MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Nightingale
Mike Kent NFLD 1 Tape 10 Track 5
Cape Broyle Audio:
Ballad / love rejected Laws P140

One morning one morning one morning in spring,
The small birds did whistle and the nightingale sing,
To view the green meadows all covered with young,
And the small birds did whistle so joyfully sung.

Was there ever a young man as happy as me,
As me and my Flora, my Flora and me,
I'll go to my Flora and this I will say,
"Love when shall we get married love mention the day."

"To wed a young shepherd my time is not come,
To wed a young shepherd I know I'm too young,
I'm too young I will first go in service until I'm twenty-one,
And then we'll get married if love follows on."

To fulfill her promises in service she went,
For to wait on a lady it was her intent,
For to wait on a lady a rich lady gay,
Young Flora was clothed in a costly array.

He wrote her a letter to know her intent,
The answer she wrote back to me, "Live a long single life,
For I never intended to be a poor shepherd's wife."

On reading those few lines caused him for to smart,
It troubled his mind and grieved him to the heart,
To think that his Flora would write us no more,
In reading this letter grieved him thousand times more.

"I wish I'd never saw you but you too see me,
I wish I never loved you but you'd too loved me,
For my heart is ensnared with your lily-white breast,
I am deeply wounded and I can't find no rest.

"To the green fields I'll now bid adieu,
And to you then dear Flora who proved so untrue,
And to you then dear Flora who proved so unkind,
Like an unconstant lover you have changed your mind."


Notes

Sources: This is the better known of two songs with the same title. It is cited by Mercer 161; Laws P14; Karpeles 232; Peacock 594 ("The Soldier and the Lady") ; Taft 89. This is different from the "Nightingale Laurels" song also sung by Mike Kent.

History:

Text notes: A shepherd asks a girl to marry him. At first she agrees that she will marry him when she is twenty-one, but she changes her mind and rejects him.

Tune notes:  An abba tune in triple metre.

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