The Oak and the Ash

Anonimo (secolo XVI?): The oak and the ash. Custer LaRue, soprano; The Baltimore Consort.
Una malinconica ballad tradizionale inglese, la cui composizione risale probabilmente alla fine del ‘500: collocazione temporale che mi sento di azzardare in virtù del fatto che la melodia è costruita sopra il basso armonico del passamezzo “antico”, esattamente come Greensleeves, altro grande hit di quell’epoca, databile intorno al 1580. La melodia è nota anche con il titolo Quodlings Delight.

A North Countrey Lass
up to London did pass
Although with her Nature it did not agrée
which made her repent
and so often Lament
Still wishing again in the North for to be,
  O the Oak, the Ash, and the bonny Jvy Tree
  doth flourish at home in my own Country.

Fain would I be
in the North Country
Where the ladds and the lasses are making of hay
there should I see
what is pleasant to me
A mischeif light on them intic’d me away.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

Since that I came forth
of the pleasant North
Ther’s nothing delightful I see doth abound,
they never can be
half so merry as we
When we are a dancing of Sellingers round.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

I like not the Court
nor the City resort
Since there no fancy for such maids as me,
their pomp and their pride
I can never abide
Because with my humour it doth not agrée.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

How oft have I been
On the Westmorland green
Where the young men and Maidens resort for to play
where we with delight
from morning till night
Could feast it and Frollick on each Holliday.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

A Milking to go
All the Maids on a row
It was a fine sight and pleasant to see.
but here in the City
they are void of pitty
There is no in injoyment of Liberty.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

When I had the heart
From my friends to depart
I though I should be a Lady at last
but now I do find
that it troubles my mind
Because that my joyes and my pleasure is past.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

The yows and the Lambs
With the Kidds and their Damms
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 so pleasant and gsy.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

At Wakes and at Fairs
Being void 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.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

Yet still I perceive
I a husband might have
If I to the City my mind could but frame,
but i’le have a Lad
That is North-Countrey bred
Or else i’le not marry inth’ mind that I am.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

A maiden I am
And a maid i’le remain
Until my own Countrey again I do see
for here in this place
I shall ner’ see the face
Of him that’s alotted my Love for to be.
  O the Oak, the Ash…

Then farwel my Daddy
Ind farwel my Mammy,
Until I do see you I nothing but mourn
Remembring my Brothers
my Sisters & others,
In less than a year I hope to return.
Then the Oak and Ash, and the bonny Ivy Tree,
I shall see them at home in my own Countrey.

8 pensieri su “The Oak and the Ash

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