'Josef Locke'
a song by Richard Thompson
performed by Norma Waterson on her album
The Very Thought of You
released June 1999
God bless all here and state your pleasure
If you'll refill my glass I'll sing Ave Maria
I'll sing The Old Bog Road or A Shawl of Galway Grey
and I've been gone from you for some while
those English taxmen they've cramped my style
and if you think I'm some fraud upstart
just let my voice be my calling card
it melted hearts, and royal teardrops fell
they loved me well, they loved me well

My name is Josef Locke
ladies and gents, now on your honour
this is a damn poor show
you'll not call me a drunkard
I've sung for kings and princes
how the memories still glow -

O cessate di piagirmi *
O lasciate mi morir
O lasciate mi morir...

all the applause, all the cheers and cries
how many times did that curtain rise
and now you dare mock the Singing Bobby
I'll find the door, take your bullies off me
a sweeter age it was that loved me well
they loved me well

*A friend of mine, Gwynne Newton, has kindly supplied the following information regarding the Italian verse:

O cessate di piagarmi
Text by Nicola Minato
Set by Alessandro Scarlatti (1659-1725)

O cessate di piagarmi,
O lasciatemi morir
Luc'ingrate, dispietate,
Pił del gelo
E pił del marmi
Fredde e sorde a' miei martir.

And the translation would be:

O stop hurting me
O let me die ...

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