As I Walkèd Forth In The Pride Of The Season
(Kenneth Peacock)

See also: Pride Of The Season (Mary Humphreys)

As I walkèd forth in the pride of the season,
Thinking some pastime there for to see;
Who should I spy but a lovely fair damsel,
Sitting all alone under a shady green tree.

I said, "Me dear, me duck, and me darling,
There's no tongue can tell how well I love thee;
You shan't want for love or for money,
If you will affix your affection on me."

She says, "Kind sir, you are better providing,
I am a poor girl and so low degree;
Your friends and relations will always be scolding,
And in my low station contented I will be."

"I am a young man as thou art a virgin,
Married unto you content I will be;
Don't talk of friends, love, or any relations,
I have no riches at all to give thee."

She sat herself down and I sat myself by her,
We fell a-rifling in each other's arms;
With sweet milk and kisses and fonder embraces,
We tasted the fruit of each other's charms.

This couple fell asleep for the space of three hours,
In under the youth of a shady green tree;
When he awoke and he found her no virgin,
"Married unto you I never will be."

As I lay my head on that young man's pillow,
Thinking the pillow it would be my own;
But me, a poor girl, must wear the green willow,
Young men are false and it's very well known.

Come all you pretty fair maids
now by me take a warning,
Don't never trust a young man in any degree;
For when they have tasted
the sweet fruits of your garden,
Yours will go leave you as mine has leaved me.

Ripest of apples and soon they are rotten,
Hottest of love and soon it is cold;
Young men's vows are soonly forgotten,
Take care, pretty fair maid,
don't never be controlled.

####.... Author unknown. Traditional Newfoundland ballad ....####

Collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Freeman Bennett [1908-2006] of St Paul's, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 2, pp.422-423, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

Kenneth Peacock noted that this lament with its lovely Dorian tune is one of the most beautiful and rare of the Newfoundland collection. Wearing the green willow (verse 7) is a sign of mourning or great personal grief. If anyone still has doubts about the use of the garden as a fertility or sexual symbol, line three of verse 8 clears up the matter in so many words.

A variant was recorded as Pride Of The Season by Mary Humphreys (Sharp Practice, ©2003, Wild Goose Records).


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