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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleFour seasons
Roud No.1180
Collected FromHalliday, Arthur Hewer
LocationCulkerton
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 73
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 22nd January, 1916, p 2, Part 15, No. 1: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 125, 126
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Come all you lads and lasses, I pray now give attention
Unto these few lines that so lately have been penned,
The four seasons of the year which I'm now about to mention;
The beauty of most things on Nature it does depend;
When you are young and in your prosperity,
Cheer up your hearts and revive like the spring;
Join yourselves together like the birds in February,
Valentine's Day unto us love will bring.

Verse 2

Spring it is the first of the seasons I shall mention;
To see the fields and meadows all covered with green,
The trees bring forth their buds with a fruitful intention,
Which every year is so plainly to be seen;
To see the innocent lambs round their dams they are playing,
The cuckoo is singing through each shady grove;
All Nature is reviving instead of decaying,
The each drooping heart begins to remove.

Verse 3

Summer it comes next, which makes all things look bolder;
To see the fields and meadows all decked with hay and corn!
The mower he goes forth with his scythe upon his shoulder,
His firkin in hand, and so early in the morn;
The time it will come when we all must be doing,
We reapers and mowers and farmers among;
We'll cut down the corn and we'll haul it to mow,
And straight we'll drink its health with a merry, merry song.

Verse 4

Autumn quarter it comes next, which is not so hot and sultry;
The sportsman goes forth with his dog and his gun,
He knocks down birds, both the partridge and the pheasant,
Some do it for profit, while others for fun;
To see the fruitful trees, how the farmer is befriended,
To fill up the cask that so long has been dry,
To see the drooping leaves from the trees they are falling,
A more severe season will come by and by.

Verse 5

Cold winter it comes next, which makes all things shiver,
To see the poor thresher going to the barn,
His coat is well lined with serge or with beaver,
He follows on his task to keep himself warm;
For the air it is so high, and it is so very chilly,
The streams are bound up with the cold, icy frost,
The bleak winds do whistle through every open green valley,
The beauty of most things all seems to be lost.

Verse 6

But a milder wind will blow, and the snow melt off the mountains,
The face of the earth will again to be seen,
The days increase their length, and the sun unbinds the fountains,
Which by the last frost long bound up have been;
Some will be laughing, while others will be crying,
Sometimes they will murmur, while others will sing;
All Nature is reviving, so long has been decaying,
Once more we behold the returning of the Spring.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'It would be quite superfluous for me to point out the qualities of the following: they are obvious to the most casual reader. The piece is very fine, either as a poem or a song, and any collector of folk literature should be proud to have it in his possession. It reminds me strongly in some respects of the Fourth Ode of the First Book of Horace: though the Roman poet sang in a more exalted strain his verses have not such felicity of description. The piece was sung at Culkerton, where I obtained it of Arthur Halliday.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'It would be quite superfluous for me to point out the qualities of the following. It reminds me in some respects of the Fourth Ode of the First Book of Horace: though the Roman poet sang in a more exalted strain his verses have not more felicity of description. The piece was sung at Culkerton, where I obtained it of Arthur Halliday.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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