As through the grove young Johnny did pass,
He met Miss Molly; "Come my lass,"
And took her by the hand.
(Chorus: And took her by the hand.)
Said he, "Sweet maid, if you'll agree,
To go to yonder grove with me,
O, there we'll have some serious talk,
We'll take a sweet, commodious walk,
And you shall be my bride.
(Chorus: And you shall be my bride.)
The blushing maid made this reply,
"I fear young men are gien to lie,
I dare not gie consent.
(Chorus: I dare not gie consent.)
"If though the grove with you I go,
And on you should my heart bestow;
When you had found a fairer maid,
For her you'd quit me, I'm afraid,
And leave me to lament."
(Chorus: And leave me to lament.)
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Source: Kidson F, 1891, Traditional Tunes, A Collection of Ballad Airs, Oxford, Taphouse and Son
Frank Kidson wrote:
Early in the century "Through the Grove" used to be sung at villages near Leeds, and I have not been able to hear of the song in any other district. The air is a fine one, and is sung by one singer as a solo, the rest of the company singing the two terminal bars of each strain as chorus.
Ballad writers have always been fond of grandiloquent language, and it is most probable that the charming expression commodious walk, has originally stood Umbrageous walk.
The story is told of a farmer lad who at a Methodist Chapel, on the occasion of a new hymn being sung, was observed to join in lustily, although the unfamiliar melody baffled most of the congregation. "Tha seemd to knaw t'hymn, lad," said one of them to him. "Hymn?" replied the boy; "Why, I thowt they were all singing 'Through the Grove.'"
Roud: 1682 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six