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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleT stands for Thomas
Roud No.419
Collected FromUnknown
LocationBishopstone
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 342
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 20th November, 1915, p 2, Part 8, No. 7
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

As I walked out one May morning,
One May morn in the spring;
I leaned my back on a low-land gate,
For to hear my true love sing.

Verse 2

To hear my true love sing a song,
And to hear what he had to say;
For I wished to know more of his mind,
Before he went away.

Verse 3

I never will believe what an old man does say,
For his days they cannot be long;
And I never will believe what the young men say,
For they promise but marry [they] none.

Verse 4

There's T stand for Thomas, as I have heard them say,
And I'm certain that J stands for John;
And W stands for sweet William,
But Johnny is the handsomest man.

Verse 5

Now I'll climb up to the highest tree top,
To rob the cuckoo of her nest;
I will not tarry long, but soon will return,
And be married to the lad I love the best.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'A quaint old song, composed by one who, whatever other qualifications he might have possessed, was never a naturalist, or he would not have wished to climb up to the highest tree top to rob the cuckoo's nest. Obtained of Robert King, Castle Eaton, Also heard at Bishopstone.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS: 'A quaint old song, composed by one who, whatever other qualifications he might have possessed, was never a naturalist, or he would not have wished to climb up to the highest tree top to rob the cuckoo's nest. Obtained of Robert King, Castle Eaton, Heard also at Bishopstone.'

Note 2

This song appears in the manuscript collection and in the Bathe / Clissold index as "T stands for Thomas" but appears in WGS under the title "As I walked out one May morning. Andrew Bathe uses both forms of the title in his thesis, p 311, [T] and pages 447 and 508 [A], without apparently linking the two forms of the name.

Note 3

In WGS there is an additional verse:

Verse 3

Come, sit you down all by my side,
On the grass that grows so green,
For it's past three quarters of a year,
Since together you and I have been.

The subsequent verses being numbered appropriately.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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