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The Bob Zentz Songbook

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The Portsmouth Road

From Closehauled on the Wind of a Dream

Adapted from the poetry of C. Fox Smith (1882-1954)

Music traditional;  additional lyrics © 2003, 2007 Bob Zentz

 

 

1.  As I went down the Portsmouth road, a careless ramblin’ fellow  (A-D-A)

The stormcock whistled on the bough, a tune both loud and mellow  (D-A-D-A-E-A)

To hear his song I paused awhile, then tossed it back with laughter  (A-D-A)

But all along the seaward road, I heard it follow after  (D-A-D-A-E-A)

 

     Sayin’, “East, West, home’s best, you’ll wander far and lone, lad  (A-D-A)

     But of all the lands you’ll find on Earth, there’s none just like your own, lad”  (D-A-D-A-E-A)

 

2.  As I went down the Portsmouth road, my step was light and merry

I met a tramping gipsy wife, as brown as any berry

She told my fortune for a crown, but little did it please me

To hear her speakin’ once again, the same old words to tease me  (chorus)

 

3.  I wandered here, I rambled there, since I set off that mornin’

And many’s the time I thought about that gipsy’s word of warnin’

And many a strange far land I saw, and gaudy foreign city

And often did seem to hear, once more the stormcock’s ditty   (chorus)

 

4.  As I came up the Portsmouth road, My bundle on my shoulder

The years had come, the years had gone, and I was growin’ older

Wayside fires were white and cold, and leaves were turnin’ yellow

And never a gipsy crossed my path, nor stormcock whistled mellow   (chorus)

 

5.  But what cared I for silent bird, or what for fires forsaken

From many a land and many a sea, whose homeward road was taken

The gipsy’s words were in my heart, afire to cheer and warm me

And all the way the stormcock’s tune, went singin’ on before me

 

     “East, west, home’s best, you’ll wander far and lone lad

     But of all the loves you’ll find on earth, there’s none just like your own, lad”

 

     Oh, “East, West, home’s best, you’ll wander far and lone, lad

     But of all the lands you’ll find on Earth, there’s none just like your own, lad”

 

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