Six Choral Folksongs (Gustav Holst)

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  • (Posted 2016-05-09)   CPDL #39618:   
Editor: Peter Kaplan (submitted 2016-05-09).   Score information: Letter, 36 pages, 5.41 MB   Copyright: CPDL
Edition notes: With piano reduction for rehearsal only. Bass/baritone parts split out on one movement for readability. Lilypond source files available on each individual movement's page in ChoralWiki.

General Information

Title: Six Choral Folksongs, H136, Op. 36b
Composer: Gustav Holst
Lyricist: folksong collected by G.B. Gardinercreate page

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB with divisi more or less throughout
Genre: SecularFolksong

Language: English
Instruments: A cappella

First published: 1916

Description:

1. I sowed the seeds of love
2. There was a tree
3. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John
4. Song of the Blacksmith
5. I love my love
6. Swansea Town

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text


1.

1 I sowed the seeds of love
I sowed them in the spring
I gather'd them up in the morning so soon
When small birds sweetly sing

2 My garden was planted well
With flowers everywhere
But I had not the liberty to choose
The flow'r that I lov'd so dear

3 The gardener standing by
I asked him to choose for me
He chose for me the violet, the lily, the pink
But these I refused all three

4 The violet I did not like
Because it fades so soon
The lily and pink I did over-think
And vow'd I would wait till June

5 In June is a red, red Rose
And that is the flower for me
I'll pluck it and think that no lily or pink
Can match with the bud on that tree

2.

1 There was a tree all in the woods,
As fine a tree as ever you did see,
For the tree was in the woods,
And the woods lie in the valley below.

2 There was a limb all on the tree,
As fine a limb as ever you did see,
For the limb was on the tree,
And the tree was in the woods,
And the woods lie in the valley below.

3 There was a bough all on the tree,
As fine a bough as ever you did see,
For the bough was on the limb,
And the limb was on the tree,
And the tree was in the woods,
And the woods lie in the valley below.

4 There was a bird all on the tree,
The finest bird that ever you did see,
For the bird was on the bough,
And the bough was on the limb,
And the limb was on the tree,
And the tree was in the woods,
And the woods lie in the valley below.

3.

1 Matthew, Mark and Luke and John,
Bless the bed that I lie on.
Four angels to my bed,
Two to bottom, two to head,
Two to hear me when I pray,
Two to bear my soul away.

2 God is the branch and I the flower,
Pray God send me a blessed hour.
I go to bed some sleep to take:
The Lord, He knows if I shall wake.
Sleep I ever, sleep I never,
God receive my soul for ever.

4.

Kang, kang, kang ki ki kang kang.

For the blacksmith courted me, nine months and better;
And first he won my heart, till he wrote to me a letter.
With his hammer in his hand, as he strikes so mighty and clever,
He makes the sparks to fly all around his middle.

5.
 
1 Abroad as I was walking
One evening in the spring
I heard a maid in Bedlam
So sweetly for to sing;
Her chain she rattled with her hands
And thus replied she:

Chorus:
I love my love
Because I know
My love loves me

2 Oh cruel were his parents
Who sent my love to sea
And cruel was the ship
That bore my love from me:

Yet I love his parents
Since they’re his although
they’ve ruined me:
Chorus

3 Just as she there sat weeping
Her love he came on land
Then, hearing she was in Bedlam
He ran straight out of hand;
He flew into her snow-white arms
And thus replied he:
Chorus

4 She said: “My love don’t frighten me,
are you my love or no?”
“O yes, my dearest Nancy,
I am your love, also
I am returned to make amends
for all your injury.”
Chorus

5 So now these two are married,
And happy may they be like turtle
Doves together, in love and unity.
All pretty maids with patience wait
That have got loves at sea;
Chorus

6.

1 Oh! Farewell to you, my Nancy, ten thousand times adieu,
I'm bound to cross the ocean, girl, once more to part with you;
Once more to part from you, fine girl, you're the girl that I adore,
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea Town once more.

2 Oh! It's now that I am out to sea, and you are far behind,
Kind letters I will write to you of the secrets of my mind;
The secrets of my mind, fine, girl, you're the girl that I adore,
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea Town once more.

3 Oh now the storm it's rising, I can see it coming on,
The night so dark as anything, we cannot see the moon;
Our good old ship she is toss'd aft, our rigging is all tore
But still I live in hopes to see old Swansea Town once more.

4 Oh, it's now the storm is over and we are safe on shore,
We'll drink strong drinks and brandies too to the girls that we adore;
To the girls that we adore, fine girls, we'll make this tavern roar,
And when our money is all gone, we'll go to sea for more.