In yon garden fine an' gay
Picking lilies a' the day
Gath'ring flow'rs of ilka hue,
I wist na then what love cou'd do.
Where love is planted there it grows,
It buds and blows like any rose
It has a sweet and pleasant smell.
No flow'r on earth can it excel.
I put my hand into the bush,
And thought the sweetest rose to find,
But pricked my finger to the bone
And left the sweetest rose behind.
Source: Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society
, Dec 1954
This is one of several songs in the Journal article by J. W. Allen that are all connected to 'O Waly Waly'. This is the earliest tune that he could discover for a subgroup that he called 'Down in the Meadows'. It is taken from the sixth volume of Johnson's Scots Musical Museum
and published in 1803. "Johnson does not say how or where he got it, but there is little doubt that it came from oral tradition".
The second bar is too long, but I have left it as shown.
(Search Roud index at VWML)
O Waly, Waly