#02072
The Nightingales (MacEdward Leach)
See also: The Nightingale (2-traditional variants)
And also: The Soldier And The Lady (Peacock)
And also: Hear The Nightingale Sing (Harry Hibbs)

One morning, one morning, one morning in May,
A rich and gay couple were coming my way;
One was a lady, a rich lady fair,
And the other was a soldier, a true volunteer.

So, they walked along together
till they came to a spring,
Out of his kit bag he pulled his violin;
He played it so sweet, he made everything ring,
And I wonder what's making the nightingales sing.

Says the soldier to the lady, it's about time we begun,
Oh, no, says the lady, just play one more song;
For the music enticed me by the tips of the string,
And I wonder what's making the nightingales sing.

So, they walked along together
till they came to a spring,
Out of his kit bag he pulled his violin;
He played it so sweet, he made everything ring,
And I wonder what's making the nightingales sing.

Says the lady to the soldier, will you marry me?
Oh, no, says the soldier, that never could be;
I've a wife in old Porter, and children I've three,
And another in England, that's too many for me.

So, they walked along together
till they came to a spring,
Out of his kit bag he pulled his violin;
He played it so sweet, he made everything ring,
And I wonder what's making the nightingales sing.

I'll go back to old Porter and stay for a year,
And instead of cold water I'll drink whiskey clear;
When I return it will be in the spring,
To the banks of old Porter where the nightingales sing.

So, they walked along together
till they came to a spring,
Out of his kit bag he pulled his violin;
He played it so sweet, he made everything ring,
And I wonder what's making the nightingales sing.

Now, come all you young couples wherever you may be,
Don't trust any young man, nor his company;
For the love they will give you till their heart you will gain,
Then they'll go way and leave you in sorrow and pain

So, they walked along together
till they came to a spring,
Out of his kit bag he pulled his violin;
He played it so sweet, he made everything ring,
And I wonder what's making the nightingales sing.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside, The Nightingale (One Morning In May) [Laws P14] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957). Also a variant of a 17th-century 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) ....####

This variant collected in 1951 from Mrs Ambrose James (Bride) Coombs [1922-2003] of Biscay Bay NL, and published 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) on pp.744-745 of The Ballad Book (A S Barnes, New York, 1955).

A variant was collected in 1951 from Howard Leopold Morry [1885-1972] 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.

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

Harrys Hibbs also recorded a variant as Hear The Nightingale Sing.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this little ballad 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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