Loreena McKennitt

The Highwayman

Loreena McKennitt

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The Highwayman

	  		
Intro: Am Am C G Am 

Am                                  C        G/B   Am 
The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees 
Am                                    C        G/B    Am 
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon the cloudy seas 
Dm             G         C   G/B   Am              G 
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor 
        Dm     G        C    G/B 
And the highwayman came riding, 
Am      G 
Riding, riding, 
    Am     G/B      Dm      Am 
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door. 

       Am                                   C        G/B         Am 
He'd a French cocked hat on his forehead, a bunch of lace at his chin, 
   Am                        C           G/B        Am 
A coat of claret velvet, and breeches of brown doe-skin; 
     Dm          G      C   G/B      Am                   G/B 
They fitted with nary a wrinkle; his boots were up to the thigh 
       Dm          G        C   G/B 
And he rode with a jeweled twinkle, 

    Am           G 
His pistol butts a-twinkle, 


    Am     G/B    Dm         Am 
His rapier hilt a-twinkle, under the jeweled sky. 


Am                                C              G/B  Am 
Over the cobbles he clattered and clashed in the dark inn yard, 
Am                                               C       G/B        Am 
And he tapped with his whip on the shutters, but all was locked and barred; 
    Dm        G           C  G/B      Am                    G/B 
He whistled a tune to the window, and who should be waiting there? 
        Dm         G          C    G/B 
But the landlord's black-eyed daughter, 
Am                   G 
Bess, the landlord's daughter, 
Am         G/B      Dm        Am 
Plaiting a dark red love-knot into her long black hair. 

     Am                             C       G/B     Am 
"One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I'm after a prize tonight, 
    Am                                      C       G       Am 
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light; 
    Dm      G        C   G\B      Am                   G 
Yet if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day, 
      Dm      G         C   G/B 
Then look for me by the moonlight, 
Am                  Am 
Watch for me by the moonlight, 
      Am     G           Dm                Am 
I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way. 


   Am                               C            G         Am 
He rose upright in the stirrups; he scarce could reach her hand 
         Am                                    C          G/B    Am 
But she loosened her hair i' the casement! His face burnt like a brand 
       Dm        G      C  G/B       Am                G/B 
As the black cascade of perfume came tumbling over his breast; 
        Dm         G           C   G/B 
And he kissed its waves in the moonlight, 
Am                      G 
(Oh, sweet waves in the moonlight!) 
         Am           G/B         Dm             Am 
Then he tugged at his rein in the moonlight, and galloped away to the west. 


   Am                              C       G/B     Am 
He did not come at the dawning; he did not come at noon, 
    Am                         C        G/B         Am 
And out of the tawny sunset, before the rise o' the moon, 
         Dm         G       C G/B   Am                 G/B 
When the road was a gypsy's ribbon, looping the purple moor, 
  Dm       G          C  G/B 
A red-coat troop came marching, 
Am        G 
Marching, marching 
     Am       G/B      Dm           Am 
King George's men came marching, up to the old inn-door. 

     Am                                 C         G 
They said no word to the landlord, they drank his ale instead, 
         Am                                       C           G/B    Am 
But they gagged his daughter and bound her to the foot of her narrow bed 
       Dm   G            C   G/B        Am               G/B 
Two of them knelt at the casement, with muskets at their side! 
          Dm       G     C  G/B 
There was death at every window 
    Am               G 
And hell at one dark window; 
    Am         G/B              Dm 
For Bess could see, through the casement, 
    Am 
The road that he would ride. 

         Am                             C      G          Am 
They had tied her up to attention, with many a sniggering jest; 
         Am                                  C        G/B       Am 
They had bound a musket beside her, with the barrel beneath her breast! 
     Dm        G                C      G/B 
"now keep good watch!" And they kissed her. 
Am                     G/B 
She heard the dead man say 
      Dm     G      C   G/B 
"Look for me by the moonlight 
Am                  G 
Watch for me by the moonlight 
      Am     G/B         Dm                Am 
I'll come to thee by the moonlight, though hell should bar the way!" 

    Am                                 C      G          Am 
She twisted her hands behind her, but all the knots held good! 
    Am                                      C        G/B      Am 
She writhed her hands till her fingers were wet with sweat or blood! 
     Dm            G               C   G/B          Am                    G/B 
They stretched and strained in the darkness and the hours crawled by like years! 
      Dm          G         C  G/B 
Till, now, on the stroke of midnight, 
      Am               G 
Cold, on the stroke of midnight, 
    Am         G/B    Dm 
The tip of one finger touched it! 
    Am 
The trigger at least was hers! 

    Am                                  C       G/B         Am 
Totelot-totelot! Had they heard it? The horse's hooves rang clear 
    Am                                      C              G/B     Am 
Totelot-totelot, in the distance! Were they deaf that they did not hear? 
Dm       G         C    G/B   Am                   G/B 
Down the ribbon of moonlight, over the brow of the hill, 
    Dm      G       C  G 
The highwayman came riding, 
Am      G 
Riding, riding! 
    Am        G/B             Dm 
The red-coats looked to their priming! 
    Am 
She stood up straight and still! 

    Am                             C           G       Am 
Totelot in the frosty silence! Totelot, in the echoing night! 
Am                             C        G/B     Am 
Nearer he came and nearer! Her face was like a light! 
     Dm       G          C G/B       Am                 G/B 
Her eyes grew wide for a moment! She drew one last deep breath, 
         Dm     G            C   G/B 
Then her finger moved in the moonlight, 
    Am                   G 
Her musket shattered the moonlight, 
Am            G/B           Dm            Am 
Shattered her breast in the moonlight and warned him with her death. 


   Am                                 C       G        Am 
He turned; he spurred to the west; he did not know she stood 
Am                                    C                 G       Am 
Bowed, with her head o'er the musket, drenched with her own red blood! 
    Dm       G       C     G/B     Am                G/B 
Not till the dawn he heard it; his face grew grey to hear 
    Dm        G          C    G/B 
How Bess, the landlord's daughter, 

    Am                    G 
The landlord's black-eyed daughter, 
    Am              G/B         Dm             Am 
Had watched for her love in the moonlight, and died in the darkness there. 

Am                              C           G/B          Am 
Back, he spurred like a madman, shrieking a curse to the sky 
         Am                                    C      G/B        Am 
With the white road smoking behind him and his rapier brandished high! 
      Dm           G            C      G          Am                 G 
Blood-red were the spurs in the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat, 
           Dm      G           C   G 
When they shot him down on the highway, 
Am                     G 
Down like a dog on the highway, 
       Am         G/B          Dm                Am 
And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat. 


Am                                      C     G/B            Am 
Still of a winter's night, they say, when the wind is in the trees, 
         Am                                 C       G/B    Am 
When the moon is a ghostly galleon, tossed upon the cloudy seas, 
         Dm        G         C   G     Am              G/B 
When the road is a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor, 
  Dm      G        C  G 
A highwayman comes riding, 
Am      G 
Riding, riding, 
  Am     G/B       Dm         Am 
A highwayman comes riding, up to the old inn-door. 
		  

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Other versions:

chords Phil Ochs - The Highwayman chords Glen Campbell - The Highwayman chords Loreena McKennitt - The Highwayman
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