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AO Retreat:
Camp Meeting 2019


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AO Folksong Lyrics 2018-2019 AmblesideOnline.org

AmblesideOnline
Folksong Lyrics 2018-2019

More information on the AO Advisory blog here.

A YouTube playlist for this term's hymns: *

September: Cockles and Mussels
October: Freight Train
November: The Green Grass Grew All Around
January: Minstrel Boy
February: Walk That Lonesome Valley
March: Leatherwing Bate
April: Star of the County Down
May: Robin Hood and the Tanner
June: Come Lads and Lasses


September: Cockles and Mussels * * *

In Dublin's fair city where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through the streets broad and narrow
Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh!"
      Alive, alive o-oh! Alive, alive o-oh!"
      Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh!"

She was a fishmonger and sure 'twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before;
And they both wheeled their barrows
Through the streets broad and narrow
Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh!"
      Alive, alive o-oh! Alive, alive o-oh!"
      Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh!"

She died of a fever and no one could save her,
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone.
Now her ghost wheels her barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh!"
      Alive, alive o-oh! Alive, alive o-oh!"
      Crying "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive-oh!"


October: Freight Train by Elizabeth Cotten, 1905 *

When I'm dead and in my grave,
No more good times here I crave,
Place the stones at my head and feet,
Tell them all that I've gone to sleep.
      Freight train, freight train, run so fast,
      Freight train, freight train, run so fast,
      Please don't tell what train I'm on,
      So they won't know what route I've gone.

When I die, Lord, bury me deep,
Way down on old Chestnut street
Then I can hear old Number Nine
As she comes rolling by.
      Freight train, freight train, run so fast,
      Freight train, freight train, run so fast,
      Please don't tell what train I'm on,
      So they won't know what route I've gone.


November: The Green Grass Grew All Around *

There was a tree, a pretty little tree,
The prettiest tree that you ever did see--
     Oh, the tree in a hole and the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this tree there was a limb,
The prettiest limb that you ever did see--
     Oh, the limb on the tree, and the tree in a hole
     And the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this limb there was a branch,
The prettiest branch that you ever did see--
     Oh, the branch on the limb, and the limb on the tree,
     And the tree in a hole and the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this limb there was a twig,
The prettiest twig that you ever did see--
     Oh, the twig on the branch,and the branch on the limb,
     And the limb on the tree, and the tree in a hole
     And the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this twig there was a leaf,
The prettiest leaf that you ever did see--
     Oh, the leaf on the twig, and the twig on the branch,
     And the branch on the limb, and the limb on the tree,
     And the tree in a hole and the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this leaf there was a nest,
The prettiest nest that you ever did see--
     Oh, the nest on the leaf, and the leaf on the twig,
     And the twig on the branch, and the branch on the limb,
     And the limb on the tree, and the tree in a hole
     And the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now in this nest there was a bird,
The prettiest bird that you ever did see--
     Oh, the bird in the nest, and the nest on the leaf,
     And the leaf on the twig, and the twig on the branch,
     And the branch on the limb, and the limb on the tree,
     And the tree in a hole and the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this bird there was a feather,
The prettiest little feather that you ever did see--
     Oh, the feather on the bird, and the bird in the nest,
     And the nest on the leaf, and the leaf on the twig,
     And the twig on the branch, and the branch on the limb,
     And the limb on the tree, and the tree in a hole
     And the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
     And the green grass grew all around.

Now on this feather there was a flea,
The prettiest flea that you ever did see--
     Oh, the flea on the feather, and the feather on the bird,
     And the bird in the nest, and the nest on the leaf,
     And the leaf on the twig, and the twig on the branch,
     And the branch on the limb, and the limb on the tree,
     And the tree in a hole and the hole in the ground
          And the green grass grew all around, all around,
          And the green grass grew all around.


January: Minstrel Boy * * *

The minstrel boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you'll find him
His father's sword he hath girded on
And his wild harp slung behind him
     "Land of Song!" cried the warrior bard
     "Tho' all the world betrays thee
     One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard
     One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chains
Could not bring that proud soul under
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder
     And said "No chains shall sully thee
     Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
     Thy songs were made for the pure and free
     They shall never sound in slavery!


