click to play

There was a knight was drunk with wine
Came riding down the way,
And there he met a lady fair
Among the cocks of hay.

Singing loudly whistle in the wind,
Blow the winds hi, ho!
Blow away the morning dew,
How sweet the winds do blow.

Sahes he, shall you and I lady
Among the grass lie down?
And I will have a special care
Of rumpling your gown.

If you will go along with me
Unto my father's hall
You shall enjoy my maidenhead
And my estates and all.

He put her on a milk-white steed,
Himself upon another,
And all the day they rode along
Like sister and like brother.

And when she came to her father's gate
She tirled at the pin
And ready stood the porter there
To let the fair maid in.

Says she, I am a maid within
And you're a fool without
There never were a butcher boy
Put me in so much doubt.

There is a cock in father's barn
He never trod a hen
He flies about and flaps his wings
And I think you're one of them.

There is a flower in our garden
We call it marigold
And if you will not when you may
You shall not when you would.

When you meet a pretty maid
A mile or two from town
Never mind her gay clothing
But lay her on the ground.

abc | midi | pdf
Source: Sedley S, The Seeds of Love,EFDSS, 1967

Steven Sedley writes:

This story is found throughout European folklore, and the song is widespread in Britain. A particularly fine text of it is reprinted by Child (no 112A). Tune collected by Hammond from William Bartlett, Wimborne, Dorset. Hammonds manuscript note reads: The tune is a mixture of "Morning Dew" and "Blow away Ye Morning Breezes"

The text from Child 112A is reproduced below:

YONDER comes a courteous knight,
Lustely raking ouer the lay;
He was well ware of a bonny lasse,
As she came wandring ouer the way.

Then she sang downe a downe, hey downe derry

'Ioue you speed, fayre lady,' he said,
'Among the leaues that be so greene;
If I were a king, and wore a crowne,
Full soone, fair lady, shouldst thou be a queen.

'Also Ioue saue you, faire lady,
Among the roses that be so red;
If I haue not my will of you,
Full soone, faire lady, shall I be dead.'

Then he lookt east, then hee lookt west,
Hee lookt north, so did he south;
He could not finde a priuy place,
For all lay in the diuel's mouth.

'If you will carry me, gentle sir,
A mayde vnto my father's hall,
Then you shall haue your will of me,
Vnder purple and vnder paule.'

He set her vp vpon a steed,
And him selfe vpon another,
And all the day he rode her by,
As though they had been sister and brother.

When she came to her father's hall,
It was well walled round about;
She yode in at the wicket-gate,
And shut the foure-eard foole without.

'You had me,' quoth she, 'abroad in the field,
Among the corne, amidst the hay,
Where you might had your will of mee,
For, in good faith, sir, I neuer said nay.

'Ye had me also amid the field,
Among the rushes that were so browne,
Where you might had your will of me,
But you had not the face to lay me downe.'

He pulled out his nut-browne sword,
And wipt the rust off with his sleeue,
And said, Ioue's curse come to his heart
That any woman would beleeue!

When you haue you owne true-loue
A mile or twaine out of the towne,
Spare not for her gay clothing,
But lay her body flat on the ground.

There is a version of this on "The Folk Songs of Britain, Volume 5: The Child Ballads No 2" from the singing of Emily Bishop, Bromsberrow Heath, Herefordshire. An extract of the notes is given below:

The earliest known version was printed in Ravenscroft's Deutromelia in 1609, and at the end of the century the story became so popular that three broadside sequelae were published. In the first, the girl pretends her lover is near, and when the knight turns round to look, she pushes him in the water. In the second, she agin pretends willingness and pulls his boots halfway off, then runs away. He is thus unable to pursue her. In the third, she invites him into her castle and lets down the drawbridge, which she has sawn almost in two. It breaks when the knight is halfway across and he tumbles in the moat.

Cecil Sharp collected at least twelve versions, some with the refrain "Blow away the morning dew" and with saucy texts. He rewrote the ballad and in its censured form it came into general use in schools. Thence it passed again into oral circulation, and the school-book versions may have influenced the present text [i.e. Emily Bishop's, not Sedley's - DMcG] However, Emily Bishop, 73 at the time of recording, had a good stock of traditional songs which she learned from her father. He kept the village inn on Bromsberrow Heath and was the leader of the local team of Morris dancers.

Roud: 11 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Child: 112

Related Songs:  Hey Ho, The Morning Dew (thematic)

Browse Titles: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z