The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #24241   Message #275333
Posted By: Joe Offer
10-Aug-00 - 05:29 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Dancing at Whitsun
Subject: Lyr Add: DANCING AT WHITSUN (John Austin Marshall)
The lyrics are in the database here (click), but somebody suggested that our transcription of the lyrics is not completely accurate. I've checked CD booklets from Bok-Muir-Trickett and Priscilla Herdman and listened to a Jean Redpath recording, and this is what I've come up with. I can't find a copyright date for the song - can anybody give us copyright information? Also, any additional information about the song or about John Austin Marshall would be helpful. The tune is indicated to be "The False Bride" - is it completely traditional?

(words by Austin John Marshall)

It's fifty long springtimes since she was a bride,
But still you may see her at each Whitsuntide
In a dress of white linen with ribbons of green,
As green as her memories of loving.

The feet that were nimble tread carefully now,
As gentle a measure as age will allow,
Through groves of white blossoms, by fields of young corn,
Where once she was pledged to her true love.

The fields they stand empty, the hedges grow free--
No young men to turn them, our pastures go seed
They are gone where the forests of oak trees before
Have gone, to be wasted in battle.

Down from the green farmlands and from their loved ones
Marched husbands and brothers and fathers and sons.
There's a fine roll of honor where the Maypole once stood,
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun.

There's a straight row of houses in these latter days
All covering the downs where the sheep used to graze.
There's a field of red poppies, a wreath from the Queen
But the ladies remember at Whitsun,
And the ladies go dancing at Whitsun.

on Bok-Trickett-Muir "Harbors of Home." Also Jean Redpath's self-titled Philo album and Tim Hart and Maddy Prior on "Summer Solstice" and Priscilla Herdman on "Water Lily."

Copyright Austin John Marshall 1968
@war @dance
filename[ DNCWHIT
Tune file : FLSEBRD2

Bok-Trickett-Muir say "or pastures go see," and Herdman sings "our pastures go seed." Take your pick, at least until we find a version direct from Marshall. I think Herdman's version makes more sense.
The database says "(a gift from the Queen)" but Herdman, Redpath, and Bok-Trickett-Muir agree on "wreath."

-Joe Offer-