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One morning in the month of May,
As from my cot I strayed,
Just at the dawning of the day,
I met a charming maid,
I met a charming maid.

"Good morning, fair maid! Whither," says I,
"So early? Tell me now."
The maid replied, "Kind Sir," she cried,
"I've lost my spotted cow."

"No more complain, no longer mourn,
Your cow is not lost, my dear.
I saw her down in yonder lawn;
Come, love, I'll show you where."

"I must confess you're very kind,
I thank you, Sir," said she.
"You will be sure she's there to find?"
"Come, sweetheart, go with me."

Into the grove we did repair,
Across the flowery dell,
We hugged and kissed each other there,
And love was all our tale.

Into the grove we spent the day,
And thought it passed too soon.
At night we homeward bent our way,
And brightly shone the moon.

If I should cross yon flowery dell,
Or go to view the plough,
She comes and calls her gentle swain:
"I've lost my spotted cow."

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Source: Purslow, F, (1968), The Wanton Seed, EDFS, London

Frank Purslow wrote:

Tune and text from Amos Ash of Combe Florey, Somerset. Hammond S.4. Another example of the idyllic rural (but town-made) song - by so many people still thought to be typical of folk-song, breathing the sweet unpolluted air of scented flowery dells, full of innocence and purity. All the same, I'm not sure that "the spotted cow," especially at the end of the song, is everything it appears to be.

Chiefly found in tradition in England, where it persists to the present day, and widely printed on broadsides during the 19th century. Baring Gould (Songs of the West) states that "The earliest form of the words is found in a garland printed by Angus of Newcastle, B.M. (11,621,c.4)". Angus was active between around 1774 and 1825.

Roud: 956 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

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