One morning in May by chance I did rove,
I sat myself down by the side of a grove,
And there did I hear the sweet nightingale sing,
I never heard so sweet as the birds in the Spring.
All on the green grass I sat myself down
Where the voice of the nightingale echoed around;
Don't you hear how she quivers the notes? I declare
No music, no songster with her can compare.
Come all you young men, I'll have you draw near,
I pray you now heed me these words for to hear,
That when you're grown old you may have it to sing,
That you never heard so sweet as the birds in the Spring.
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Source: Broadwood, Lucy, 1893, English Country Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
Lucy Broadwood wrote:
Sung by Messrs. Upfold and Stanford, farmers, now dead, at Cranleigh, Surrey. This version noted down from Mr Grantham, carter, Holmwood, Surrey. It is properly sung by two voices answering each other. Compare with the version in Barrett's Folk Songs.
Also compare it with Bob and Ron Copper's version.
Roud: 356 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
Related Songs: The Sweet Nightingale (easily confused with)