The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #54253   Message #2894376
Posted By: Jim Dixon
26-Apr-10 - 12:42 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/ADD: Only a Leaf from a Rosebud
Here's my transcription from an archival sound recording at the British Library,
Sung by John Hodson of Aldborough, East Riding of Yorkshire, England, UK, in 1972.


1. In a broken-down attic with walls dim and bare,
Where the sunshine it never did stray,
Haggard and worn on a mattress of straw,
An old man lay dying one day.
They said he was dying, and clasped in his arms
Was a book that was withered and old,
And in it a leaf, a little rose leaf,
But ah! what a story it told!

CHORUS: Only a leaf, ah, but what grief it caused in the days long ago!
Once it was red. Now it's faded and dead, and the woman who wore it lies low.
She was a beautiful angel. She should have been my wife.
Only a leaf from a rosebud, it changed the whole course of my life.

2. "I once had a sweetheart," the dying man said.
"I'd also a rival, I knew.
He was wealthy and grand, the lord of the land.
What wonderful things gold can do!
I recall when she answered, 'Tonight at the ball,
If I wed you, a white rose I'll wear,
But if it be red, Sir Charles I must wed.'
That night a leaf fell from her hair.

3. "Now to seek consolation, I sailed o'er the foam,
And four years a reckless life led.
At last I returned to my own native land
To find my life's darling was dead.
She'd married my rival, her father to save
From ruin and shame, so folks say,
And it broke her poor heart, and like this rose leaf,
She withered and faded away."