Lady Jay

Album: There's the Rub (1974)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This was inspired by a grave on Dartmoor; there is a photograph of it in Blowin' Free, the official biography of the band.
  • Bass player Martin Turner explained that in days of yore there was a young peasant girl who got pregnant by the son of the Lord of the Manor. When they couldn't marry she committed suicide. At that time, suicide was regarded as a sin, and suicides couldn't be buried in consecrated ground. After that, her lover used to travel there every day and place fresh flowers on her grave. Legend has it that when he died, fresh flowers continued to appear there every day and still do today.
  • Turner visited the grave with some friends on a windy winter's night and found it "A very weird, spooky experience".
  • Most versions of the story are far less sympathetic to the girl's lover than the one apparently heard by Martin Turner. Kitty Jay is said to have been seduced or even to have beep raped by a farmer's son who then abandoned her, and the flowers which are left on her grave are said to be placed there by "piskies" - Cornish fairies. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for all above

Comments: 5

  • Alan from Wiltshire"But the manor lady's bright young son COULDN'T take her for his wife." It's the whole point of the song. And it is Princetown Moor, not Princeton Wharf. If you lived in the west of England and were knowledgable about Dartmoor you would know this.
  • Rick Shultz from Chattanooga,tnI am simply going to stop trying to correct these lyrics, because people who can't HEAR worth a damn keep changing them back to what they THINK they are hearing and I'm just tired of trying to get them right on this page. Nobody gives a healthy damn whether they are right or not so to hell with it.
  • Rick from Chattanooga,tnGuys, I hate to tell you but somebody has been messing with lyrics to "Lady Jay" a song b7y Wishbone Ash. Again. They have put the wrong words in the second of these two lines ""She found death's open arms. And lay in them in grace." Wrong words in second couplet. It SHOULD BE: "And lay in their embrace"! She laid in the embrace of the open arms of death. I HAD these lyrics RIGHT at one time. PLEASE correct this!
  • Rick from Chattanooga,tnThank you for posting the CORRECT Lyrics to "Lady Jay" I am a devoted Wishbone Ash fan and could not STAND seeing Martin Turner's beautiful Lyric slaughtered. KUDOS to SongFacts!! Good Job guys!!
  • Lester from New York City, NyGreat group, great album. TWIN BARRELS BURNING!!!!
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Zac Hanson

Zac HansonSongwriter Interviews

Zac tells the story of Hanson's massive hit "MMMbop," and talks about how brotherly bonds effect their music.

Actors With Hit Songs

Actors With Hit SongsMusic Quiz

Many actors have attempted music, but only a few have managed a hit. Do you know which of these thespians charted?

Thomas Dolby

Thomas DolbySongwriter Interviews

He wrote "She Blinded Me With Science" so he could direct a video about a home for deranged scientists.

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About Transgenderism

Trans Soul Rebels: Songs About TransgenderismSong Writing

A history of songs dealing with transgender issues, featuring Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Morrissey and Green Day.

Songs About Movies

Songs About MoviesSong Writing

Iron Maiden, Adele, Toto, Eminem and Earth, Wind & Fire are just some of the artists with songs directly inspired by movies - and not always good ones.