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Here the rosebuds in June, and the violets are blowing
The small birds they warble on ev'ry green bough,
Here's the pink and the lily, and the daffy down dilly
To adorn and perfume those sweet meadows in June.

If it weren't for the plough the fat ox would go slow
And the lads and the bonny lasses to the sheep shearing go.

Our shepherds rejoice in their fine heavy fleeces,
And the frisky young lambs which their flocks do increase.
Each lad takes his lass all on the green grass,
To adorn and perfume those meadows in June.

Our clean milking pails, they are fouled with good ale,
At the table there is plenty of cheer to be found.
We'll whistle and sing, and dance in a ring,
To adorn and perfume those sweet meadows in June.

Now the sheep shearing's over and the harvest draws nigh;
We'll prepare for the fields our strength for to try:
We'll reap and we'll mow, we'll plough and we'll sow,
To adorn and perfume those sweet meadows in June.

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Source: Jones Lewis, 1995, Sweet Sussex, Ferret Publ, Sutton Coldfield

Reprinted by Ferret Publications from Songs of the Peasantry of the Weald of Surry and Sussex, arranged by GA Dusart and published privately and anonymously by John Broadwood in 1843.

According to John Broadwood's notes, the omission of 'sweet' in 'To adorn and perfume those sweet meadows in June' from the second verse is accurate.

Roud: 812 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

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