Wednesday, May 3, 2017

All on a May Morning

I have never been so glad of May!   Not sure why, but it is true.

Today I was thinking of all the old folk ballads set in May.  Most of them tell stories of lost love, but they are beautiful.

Here are a few:

Banks of Claudy

'Twas on a summer's morning all in the month of May
And through some flowery gardens I carelessly did stray
I overheard a damsel in sorrow to complain
All for her absent lover that ploughed the raging main

I steppe'd up unto her and put her in surprise
I swear she did not know me, I being all in disguise
Says I, My handsome maiden, my joy and heart's delight
How far must you then wander this dark and dreary night

Just to the Banks of Claudy if you'll be pleased to show
Take pity on a fair maid, it's there I have to go
In search of a faithless young man, and Johnny is his name
And on the Banks of Claudy I'm told he does remain

These are the Banks of Claudy, young maid whereon you stand
But do not trust your Johnny for he's a false young man
No do not trust your Johnny, he will not meet you here
So come with me to the meadows and nothing need you fear

If Johnny he were here this night he'd keep me from all harm
But he's in the field of battle all in his uniform
He strives in the field of battle his foes he will destroy
Like a royal king of honour that fought on the banks of Troy

'Tis six long years or better since Johnny left this shore
He's cruising the main ocean performing billows roar
He's cruising the main ocean for honour and for gain
But I'm told his ship was wrecke'd on the cruel coast of Spain

Oh when she heard this dreadful news she fell in deep despair
A-wringing of her milk-white hands and a-tearing of her hair
If my Johnny he be drownded no man alive I'll talke
Through lonesome groves and valleys I'll wander for his sake

When he saw her love for him no longer could he stand
He flew into her arms saying, Patsy I'm your man
I am your faithless young man who you thought lay slain
Now since we met on Claudy Banks we'll never part again

As sung by Alex Campbell




On A Bright May Morning

Top of FormBottom of Form

As I roved out on a bright May morning
To view the meadows and flowers gay
Whom should I spy but my own true lover
As she sat under yon willow tree

I took off my hat and I did salute her
I did salute her most courageously
When she turned around well the tears fell from her
Saying, "False young man, you've deluded me"

A diamond ring I owned I gave you
A diamond ring to wear on your right hand
But the vows you made, love, you went and broke them
And married the lassie that had the land

If I'd married the lassie that had the land, my love
It's that I'll rue till the day I die
When misfortune falls sure no man can shun it
I was blindfolded I'll ne'er deny

Now at nights when I go to my bed of slumber
My thoughts of my true love run in my mind
When I turned around to embrace my darling
Instead of gold sure it's brass I find

And I wish the Queen would call home her army
From the West Indies, America and Spain
And every man to his wedded woman
In hopes that you and I will meet again

on Amazon Music

Padstow (the May Morning Song) by Rankin Family

Unite and unite, oh let us all unite

For summer is a'coming today

And whither we are going, we all will unite

In the merry month of May.

Oh, where are the young men that now here should dance

For summer is a'coming today

Well some there are in England and some are in France

In the merry month of May

Oh, where are the maidens that now here should sing

For summer is a'coming today

They're all out in the meadows a flower gathering

In the merry month of May

The young men of Padstow they might if the would

For summer is a'coming today

They might have built a ship and gilded it with gold

In the merry month of May

Oh where is Saint George, oh where is he oh

He's down in his longboat upon the salt sea oh

Up flies the kite, down falls the lark-o

And Ursula Birdwood, she had an old ewe

And she died in her park-o

With a merry ring and joyful spring

For summer is a'coming today

Oh happy are the little birds and merrily do they sing

In the merry morning of May

Unite and unite oh let us all unite

For summer is a'coming today

And whither we are going we all will unite

In the merry month of May

In the merry month of May




 and of course,  Barbara Allen:


Twas in the merry month of May
When green buds all were swelling,
Sweet William on his death bed lay
For love of Barbara Allen.

He sent his servant to the town
To the place where she was dwelling,
Saying you must come, to my master dear
If your name be Barbara Allen.

So slowly, slowly she got up
And slowly she drew nigh him,
And the only words to him did say
Young man I think you're dying.

He turned his face unto the wall
And death was in him welling,
Good-bye, good-bye, to my friends all
Be good to Barbara Allen.

When he was dead and laid in grave
She heard the death bells knelling
And every stroke to her did say
Hard hearted Barbara Allen.

Oh mother, oh mother go dig my grave
Make it both long and narrow,
Sweet William died of love for me
And I will die of sorrow.

And father, oh father, go dig my grave
Make it both long and narrow,
Sweet William died on yesterday
And I will die tomorrow.

Barbara Allen was buried in the old churchyard
Sweet William was buried beside her,
Out of sweet William's heart, there grew a rose
Out of Barbara Allen's a briar.

They grew and grew in the old churchyard
Till they could grow no higher
At the end they formed, a true lover's knot
And the rose grew round the briar.

Image result for painting    green buds swelling

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