If you are reading this page using a screenreader, we support ARIA landmarks for quick navigation too

Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

There were 1 items found.

Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleMistletoe bough
Roud No.2336
Collected FromUnknown
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 5 - Miscellaneous: Williams, A: MS collection No Mi 637
Source SecondaryUnpublished
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

The mistletoe hung in the castle hall,
The holly branch shone on the old oak wall,
And the Baron's retainers were bright and gay,
All keeping their Christmas holiday.
The Baron beheld, with a father's pride,
His beautiful child, young Lovell's bride,
While she with her bright eyes seemed to be,
The star of the goodly company.


O the mistletoe bough
O the mistletoe bough

Verse 2

'I'm tired of dancing now,' she cried,
'Here, tarry a moment, I'll hide, I'll hide,
And, Lovell, be sure thou'rt first to trace
The clue to my secret hiding place.'
Away she ran, and her friends began
Each tower to search and each nook to scan,
And young Lovell cried - 'O where dost thou hide?
I'm lonely without thee, my own dear bride.'


Verse 3

They sought her that night and they sought her next day,
They sought her in vain till a week passed away;
In the highest, the lowest, the loneliest spot
Young Lovell sought wildly and found her not.
And years flew by and their grief at last
Was told as a sorrowful tale long past,
And when Lovell appeared the children cried -
'See the old man weep for his own dear bride!'


Verse 4

At length an old chest, that had long lain hid,
Was founding the castle - they raised the lid
And a skeleton form lay mouldering there
In the bridal wreath of a lady fair.
Oh, sad was her fate, in sportive jest
She hid from her lord in an old oak chest,
It closed with a spring and her bridal bloom,
Lay withering there in a living tomb.
Print Song Lyrics
Unusually for a song in the Miscellaneous Series Alfred Williams' annotated this song, obviously the first of many - 'songs collected but of questionable value as folk songs'.

In Verse 1 line 2 the text originally read:

The holly branch hung on the old oak wall

In Verse 3 Line 6 the text originally read:

Was told as a sorrowful tale of the past

In Verse 4 Line 7 and 8 the original text read:

It closed with a spring and - dreadful doom
The bride lay clasped in her living tomb

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2007.



This website

Contact details

Contact Wiltshire Council

Write to us or call us

Wiltshire Council
County Hall
Bythesea Road
BA14 8JN