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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleWind across the wild moor
Roud No.155
Collected FromGrubb, George
LocationEwen
CountyGloucestershire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 89
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 29th April, 1916,p 3, Part 29, No. 1; Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 213, 214
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

'Twas one cold winter's night,
And the wind blew bitter across the wild moor;
'Twas then Mary went with her child,
Wandering home to her own father's door,
Crying - "Father, I pray let me in,
Oh come down and open the door,
Or the child at my bosom will die,
With the wind that blows across the wild moor."

Chorus

With the wind that blows across the wild moor,
With the wind that blows across the wild moor,
Or the child at my bosom will die,
With the wind that blows across the wild moor.

Verse 2

"Oh why did I leave that fair spot,
Where I was happy and free,
Forever to roam without friend or home?
Pray, father, take pity on me."
But he was deaf to the cry,
When the sound reached him over the door,
The watch dogs barked,
And the wind blew bitter across the wild moor.

Chorus

Blew bitter across the wild moor,
Blew bitter across the wild moor,
The watchdogs barked and the wind,
Blew bitter across the wild moor.

Verse 3

You can't think what a father he felt,
When he came to the door in the morn;
He found Mary dead, but the child
Clasped alive in a dead mother's arms;
With vengeance he tore his grey hair,
On his Mary he gazed from the door;
'Twas in that cold night she perished and died,
By the wind that blew across the wild moor.

Chorus

By the wind that blew across the wild moor.
By the wind that blew across the wild moor.
'Twas in that cold night she perished and died,
By the wind that blew across the wild moor.

Verse 4

The father in grief pined away,
And the child to its mother went soon;
There's no one lives there to this day,
The cottage in ruins is gone:
The villager points to the cot,
Where the wild rose droops over the door,
'Twas there Mary died, by the house of her pride,
With the wind that blew across the wild moor.

Chorus

With the wind that blew across the wild moor.
With the wind that blew across the wild moor.
'Twas there Mary died, by the house of her pride,
With the wind that blew across the wild moor.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'This is not as ancient as many in our series, though it was as popular as most: it probably dates from the early part of the nineteenth century. Its quality is above that of the common ballad rhyme, a merit that never fails to be appreciated by the rustics whenever the song is heard, which is but rarely at this time. I have heard the piece in many villages: the words I obtained of George Grubb, Ewen, and formerly of South Marston, Wiltshire.'

Note 2

In the chorus to Verse 2 Lines 1 and 2 the original text read:

Bitter across the wild moor.
Bitter across the wild moor.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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