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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Track 1 = Banks of the sweet primroses
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Song TitleBanks of the sweet primroses
Roud No.586
Collected FromIles, Elijah
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 387
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 25th March, 1916, p 3, Part 24, No. 4
RecordingRecorded in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Batcombe, Somerset with the kind permission of the Church Wardens, 30th August 2011.
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

As I walked out one summer's morning,
To view the fields and to take the air,
Down by the banks of sweet primroses,
'Twas there I beheld a lady fair.

Verse 2

Three long steps I took up to her,
Not knowing her as she passed me by;
I stept up to her thinking to view her,
She appeared to be like some virtuous bride.

Verse 3

I said -"Fair maid, where are you going?
Oh! What's the occasion of all your grief?
I'll make you as happy as any lady,
If you will grant me some small relief."

Verse 4

"Stand off, stand off, you are deceitful!
You are a false deluding swain!
It's you that's caused my heart to wander,
To give me comfort is all in vain.

Verse 5

I will go down to some lonesome valley,
No man on earth there shall me find,
Where the pretty small birds shall change their voices,
And every moment blows blusterous wind."

Verse 6

Come all young maids that go a-courting,
And give attention to what I say,
For there's many a dark and a cloudy morning,
Turns out to be a sunshiny day.
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: MS / WGS: "An old favourite, that used to figure largely on ballad sheets many years ago. Obtained of Elijah Iles, Inglesham, Wiltshire."

Note 2

The tune used for the recording is fairly common.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.



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