Yet another song that takes place “one morning in May.” In this case smooth-talking young man takes advantages of a young woman out in the countryside. Great singing, as always, from Christa Burch.
One Morning in May
One morning in May, as I carelessly did stray
to view the green meadows, and the lambs sport and play,
in the clear morning dew, as I lay down to muse,
a fair maiden of honour appeared in my view.
Says I, “Pretty maid, how happy we could be
for it is so ordained, love, that married we should be.
Let me not see you frown, for this heart is your own.”
But as these words were spoken, sure the tears trickled down.
“Come dry up your tears. You have nothing to fear.
I have roamed through the green fields for many’s the long year.”
But as the birds sang so sweet, this young man proved his deceit,
saying, “Adieu, pretty fair maid. We shall never more meet.”
“With my snuffbox and cane, the whole world I would range,
like Venus or Diana in search of her swain.
While the moon does shine clear, I will mourn my dear
over mountains, clear fountains, where no-one would hear.”
“And there’s one thing I know; and that before I go.
I shall never return, love, to hear your sad woe.
And there’s another thing I know; and that before I go.
That the ranger and the stranger have many’s the foe.”
Where to start… to me these lyrics have echoes of the biblical Song of Songs (aka The Song of Solomon) with its natural imagery. Daoirí Farrell‘s performance makes this song, written by the late Liam Weldon, seem like it’s always been part of the tradition. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
MY LOVE IS A WELL (Liam Weldon)
My love is a well, a deep dropping-well,
As deep as the bottomless sea.
Immersed am I, in the well of my love,
Immersed in ecstasy,
Immersed in ecstasy.
My love is an eagle and fierce is her cry,
As she calls me to mate, with her for to fly,
To the land of the mountains, the mist and the sky,
Where our young eagles scream at the dawning,
Our young eagles scream at the dawning.
My love is a fraughan, royal purple and black,
A fraughan that dwells by the rude mountain track.
And we’ll sink deep our roots, in the mountain’s broad back,
And our seed will spread over the mountain,
Our seed will spread over the mountain.
My love is a flower, so shy to behold,
A primrose emerging from winter’s cold,
A song of the dream-time that’s new and yet old,
And I love my bright love till the dawning,
I will love my bright love till the dawning.
This post is a special treat. To flesh out SOTI by including the experience of more singers, I’ve begun asking singers of note to share their experience of singing with others. Brían Ó hAirt agreed to be the guinea pig for this series, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with his reflection on the 2013 and 2014 Inishowen Singing Festivals, put on by the Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle. I hope you enjoy, and go raibh míle maith agat, a Bhrían! Continue reading