by William Shakespeare (1564 - 1616)

It was a lover and his lass
Language: English 
It was a lover and his lass,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino
That o'er the green corn-field did pass.
  In the 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 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. 

This carol they began that hour,
  With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
How that a life 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.

And therefore take the present time
  With 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.

B. King sets lines 4-6
G. Bush sets stanzas 1-2, 4
H. Clough-Leighter sets stanzas 1, 3
A. Foote sets stanzas 1, 4
T. Morley sets stanzas 1, 3-4
F. Delius sets stanzas 1-2, 4

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Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website between May 1995 and September 2003.
Line count: 24
Word count: 190