When Fortune Turns the Wheel was a signature song of the late Louis/Louisa Jo Killen, who learned it from Alan Rogerson in the Cheviot Hills of Northumberland in the late 1950s. We sing it in memory of Louisa, with whom we shared many years of friendship, individually and collectively.
Come fill the cup, let's drink about, this night we'll merry be
For friendship and for harmony, likewise my comrades three
To meet again some other night, my secret joy reveal
For I now must stray so far away til fortune turns the wheel.
Not for love, nor gold, nor dress I'll take my estimate of man
But when I meet a friend in need I'll stretch a helping hand
To him I'll drink, for him I'll fight, to him my mind reveal
And friends we'll stay, whatever way blind fortune turns the wheel.
But it's some of my pretended friends, if friends ye may them call
They falsely turned their back on me when mine was at the wall
Yet in a glass I'll let it pass—ye'll ken I wish them well
That someday I may the debt repay when fortune turns the wheel.
And it's of a lovely lassie, aye, it's her I'll justly blame
When dark misfortune frowned on me she denied she knew my name
But friendship by remorse is past—to her I'll never kneel
I'll sweethearts find, both true and kind, when fortune turns the wheel.
O ye dewy hills of Caledon, likewise sweet Coquetdale
Where friendship binds the firmest ties, love tells the sweetest tale
Here's to my friends and to my foes, ye'll ken I wish them well
That we all may meet some other night when fortune turns the wheel.