Three Old English Songs

Song Cycle by Rebecca Clarke (1886 - 1979)

Word count: 379

1. It was a lover and his lass [sung text not yet checked]

It was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
That o'er the green [corn-field]1 did pass.
  In [the]2 spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

[Between the acres of the rye,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
These pretty country [folks]3 would lie,
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring. ]4

[This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that [a life]5 was but a flower
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.]4

[And therefore take the present time]6
  [With]7 a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
For love is crownéd with the prime
  In the spring time, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding a ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Authorship

See other settings of this text.

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

View original text (without footnotes)
1 Morley: "cornfields"
2 omitted by Barton, Bush, and Morley, passim.
3 Delius, Dring: "folk"
4 In Dring and Parry, only the first and third lines are set.
5 sometimes "life"?
6 Barton, Morley : "Then, pretty lovers, take the time"
7 Bush: "And with"

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

2. Phyllis on the new mown hay 

— This text is not currently
in the database but will be added
as soon as we obtain it. —

Authorship

  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

3. The tailor and his mouse [sung text checked 1 time]

A tailor had a little mouse
Hi diddly um come feedle
They lived together in one house 
Hi diddly um come feedle 

Hi diddly um come tarum tantum, 
Through the town of Ramsey,
Hi diddly um come over the lea, 
Hi diddly um come feedle 

The tailor thought his mouse was ill 
Hi diddly um come feedle
So he gave it half of one blue pill
Hi diddly um come feedle 

Hi diddly um come tarum tantum, 
Through the town of Ramsey,
Hi diddly um come over the lea, 
Hi diddly um come feedle 

The tailor thought his mouse would die 
Hi diddly um come feedle
So he baked it in an apple pie
Hi diddly um come feedle 

Hi diddly um come tarum tantum, 
Through the town of Ramsey,
Hi diddly um come over the lea, 
Hi diddly um come feedle 

The tailor thought his mouse was dead 
Hi diddly um come feedle
So he bought another in his stead
Hi diddly um come feedle 

Hi diddly um come tarum tantum, 
Through the town of Ramsey,
Hi diddly um come over the lea, 
Hi diddly um come feedle 

Authorship

Researcher for this text: Malcolm Wren [Guest Editor]