Pendle is a village in Lancashire that is famous for the Pendle Witches. My grandad had a portrait of the matriarch 'Demdike' in his study (he was a good painter my grandad). So I'd known of the witches most of my life but didn't actually know anything about them. That was until during a trip home I visited Pendle and bought  a book that explained how the witch trials and subsequent hangings had probably come about. The song is less about witches and more about how these 'fables formed and grew'.

Capo 3

Am                     Em            Am                        Em
See a widow’s cottage: barren heart and hearth.
Am        Em       D               C
Sightless eyes, unyielding will,
Am                     Em            Am             Em
Sits, she sadly stares, at a tortured flame
Am                     Em       D               C               C
Murmured prayer, a Christian still.
 
Who among our kind could with a care deny,
Whispered curse at slight perceived?
At grievance felt or injustice made
Evil aim or thought conceived?
 
Em            G               D                       C
Pendle, Pendle, unbroken land beneath the hill.
Em             G                          D                        B7
Scorn of custom new, to none attend, a sundered few.
                    Am         G              C         Em
Through rumour, taint and truth obscured
      B7                     B7                  Em         D        C       C        Em     D      C         C
In Pendle, fables formed and grew.
 
Yet now they claim with malice, bite and sneer
Of witchcraft forged, their censure loose.
And hanker now my nape with a righteous bay
Hurriedly find the hangman’s noose.
 
Still it maybe so, my wretched dark intent
Days after days, had fruit begot.
Here a sickened child, there a poisoned well.
Auger’s touch, have I? Pray not.
 
For high magistrates now in justice sit.
Pendle’s lowly folk await.
Turn their noble thought on to deeds arcane.
Doubtless at last, pronounce my fate.