired

Did seem to be so far from my reach.

As wreckers picked at the washed up remains

Of poor souls found there on Hellick beach.

Now others came running to get what they could;

All but my own were there on the strand.

I climbed over rocks to find my heartsease

And that’s when I saw his outstretched hand.

CHORUS

Green, the colour of his fine emerald ring

As green as the envy that burned in my eyes

And why should his like have that sort of thing?

When for their lack a child of mine dies

So, I reached for that hand and cursed my luck

As his bubbling breath broke through the brine;

For wreckers cannot rob a living man;

But God can take a dear life of mine?

As weak as the babe who I could not feed,

I lay on him in that silent place.

When no struggle came, I motioned his head

So the tide would cover his face.

My conscience wrestled the conflict within;

To sin or suffer in penury?

A far better fight than any from him

To save his life or his jewellery.

CHORUS

Green, the colour of his fine emerald ring;

As green as the envy that burned in my eyes.

And why should his like have that sort of thing,

When for their lack, a child of mine dies?

Broke free of the sea upon Hellick shore

Should I be the one the good Lord indicts?

It came up the beach to finish the job

I just helped it claim its wreckers’ rights.

Dear Admiral, I crave your clemency

‘Twas not the sea that left you for dead

But the desperation and poverty

Of a wretched Scillonian maid.

The zealous search to recover this ring

Was a burden throughout my life.

Stuck in a box ’til my dying day;

Give it back to the Admiral’s wife.

CHORUS

Green, the colour of his fine emerald ring

As green as the envy that burned in my eyes

And why should his like, have that sort of thing?

When for their lack a child of mine dies.

Green, the colour of his fine emerald ring

As green as the envy that burned in my eyes

And why should his like, have that sort of thing?

When for their lack a child of mine dies.