February: Walk That Lonesome Valley by Mississippi John Hurt, 1924 *

You got to walk, that lonesome valley.
Well, you got to walk it for yourself.
Ain't nobody here, can walk it for you.
You got to walk that valley for yourself.

My mother had to walk that lonesome valley.
Well, she had to walk it for herself.
Cause nobody here could walk it for her.
Yeah she had to walk that valley for herself.

Oh yes, you got to walk that lonesome valley.
Well, you got to walk it for yourself.
Cause nobody here can walk it for you.
You got walk that valley for yourself.

My father had to walk that lonesome valley.
He had to walk it for his-self.
Cause nobody here could walk it for him.
He had to walk it for his-self.

Oh, Jesus had to walk that lonesome valley.
He had to walk it for his-self.
Cause nobody here could walk it for him.
He had to walk that valley for his-self.

Oh yes you got to walk that lonesome valley.
Well, you got to walk it for yourself.
Yes nobody here can walk it for you.
You got to walk that valley for yourself.

The verse about Jesus could be substitued with something like this:

Oh, Jesus walked that lonesome valley.
My Jesus walked it by himself.
Cause nobody here could walk it for him.
He walked that valley to save my soul from death.


March: Leatherwing Bat *

There are variations that include other birds species with other relationship issues. These are birds, not people. You needn't overthink it, but if you like you can laugh over any bird relationship issues you feel are unwise and point out that humans might do things differently. You can also make up verses for other birds, which is excellent practice for poetry and understanding rhyme scheme and rhythm at the heart level without going into mechanics and formal lesson plans and sheets.

"Hi," said the little leatherwing bat.
"I'll tell you the reason that,
The reason that I fly by night
Is because I lost my heart's delight.""
     Howdy, dowdy, diddle um day,
     Howdy, dowdy, Diddle um day,
Howdy, dowdy, diddle um daaaaaaay,
     Hey, lee, lee, lee, lie, lee, low . . .

"Hi," said the blackbird, "sittin' on a chair,
nce I courted a lady fair!
She proved fickle and turned her back!
And ever since then, I've dressed in black."
     Howdy, dowdy, diddle um day,
     Howdy, dowdy, Diddle um day,
Howdy, dowdy, diddle um daaaaaaay,
     Hey, lee, lee, lee, lie, lee, low . . .

"Hi," said the woodpecker, sittin' on a fence,
"I once courted a handsome wench!
She got scared and from me fled,
Ad ever since then my head's been red."
     Howdy, dowdy, diddle um day,
     Howdy, dowdy, Diddle um day,
Howdy, dowdy, diddle um daaaaaaay,
     Hey, lee, lee, lee, lie, lee, low . . .

"Hi," said the little turtle dove,
"I'll tell you how to win her love:
Court her night, and court her day,
Never give her time to say you nay."
     Howdy, dowdy, diddle um day,
     Howdy, dowdy, Diddle um day,
Howdy, dowdy, diddle um daaaaaaay,
     Hey, lee, lee, lee, lie, lee, low . . .

"Hi," said the blue-jay, and away he flew.
"If I were a young man, I'd have two.
If one were faithless and chanced to go,
I'd add the other string to my bow."
     Howdy, dowdy, diddle um day,
     Howdy, dowdy, Diddle um day,
Howdy, dowdy, diddle um daaaaaaay,
     Hey, lee, lee, lee, lie, lee, low . . .


April: Star of the County Down * *

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One evening last July
Down a boithrin green came a sweet Colleen
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so neat from her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair
Such a coaxing elf, I'd to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.
     From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
     From Galway to Dublin town
     No maid I've seen like the fair Colleen
     That I met in the County Down.

As she onward sped I shook my head
And I gazed with a feeling queer
And I said, says I, to a passerby
"Who's your one with the nut-brown hair?"
He smiled at me, and with pride says he,
"She's the gem of old Ireland's crown.
Young Rosie McCann from the banks of the Bann
And the star of the County Down."
     From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
     From Galway to Dublin town
     No maid I've seen like the fair Colleen
     That I met in the County Down.

