Alison's Ancestors -- Traditional English Folk Songs

by Alison ---click for web site

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This CD of traditional folk music was passed on for generations and collected locally over 100 years ago. It was inspired by living on the land at music festivals ,learning about Red Indian, African, prehistoric traditions and energy lines and healing. Consequently a desire to connect with our indigenous song arose. In fact I found a folksong book at one with a song collected in 1904 from where I was brought up. Then the Big Green Gathering moved to Somerset, by chance right to the farm where some of my ancestors had worked and where Cecil Sharp had done lots of collecting. I found the songs from that exact area on the website for Cecil Sharp house and picked out some to pass on at the gathering.


released December 1, 2005

I have done all the research,recording and playing myself.


all rights reserved



Alison Hull Somerset, UK

Hello ,my name is Alison.
I sing, play guitar,whistle,trombone and hammered dulcimer.
By busking, performing and workshops I pass on songs.
I live in Somerset in southern England where most of my ancestors are from. The Folk singer George Withers was my uncle.
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Track Name: The Rose in June
The rose in June’s not half so sweet As kisses where true lovers meet, So let it be early, late or soon, I’ll enjoy my rose in June.
Then I will drive my flock to the fold,
Let the weather blow warm or cold,
So let it be early ,late or soon.
I’ll enjoy my rose in June.
Then I’ll cut down the sweet myrtle tree
To make a fine bower for Sally and me,
I’ll enjoy my rose in June.
Track Name: The True Lovers' Farewell
Farewell my joy, my own heart’s delight, I must leave you for a while,
If I go away I’ll come again If I go ten thousand miles.

The crow that is so black ,my dear, Shall change his colour white;
And if ever I prove false to thee The day shall turn to night, my dear, The day shall turn to night.

O don’t you see that milk-white dove A-sitting on yonder tree,
Lamenting for her own true love As I lament for thee, my dear, As I lament for thee?

Suppose the seas should ever run dry Or the rocks should melt with the sun,
Then you an I we’ll never ,never part Until those things are done, my dear, Until those things are done.
Track Name: The Crystal Spring
Down by some crystal spring where the nightingales sing,
Most pleasant it is in season to hear the groves ring
Down by some riverside a young captain I espied
Entreating of his true love to be his bride.
Dear Phyllis says he, can you fancy me?
All in your soft bowers a crown it shall be;
And whenever you dine then you shall drink wine
And so pleasant in the season then you shall be mine
And you shall take no pain, I will you maintain;
My ship she is unloaded just come in from Spain.
Like a lady so rare I’ll maintain you so fair;
There’s no lady in the navy with you shall compare.
But if ever I prove false to my soft turtle dove,
May the ocean turn desert and the elements move;
For wherever I shall be I’ll be constant to thee;
My heart is no rover if I rove through the sea.
Track Name: Willow Dee
The Knight and the Shepherd's Daughter.

1There was a little shepherd maid
Kept sheep all on the hill
And then there came a young man
And he swore he'd have his will.
Line ,twine ,the willow dee.
2 And now you've had your will on me
And brought my body to shame,
The only thing that you can do
Is pray tell me your name.

3 Oh some do call me Jack ,he said ,
And some do call me John,
But when I'm home in the King's fair court
My name is Sweet William.

4 He mounted on his milk-white steed
And away then he did ride.
She strapped her petticoats round her waist
And ran by the horse,s side.
5 She ran till she came to the broadwaters,
She bore down her breast and swam,
And when she came to the dry land again
She tripped up her heels and ran.

6 She ran till she came to the king's fair courts,
She pulled at the ring,
There was none so ready as the kimg himself
to let this fair girl in.
7 Good morning to you ,my pretty maid,
Good morning,sir,said she,
You have a knoght all in your court ,
This day he have robbed me.

8 O has he robbed you of your gold ,
Or any of your fee,
Or has he robbed you of the rarest branch that grows in your body?

9 He has not robbed me of my gold,
Nor any of my fee,
but he has robbed me of the rarest branch
That grows in my body.

10 Here's twenty pounds for you he said ,
All wrapped in a glove.
And twenty thousand pounds for you, he said
To seek some other love.

11 I will not have your twenty pounds
Nor any of your fee,
But I will have the king's fair knight
This day to marry me.

12 The king he called his fair young knights
By one ,by two, by three.
Young William once the foremost was,
But now behind came he.

13Accursed be that very hour
That I got drunk by wine;
To have the farmer's daughter here
To be a true lover of mine.

14 If I a farmer's daughter am
Pray leave me all alone;
If you make me l;ady of a thousand lands
I can make thee lord of ten.
15 he mounted on his milk -white steed
And she on her pony grey;
He threw the bugle round his neck
And together they rode away.

16 The very next town that they came to,
The wedding bells did ring;
And the very next church that they came to,
There was a gay wedding.
Track Name: Bridgwater Fair
Bridgwater Fair

All you who roam, both young and old,
Come listen to my story bold.
For miles around, from far and near,
They come to see the rigs of the fair.
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair.

The lads and lasses they come through
From Stowey, Stogursey and Cannington too.
That farmer from Fiddington, true as my life,
He's come to the fair to look for a wife.
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair.

There's Tom and Jack, they look so gay,
With Sal and Kit they haste away
To shout and laugh and have a spree,
And dance and sing right merrily.
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair.

The jovial ploughboys all serene,
They dance the maidens on the green.
Says John To Mary: Don't you know
We won't go home till morning, O?
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair.

There's carrottty Kit, so jolly and fat,
With her girt flipperty, floppety hat;
A hole in her stocking as big as a crown,
And hoops of her skirt hanging down to the ground.
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair

But Master Dick, that nasty toad,
He kissed the girls all on the road.
So now to finish up my song
I hope I have said nothing wrong
But don't get dancing on the green
The girls that wear the Crinoline.
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair

It's up with the fiddle and off with the dance,
The lads and the lasses gaily prance;
And when it's time to go away
They swear to meet again next day.
O Master John, do you beware!
And don't go kissing the girls at Bridgwater fair
Track Name: It's a Rosebud in June (circle dance?)
It's a Rosebud in June
lyrics from several sources combined.

It’s a rosebud in June and the violets in full bloom
And the small birds singing love songs on each spray.

We’ll pipe and we’ll sing love
We’ll dance in a ring love
When each lad takes his lass
All on the green grass,
And it’s, oh, to plough where the fat oxen graze low
And the lads and the lasses do sheep shearing go.

When we have all sheared our jolly, jolly sheep,
What joy can be greater than to talk of their increase?

For their flesh it is good, it’s the best of all food,
And their wool it will cloth us and keep our backs from the cold.

Here’s the ewes and the lambs, here’s the hogs and the rams,
And the fat wethers too they will make a fine show.
(wether = castrated ram)

With the lily-white pail filled full of brown ale
Our table ,our table is all on the green grass
Track Name: Bingo
There was an old dog lay at the mill door
And Bingo was his name ,sir
Bang her and kick her and cop her
And Bingo was his name ,sir.
You sing band her and I sing bop her
And you sing kick her and I sing cop her
And Bang her and bop her and kick her and cop her
And Bingo was his name ,sir.

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