The Oak and the Ash (North Country Maid), folk song
by The King’s Singers
Lyrics and Meaning
The Oak and the Ash (North Country Maid), folk song Lyrics
A North Country maid up to London had strayed,
Alt hough with her nature it did not agree,
Which made her repent, and so bitterly lament,
Em B7 Em B7
Oh I wish once a gain for the North Coun try.
G Em Am7 D
Oh the oak and the ash and the bonnie ivy tree,
Em B7 Em D Em
They flourish at home in my own coun try.
O fain would I be in the North Country,
Where the lads and lasses are making of hay;
There should I see what is pleasant to me,
A mischief light on them entic'd me away!
I like not the court, nor the city resort,
Since there is no fancy tor sucn maids as me;
Their pomp and their pride I can never abide,
Because with my humor it does not agree.
How oft have I been in the Westmoreland green,
Where the young men and maidens resort for to play,
Where we with delight, from morning till night,
Could feast it and frolic on each holiday.
The ewes and their lambs, with the kids and their dam:
To see in the country how finely they play;
The bells they do ring, and the birds they do sing,
And the fields and the gardens are pleasant and gay.
At wakes and at fairs, being freed of all cares,
We there with our lovers did use for to dance;
Then hard hap had I, my ill fortune to try,
And so up to London, my steps to advance.
But still I perceive, I a husband might have,
If I to the city my mind could but frame;
But I'll have a lad that is North Country bred,
Or else I'll not marry, in the mind that I am.
A maiden I am, and a maid I'll remain,
Until my own country again do I see,
For here in this place I shall ne'er see the face
Of him that's allotted my love for to be.
Then farewell my daddy, and farewell my mammy,
Until I do see you, I nothing but mourn;
Rememb'ring my brothers, my sisters, and others,
In less than a year I hope to return.
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by Thomas Morley, The King’s Singers