v 6.30.00
28 Jan 2022
updated 28 Jan 2022

The Ash Grove

Down yonder green valley, where streamlets meander,
When twilight is fading I pensively rove
Or at the bright noontide in solitude wander,
Amid the dark shades of the lonely ash grove;
'Twas there, while the blackbird was cheerfully singing,
I first met my dear one, the joy of my heart!
Around us for gladness the bluebells were ringing,
Ah! then little thought I how soon we should part.

Still glows the bright sunshine o'er valley and mountain,
Still warbles the blackbird its note from the tree;
Still trembles the moonbeam on streamlet and fountain,
But what are the beauties of nature to me?
With sorrow, deep sorrow, my bosom is laden,
All day I go mourning in search of my love;
Ye echoes, oh, tell me, where is the sweet maiden?
"She sleeps, 'neath the green turf down by the ash grove."
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I'd hoped to find this sung by a Welsh male voice choir, or at least a lugubrious tenor, but the best available is surely the following


though for some reason(s) Eboracus prefers another, similar, rendering


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More seriously, for once, this and similar folksongs were what we sang in the twice-weekly music lessons held by Miss Williams in the chapel of Kingsmoor School during the early 1950's. Wonderful tunes, emotive – or jocular – lyrics (Shenandoah, The Camptown Races, Oh My Darling Clementine, On Ilkley Moor Baht 'At, and so many others)