Red and Gold By Cropredy in Oxfordshire the Cherwell takes its course And willows weep into the waters clear My name it is Will Timms and it is here that I was born And raised in faith my King and God to fear.
In 1644 the King in Oxford town did dwell Though we'd heard that Cromwell's army was nearby It did not occur to me that little Cropredy Could be witness to a meeting of both sides.
Now on June the 24th that year I was about my work I was cutting hedges someway from the stream When my blade slipped, I cut my hand and my own dear blood did flow Upon the brown earth and the corn still green.
Now it did distress me so to watch my own blood flow And quickly soak into the greedy ground In red and gold my colours swam and the sweat broke on my brow And faint I knew that I must lay me down.
Now at first I thought the thundering was just inside my head And I raised myself above the hedge to see And watched as in a dream as two armies fought downstream The battle for the bridge at Cropredy.
Now the Kings men they wore red and gold Though Cromwell’s men were plainer The blood they spilled was coloured just the same From the hedgerow’s fragile cover I saw brother killing brother And all this was done in Jesus’ name.
Red and gold are royal colours, Peasant colours are green and brown Green is the corn in the brown earth when it's growing Red and gold when the harvest is cut down.
Now all that day and all the next the battle it was raging Though when darkness came, I slipped away But the crying of the dying kept me wakeful and just lying In my bed until the dawning of the day.
And the dreams that I had were red and gold And the little stream became a flood From all of my brothers killing one another Waking I did realise it was all my own dear blood.
Some were buried in our church and some right where they fell With no marks to declare their place of rest But the poppies they did grow where they were never sown And to my mind they do declare it best.
And each year when the green corn once again turns into gold And the poppies in the field they do remind me Like this scar upon my hand and the blood spilt on this land And the hungry earth so eager to confine me.
For red and gold they are the colours One is blood and one is power Though I may one day rest by Cropredy church In golden fields forever blooms the poppy flower.
By Cropredy in Oxfordshire the Cherwell is still flowing And the willows by its side still gently weep But still in restless dreams by this most peaceful stream The poppies do disturb my rightful sleep.
And the dreams that I have are red and gold And the little stream becomes a flood From all my of brothers killing one another Till waking I realise it's all my own dear blood And in golden fields forever blooms the poppy flower