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Alan of Australia Penguin: The Trees They Grow So High (14) Penguin: The Trees They Grow So High 02 Jul 00

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of The Trees They Grow So High can be found here.


The trees they grow so high and the leaves they grow so green.
The day is past and gone, my love, that you and I have seen.
It's a cold winter's night, my love, when I must bide alone,
For my bonny lad is young but a-growing.

As I was a-walking by yonder church wall,
I saw four and twenty young men a-playing at the ball.
I asked for my own true love but they would not let him come,
For they said the boy was young, but a-growing.

'O father, dearest father, you've done to me much wrong.
You've tied me to a boy when you know he is too young.'
'O daughter, dearest daughter, if you'll wait a little while,
A lady you shall be, while he's growing.

'We'll send your love to college, all for a year or two,
And then perhaps in time the boy will do for you.
I'll buy you white ribbons to tie about his waist,
To let the ladies know that he's married.'

And so early in the morning at the dawning of the day,
They went out into the hayfield to have some sport and play,
And what they did there, she never would declare,
But she never more complained of his growing.

And at the age of sixteen he was a married man,
And at the age of seventeen she brought to him a son,
And at the age of eighteen the grass grew over him,
And that soon put an end to his growing.

Sung by unnamed woman singer, Stoke Fleming, Devon (B.B. n.d.)

Click here for another version.

Previous song: Streams Of Lovely Nancy.
Next song: The Whale-Catchers.

Penguin Index provided by Joe Offer


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