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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleHappy country lass
Roud No.606
Collected FromMerritt, W.
LocationMersey Hampton
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 120
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 22nd July, 1916, p 3, Part 38, No. 2
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

I am a brisk and bonny lass
That's free from care and strife,
So sweetly do I my hours pass,
I love a county life;
At wake or fair I oft am there
Where there's pleasure to be seen,
Though poor I am contented,
And as happy as a queen.

Verse 2

I rise up in the morning
My labour to pursue,
And with my yoke and milking pail
I trip the morning dew;
My cows I milk and there I taste
The sweet that Nature yields,
And the lark is sure to welcome me
Into the flowery fields.

Verse 3

And when the meadows they are mown
My part I then do take,
And with the other village maids
I go the hay to make,
Where friendship, love and harmony
Amongst us there is seen,
And the swains invite the village maids
To dance upon the green.

Verse 4

Now in the time of harvest
So cheerfully we go,
Some our hooks and sickles,
And men with scythes to mow;
And when the corn is safe from harm,
We have not far to roam,
But all await to celebrate
And welcome harvest home.

Verse 5

Now in the winter, when the cattle
Are foddered with straw,
The cock he crows to wake me
My icy cream to thaw;
The western winds may whistle,
And northern winds may blow,
'Tis health and sweet contentment
The country lass doth know.

Verse 6

In winter or in summer
We are never known to grieve,
In time of need, each other
Will their neighbours relieve:
So I still think a country life
All others does surpass,
I sit me down contented,
I'm a happy country lass.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'For many years this song was the first to be sung at the general harvest home observed at Meysey Hampton. It is of good age. I have seen the words on an old ballad sheet bought at Cirencester Mop. Copy of W Merritt, Mersey Hampton.'

Note 2

Verses 1, 5 and 6 are heavily corrected. The original wording is crossed out in heavy blue crayon. Verses 2 and 4 contain slight corrections. The alternative lines are:

Verse 1 line 5 on:

For I do think a county life
All others to surpass
I can sit me down contented
I'm a happy country lass.

Verse 2 line 7:

And the lark so soon to welcome me

Verse 4 line 7:

But we away to master's house

Verse 5 line 5 on:

I do not mind cold frost or snow
Nor yet the stormy blast
I can sit me down contented
I'm a happy country lass.

Verse 6 lines 3 and 4:

In sickness or in sorrow
Each neighbour does relieve

Verse 6 line 6:

All others to surpass

Verse 6 line 7:

Now I'll sit me down contented

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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