#00281
The Nightingale (Variant #1) MIDIS, videos
See also: The Soldier And The Lady (Coll by Peacock)
And also: The Nightingales (Collected by Leach)
And also: Hear The Nightingale Sing (Harry Hibbs)

Jump down for The Nightingale (Variant #2)
#694: YouTube video by threelegsoman ©2009
~ Used with permission ~

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Now, as I was a-walking one morning in May,
I saw a sweet couple together at play;
O, the one was a fair maid and her beauty shone clear,
And the other was a soldier, a brave grenadier.

But they kissed so sweet and comforting as they pressed to each other,
They went arm in arm along the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm along the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together just to hear the nightingale sing.

Then out of his knapsack a long fiddle he drew,
And he played her such merry tunes as she ever knew;
And he played her such merry tunes caused the valleys to ring.
Hark, hark, replied the fair maid, how the nightingales sing.

But they kissed so sweet and comforting as they pressed to each other,
They went arm in arm along the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm along the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together just to hear the nightingale sing.

O, come, said the soldier, 'tis time to give o'er.
O, no, said the maiden, please play one tune more;
I do like your playing and the touching of the long string,
And to see the pretty flowers grow, hear the nightingale sing.

But they kissed so sweet and comforting as they pressed to each other,
They went arm in arm along the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm along the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together just to hear the nightingale sing.

Now I'm going to India for seven long years,
Drinking wines and strong whiskey instead of strong beers;
But if I ever return again, it will be in the spring,
Then we'll both sit down together, love, and hear the nightingale sing.

But they kissed so sweet and comforting as they pressed to each other,
They went arm in arm along the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm along the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together just to hear the nightingale sing.

Now, said the fair maid, come, soldier, marry me.
O no, said the soldier, how ever can that be?
For I've a nice little wife at home in my own country,
And she is the smartest little woman that your eyes ever see.

But they kissed so sweet and comforting as they pressed to each other,
They went arm in arm along the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm along the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together just to hear the nightingale sing.

The Nightingale (Variant #2) video
#1610 YouTube video by raymondcrooke ©2011
~ Used with permission ~

As I was a-walking and a-rambling one day,
I spied a young couple so fondly at play;
And one was a young maid so sweet and so fair,
And the other one was a soldier and a brave grenadier.

And they kissed so sweet and comforting as they clung to each other,
They went arm in arm down the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm down the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together to hear the nightingale sing.

From out of his knapsack he drew a fine fiddle,
And he played her such merry tunes that you ever did hear;
And he played her such merry tunes that the valley did ring,
When they both sat down together now to hear the nightingale sing.

And they kissed so sweet and comforting as they clung to each other,
They went arm in arm down the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm down the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together to hear the nightingale sing.

And now, said the young maid, will you marry me?
Oh no, said the soldier, how could that be?
For I have a wife at home in the old country,
And she is the finest maid that you ever did see.

And they kissed so sweet and comforting as they clung to each other,
They went arm in arm down the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm down the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together to hear the nightingale sing.

Now I'm off to India for seven long years,
Drinking wine and strong whiskey instead of pale beer;
And if I return again it'll be in the spring,
And we'll both sit down together now to hear the nightingale sing.

And they kissed so sweet and comforting as they clung to each other,
They went arm in arm down the road like sister and brother;
They went arm in arm down the road till they came to a spring,
Then they both sat down together to hear the nightingale sing.

####.... Author unknown. Variants of a British broadside ballad, One Morning In May, [Laws P14] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, The Nightingale's Song, or The Soldier's Rare Musick And Maid's Recreation, published by W Onley (London) sometime between 1689 and 1709, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Douce Ballads 2(166b) ....####
The video for variant #1 above features a performance by Tony Archibald from Port St Mary on the Isle of Man.

The video for variant #2 above features a performance by Raymond Crooke from Melbourne, Australia.

Harry Hibbs recorded a variant as Hear The Nightingale Sing.

A variant was collected by Maud Karpeles [1885-1976] and published as #77, The Nightingale, in Folk Songs From Newfoundland (Faber & Faber, London, 1971; also Oxford, 1934).

A variant was collected in 1952 from Mrs Ambrose Coombs of Biscay Bay, NL, and published as The Nightingales in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

MacEdward Leach also collected a variant as One Morning In May (The Nightingale), published on pp.744-745 of The Ballad Book (A S Barnes, New York, 1955).

A variant was collected in 1951 from Howard Morry of Ferryland, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Soldier And The Lady in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 2, pp.594-595, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that One Morning In May descended from The Nightingale's Song, which appeared in the seventeenth century Roxborough Collection. Sometimes known as The Brave Volunteer, it was collected in the Southern Appalachians by Cecil Sharp as The Nightingale. Double entendre songs of this type have been popular ever since Elizabethan times. In The Banks Of The Roses, (also in this Newfoundland collection) the young man entertains his lady friend with his 'flute'.



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