Monday, November 9, 2009

The Ash Grove

The Ash Grove is a traditional Welsh tune written in the 1800s, although I didn't learn it until I was in high school. I bought an album of traditional tunes sung by a duet team known for singing sacred songs, and it was full of such wonders that I would sit in front of the hi-fi for hours at a time until the lyrics seeped into my head. The Ash Grove was one of those haunting songs. I play it here on a tenor recorder: (if the media player isn't displaying, you can hear it here.)

Here are the lyrics, in case you'd like to let them sink into your head, too.

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 joyfully 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 grows the bright sunshine o'er valley and mountain,
Still warbles the blackbird his 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, O tell me, where is the sweet maiden?
She sleeps 'neath the green turf down by the Ash grove.

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