The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #56663   Message #887083
Posted By: nutty
10-Feb-03 - 05:38 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
Subject: Lyr Add: The Bonny Moon
I have given the song what I believe may be its original title although it is also known as ...

Sweet Silver Moon
Roll on Silver Moon
Sweet silver Light, bonny Moon
Sweet silver light of the moon.

I started out looking for lyrics but became fascinated with the movement of this song from England to the USA and back again pronbably via Ireland.

It appears among the Bodleian Broadsides in the 1820's as a simple three verse song.
In the 1840's it seems to have swept the USA and there is sheet music not just for the song (the words of which were accepted as traditional) but there are Silver Moon quicksteps , foxtrots and Marches and sets of variations to these compositions.

The two verses that I have included in Italics seem to have been added when the song returned to the British Isles and appeared on Broadsides printed in Cork. I feel they add to the song but then I love sentimental songs.

I have not found any trace of the modern chorus that I have heard sung the "There is no song so sweet as when to lover's meet. By the bright, silver light of the moon".
I ould be grateful for any info regarding that and the modern tune as it differs considerably from the sheet music versions.

The Bonny Moon

As I came to my cot at the close of the day
About the beginning of June
By a jessamine shade I espied a fair maid
As she sadly complained to the moon
Roll on, silver moon, guide the traveller's way
While the Nightingale's song is in tune
But I never again with my lover will stray
By thy sweet silver light, bonny moon


On the banks of the Shannon , for hours we've strayed
Where the lambkins so fondly did play
The blackbird and thrush, joined their notes on each bush
And the meadows were charming and gay
There he showed me the ring and appointed the day
And wedded we were to be soon
But, alas, to my grief he lies cold in his clay
By thy sweet silver light bonny moon



As the hart on the mountain, my love he was brave
So handsome, so manly, and clever
So kind and sincere, he loved me so dear
Oh, Edwin , thy equal was never
But now he is dead and gone to his death bed
Cut down like a rose in its bloom
He's fallen asleep and poor Jane's left to weep
By thy sweet silver light, bonny moon


In the dead of the night when the stars shine so bright
I thought I beheld his sweet form
I rushed to embrace but alas t'was a dream
Oh, where then ,my love, have they borne?
Now the willow I'll wear, I shall mark my despair
Bewailing my lovers sad doom
But welcome cold death, It shall end all my care
By thy sweet silver light , bonny moon



His grave I will seek until morning appears
I will weep for my lover so brave
I'll embrace the cold earth and will wash with my tears
The daisies that bloom on his grave
Ah, never again can my bosom know joy
With my Edwin I trust to be soon
And lovers may weep o'er the spot where we sleep
By thy sweet silver light , bonny moon