Sung to Cecil Sharp by Farmer William King at the Castle of Comfort pub, Mendip, Somerset 15th April 1904. Lured by free drink and tobacco by Cecil Sharp who stayed at East Harptree Court. After an hour of general songs being sung this true folksong came quietly out.
The farmer farmed the farm next door to where the Big Green Gathering was held at Fernhill Farm in 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2007. These songs were collected by me because they had been sung on the land we were camping on. Coincidentally I later found that the present owner was a champion shearer using old-fashioned non electric clippers and that ancestors of mine had lived and worked at Fernhill Farm.
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
from Alison's Ancestors -- Traditional English Folk Songs
released December 1, 2005
Alison research,all music and recording.
Another version collected before 1840 in Sussex by Broadwood and maybe from 'The Customs of the Manor'1715.
Sung on Below the Salt by Steely Span (discovered after I sung it.)
The Crystal Spring English Folksongs Collected by Cecil Sharp Edited by Maud Karpeles (original lyrics)
Also One Hundred English Folksongs Edited by Cecil Sharp (Generally cleaned up lyrics for school books).
Wells Journal Photo of dancers from the cathedral tower by Jason Bryant.
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