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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleTwo babes in the wood
Roud No.288
Collected FromFaulkner, Frederick
LocationBlack Bourton
CountyOxfordshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 3 - Oxfordshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Ox 229
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 11th March, 1916, p 3, Part 22, No. 9: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 217
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

Did you ever hear tell, on a long time ago,
Of two pretty babes, their names I don't know?
They both strayed away, one sunshiny day,
And these two pretty babes got lost by the way.

Chorus

Pretty babes in the wood!
Pretty babes in the wood!
Did you ever hear tell of two babes in the wood?

Verse 2

Now when it was night, how sad was their plight!
The stars did not shine, the moon gave no light;
They sobbed and they sighed, and sadly they cried,
Till at last these poor babes they lay down and died.

Chorus

Verse 3

The robin so red, when he saw them lie dead,
Gathered strawberry leaves and over them spread;
And all the day long, where the green branches hung,
This pretty Bob whistled and this was his song.

Chorus
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'Formerly a great favourite with the old men throughout the Thames Vale. I have heard it at Cricklade, Castle Eaton, Black Bourton and Brize Norton, though I have not found it sung by any young or middle aged people. At Castle Eaton it was sung by the aged members of the King Family, who employed delightful vernacular, and always pronounced wood as 'yood'. Words obtained of the late Wassail Harvey of Cricklade and Fred Falconer, Black Bourton, Oxfordshire.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'Formerly a great favourite with the old men throughout the Thames Vale. I have heard it at Castle Eaton, Black Bourton and Brize Norton, though I have not found it sung by any young or middle aged people. At Castle Eaton it was sung by the aged members of the King Family, who employed delightful vernacular, and always pronounced wood as 'yood'. Words obtained of the late Wassail Harvey of Cricklade and Fred Falconer, Black Bourton, Oxfordshire.'

Williams, Alfred: FSUT: 'Formerly a great favourite with the old men throughout the Thames Vale. I have heard it at Castle Eaton, Black Bourton and Brize Norton, though I have not found it sung by any young or middle aged people. At Castle Eaton it was sung by the aged members of the King Family, who employed delightful vernacular, and always pronounced wood as 'yood'. Words of Fred Falconer, Black Bourton, Oxfordshire.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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