She'd a soft brown eye and a look so sly
And a smile like the rose in June
And you held each note from her auburn throat,
As she lilted lamenting tunes
At the pattern dance you'd be in trance
As she skipped through a jig or reel
When her eyes she'd roll, as she'd lift your soul
And your heart she would likely steal.
     From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
     From Galway to Dublin town
     No maid I've seen like the fair Colleen
     That I met in the County Down.

At the harvest fair she'll be surely there
And I'll dress my Sunday clothes
With my hat cocked right and my shoes shon bright
For a smile from the nut-brown Rose.
No horse I'll yoke, or pipe I smoke,
'Til the rust in my plough turn brown,
And a smiling bride by my own fireside
Sits the star of the County Down.
     From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
     From Galway to Dublin town
     No maid I've seen like the fair Colleen
     That I met in the County Down.

She'd a soft brown eye and a look so sly
And a smile like the rose in June
And you held each note from her auburn throat,
As she lilted lamenting tunes.
At the pattern dance you'd be in trance
As she skipped through a jig or reel
When her eyes she'd roll, as she'd lift soul
And your heart she would likely steal.
     From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
     From Galway to Dublin town
     No maid I've seen like the fair Colleen
     That I met in the County Down.

Near Banbridge town, in the County Down
One evening last July
Down a boithrin green came a sweet cailin
And she smiled as she passed me by.
She looked so neat in her two bare feet
To the sheen of her nut-brown hair.
Such a coaxing elf, I'd to shake myself
To make sure I was standing there.
     From Bantry Bay down to Derry Quay
     From Galway to Dublin town
     No maid I've seen like the fair Colleen
     That I met in the County Down.


May: Robin Hood and the Tanner *

In Nottingham there lives a jolly tanner,
With a hey down down a down down
His name it was Arthur a Bland;
There is nere a squire in Nottinghamshire
Dare bid bold Arthur stand.

And as he went forth, in a summer's morning,
With a hey down down a down down
In the forrest of merry Sherwood,
To view the red deer, that range here and there,
There met he with bold Robin Hood.

As soon as bold Robin Hood who did him espy,
With a hey down down a down down
He thought some sport he would make;
Therefore out of hand he bid him to stand,
And thus to him he spake:

Why, what art thou, thou bold fellow,
With a hey down down a down down
That ranges so boldly here?
In sooth, to be brief, thou look'st like a thief,
That comes to steal our king's deer.

For I am a keeper in this forest;
With a hey down down a down down
The king puts me in trust
To look to his deer, that range here and there,
Therefore stay thee I must.

Then Robin Hood he unbuckled his belt,
With a hey down down a down down
He laid down his bow so long;
He took up a staff of another oak ,
That was both stiff and strong.

And knock for knock they lustily dealt,
With a hey down down a down down
Which held for two hours and more;
That all the wood rang at every bang,
They ply'd their work so sore.

'Hold thy hand, hold thy hand,' said bold Robin Hood,
With a hey down down a down down
'And let our quarrel fall;
For here we may thresh our bones into mesh,
And get no coyn at all.'

And in the forrest of merry Sherwood
With a 'hey down down a down down
Hereafter thou shalt be free:'
'God-a-mercy for naught, my freedom I bought,
I may thank my good staff, and not thee.'


June: Come Lads and Lasses *

Come, lasses and lads, get leave of your dads, and away to the maypole hie,
For every he has got him a she, and the fiddler's standing by;
There's Georgie has got his Jannie , and Johnny has got his Joan,
And there they do jog it, jog it, and jog it, a tripping it up and down.

"You're out!" says Dick; "Not I," says Nick. "'T'was the fiddler played it wrong."
"’T'is true!" says Hugh, and so says Sue, and so says every one.
The fiddler then began to play the tune again,
And ev'ry girl did foot it, and foot it, a' trippin' it to the men.

Now they did stay the whole of the day, and tired the fiddler quite
All dancing and and play, without any pay, from morning unto night
At last they told the fiddler they'd pay him for his play,
And each a tuppence, tuppence, tuppence gave him and went away.

"Goodnight!" says Harry; "Goodnight!" says Mary; "Goodnight! says Poll to John,
"Goodnight!" says Sue to her sweetheart Hugh, "Goodnight!" says everyone.
Some walked and some did run; some loitered on the way,
And bound themselves by kisses twelve, to meet the next holiday.