Strictly speaking, this is an Appalachian tune, but Pauline Scanlon/Lumiere‘s performance is just another fine example of a song that has crossed into the Celtic idiom so regularly that I’d call it traditional.

Fair and Tender Ladies

Come all ye fair and tender ladies.
Be careful how you court young men.
They’re like a star on a summer’s morning.
They’ll first appear and then they’re gone.

They’ll tell you some loving story
They’ll declare to you their love is true
Then they will go and court some other
And that’s the love they have for you

Do you remember our days of courting
When your head lay upon my breast
You could make me believe with falling of your arm
That the sun rose in the West

I wish I was a little sparrow,
And I had wings with which to fly
Right over to see my false true-lover,
And when he’s talking I’d be nigh.

But I’m not a little sparrow,
I have no wings with which to fly
So I sit here in grief and sorrow,
To weep and pass my troubles by.

If I had known before I courted
that love was such a killing thing
I’d a-locked my heart in a box of golden
and fastened it up with a silver pin.


Fair and Tender Ladies

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