Nine "Shropshire Lad" Songs

Song Cycle by Alfred Redgrave Cripps (1882 - 1950)

Word count: 954

?. Far in a western brookland [sung text not yet checked]

Far in a western brookland
  That bred me long ago
The poplars stand and tremble
  By pools I used to know.

There, in the windless night-time,
  The wanderer, marvelling why,
Halts on the bridge to hearken
  How soft the poplars sigh.

He hears: no more remembered
  In fields where I was known,
Here I lie down in London
  And turn to rest alone.

There, by the starlit fences,
  The wanderer halts and hears
My soul that lingers sighing
  About the glimmering weirs.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers [sung text not yet checked]

Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers
Are lying in field and lane,
With dandelions to tell the hours
That never are told again.
Oh may I squire you round the meads
And pick you posies gay?
- 'Twill do no harm to take my arm.
"You may, young man, you may."

Ah, spring was sent for lass and lad,
'Tis now the blood runs gold,
And man and maid had best be glad
Before the world is old.
What flowers to-day may flower to-morrow,
But never as good as new.
- Suppose I wound my arm right round - 
"'Tis true, young man, 'tis true."

Some lads there are, 'tis shame to say,
That only court to thieve,
And once they bear the bloom away
'Tis little enough they leave.
Then keep your heart for men like me
And safe from trustless chaps.
My love is true and all for you.
"Perhaps, young man, perhaps."

Oh, look in my eyes, then, can you doubt?
- Why, 'tis a mile from town.
How green the grass is all about!
We might as well sit down.
- Ah, life, what is it but a flower?
Why must true lovers sigh?
Be kind, have pity, my own, my pretty, - 
"Good-bye, young man, good-bye."

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. Think no more, lad; laugh, be jolly [sung text not yet checked]

Think no more, lad; laugh, be jolly;
Why should men make haste to die?
Empty heads and tongues a-talking
Make the rough road easy walking,
And the feather pate of folly
Bears the falling sky.

Oh, 'tis jesting, dancing, drinking
Spins the heavy world around.
If young hearts were not so clever,
Oh, they would be young for ever;
Think no more; 'tis only thinking
Lays lads underground.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "אל תחשוב עוד", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. With rue my heart is laden [sung text not yet checked]

With rue my heart is laden
 For golden friends I had,
For many a rose-lipt maiden
 And many a lightfoot lad.

By brooks too broad for leaping
 The lightfoot boys are laid;
The rose-lipt girls are sleeping 
 In fields where roses fade.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Is my team ploughing [sung text not yet checked]

"Is my team ploughing,
That I was used to drive
And hear the harness jingle
When I was man alive?"

Ay, the horses trample,
The harness jingles now;
No change though you lie under
The land you used to plough.

"Is football playing
Along the river-shore,
With lads to chase the leather,
Now I stand up no more?"

Ay, the ball is flying,
The lads play heart and soul;
The goal stands up, the keeper
Stands up to keep the goal. 

"Is my girl happy,
That I thought hard to leave,
And has she tired of weeping
As she lies down at eve?"

Ay, she lies down lightly,
She lies not down to weep:
Your girl is well contented.
Be still, my lad, and sleep.

"Is my friend hearty,
Now I am thin and pine,
And has he found to sleep in
A better bed than mine?"

Yes, lad, I lie easy,
I lie as lads would choose;
I cheer a dead man's sweetheart,
Never ask me whose.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , "Mon attelage laboure-t-il ?", copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "האם הצמד שלי חורש", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. On the idle hill of summer [sung text not yet checked]

On the idle hill of summer,
Sleepy with the flow of streams,
Far I hear the steady drummer
Drumming like a noise in dreams.

Far and near and low and louder,
On the roads of earth go by,
Dear to friends and food for powder,
Soldiers marching, all to die.

East and west on fields forgotten
Bleach the bones of comrades slain,
Lovely lads and dead and rotten;
None that go return again.

Far the calling bugles hollo,
High the screaming fife replies,
Gay the files of scarlet follow:
Woman bore me, I will rise.

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. The lads in their hundreds to Ludlow come in for the fair [sung text not yet checked]

The lads in their hundreds to Ludlow come in for the fair,
  There's men from the barn and the forge and the mill and the fold,
The lads for the girls and the lads for the liquor are there,
  And there with the rest are the lads that will never be old.

There's chaps from the town and the field and the till and the cart,
  And many to count are the stalwart, and many the brave,
And many the handsome of face and the handsome of heart,
  And few that will carry their looks or their truth to the grave.

I wish one could know them, I wish there were tokens to tell
  The fortunate fellows that now you can never discern;
And then one could talk with them friendly and wish them farewell
  And watch them depart on the way that they will not return.

But now you may stare as you like and there's nothing to scan;
  And brushing your elbow unguessed-at and not to be told
They carry back bright to the coiner the mintage of man,
  The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.

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

  • FRE French (Français) (Patricia Dillard Eguchi) , copyright © 2018, (re)printed on this website with kind permission
  • HEB Hebrew (עברית) (Max Mader) , "הבחורים במאות", copyright © 2014, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

?. Into my heart [sung text not yet checked]

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows:
What are those blue remembered hills,
What spires, what farms are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot come again.

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

  • ITA Italian (Italiano) (Ferdinando Albeggiani) , "Dentro il mio cuore un vento che uccide", copyright © 2009, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Ted Perry

?. It nods and curtseys and recovers [sung text not yet checked]

It nods and curtseys and recovers
When the wind blows above,
The nettle on the graves of lovers
That hanged themselves for love.

The nettle nods, the wind blows over,
The man, he does not move,
The lover of the grave, the lover
That hanged himself for love.

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Researcher for this text: Ted Perry