Thursday, 9 April 2015

the banks of sweet primroses

As I walked out on a midsummer's morning,
For to view the fields and to take the air,
Down by the banks of the sweet primroses,
There I beheld a most lovely fair.

Three short steps, I stepped up to her,
Not knowing her as she passed me by,
I stepped up to her, thinking for to view her,
She appeared to be like some virtuous bride.

I says, "Fair maid, where are you going?
And what's the occasion of all your grief?
I’ll make you as happy as any lady,
If you will grant to me one small relief."

"Stand off, stand off, you're a false deceiver!
You are a false deceitful man, I know
'Tis you that has caused my poor heart to wander
And in your comfort lies no refrain."

So I'll go down to some lonesome valley,
Where no man on earth shall there me find,
Where the pretty little small birds do change their voices,
And every moment blows blusterous wind.

So come all young men who go a-sailing,
Pray pay attention to what I say,
For there's many a dark and a cloudy morning,
Turns out to be a sunshiny day.
                                          (From the English Book of Penguin Folk Songs)

I think Richard Thompson added the second and last verses for the Fairport Convention live recording from 1970. The Penguin book loses a definite article, hence the title of the blog post.

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