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Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme

DigiTrad:
IN MY GARDEN GREW PLENTY OF THYME
LET NO MAN STEAL YOUR THYME
SEEDS OF LOVE
WHEN I WAS IN MY PRIME


Related threads:
Lyr Req: I sowed the seeds of love (17)
Lyr Add: Gardner Lad (original) (2)
Lyr Req: I sowed the seeds of love (17)


In Mudcat MIDIs:
In My Garden Grew Plenty of Thyme


06 Mar 98 - 07:04 PM
Jerry Friedman 06 Mar 98 - 09:35 PM
BAZ 08 Mar 98 - 07:13 PM
Bruce O. 09 Mar 98 - 03:35 PM
Walter P. 18 Mar 98 - 09:26 AM
Bruce O. 18 Mar 98 - 10:58 AM
Joe Offer 25 Jun 20 - 03:14 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Jun 20 - 11:01 AM
Steve Gardham 25 Jun 20 - 05:36 PM
Richard Mellish 26 Jun 20 - 02:54 PM
cnd 27 Jun 20 - 09:48 AM
Richard Mellish 28 Jun 20 - 06:47 AM
cnd 28 Jun 20 - 10:51 AM
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Subject: Lyr/Tune Add: FLOWERS AND WEEDS/WHEN HA BLEJENNOW
From:
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 07:04 PM

Flowers and Weeds

In my garden grew plenty of thyme,
It would flourish by day and by night;
O'er the wall came a lad,
He took all that I had,
And he stole my thyme away,
And he stole my thyme away.

My garden with heartsease was bright,
The pansy so pied and so gay,
One slipped through the gate,
And alas, cruel fate,
My heartsease took away,
My heartsease took away.


My garden grew self heal and balm,
And speed well that's blue for an hour,
Then blossoms again,
grievous my pain,
I'm plundered of each flower,
I'm plundered of each flower.

There grows in my garden the rue,
And love lies a bleeding there,
The hyssop and myrrh,
The teazle and burr,
In place of blossoms fair,
In place of blossoms fair.

The willow with branches that weep,
The thorn and cypress tree,
O why were the seeds,
O dolorous weeds
scattered there by thee,
Thus scattered there by thee.


The words and music given here were collected by Baring Gould from Joseph Dyer of St Mawgan in Pydar in 1891. He noted variants from James Parsons and a J. Hext of Postbridge which were published in 'Songs and Ballads of the West' and 'National Songs of the Celtic Countries' (Published by the Celtic Congress) respectively. Variants with different tunes were noted by Chapel and Cecil Sharp and the words belong to the family categorised by Child as 'The Sprig of Thyme'.

Agas Dyw gans mos hwi
BAZ

When Ha Blejennow

Ow lowarth o gans tym lenwys,
A lassa y'n jeth hag y'n nos,
Dres an fos maw a dheth,
Gans puptra yth eth,
Ha ladra ow thym pup tos,
Ha ladra ow thym pup tos.

Gans esholon ow lowarth o splan,
Blejyow mar vryth pup seson
Dres an yet y slynkyas,
Fel tenkys ellas,
Y tuk a ves ow esholon,
Y tuk a ves ow esholon.

Gwenynles hag onsawya 'th esa dhym,
Losow glas un owr gwelys,
Kens blejowa arta,
Ow fayn pos ova,
A bup-blejen 'th of-vy predhys,
A bup-blejen 'th of-vy predhys.

Losow-sul a dyf yn ow lowarth,
Whroweth yn gos kerensa,
Saworles ha myr,
Crybellyk yn sur,
Yn le an blejennow tecca,
Yn le an blejennow tecca.

Helygen ha'y scoren-ola,
Spernen ha gwedhen felsys,
Prak yth esa hasen
Ankensy pup whennen
Yndella genes scullys,
Yndella genes scullys.

MIDI file: FLOWEED.mid

Timebase: 480

Tempo: 070 (857142 microsec/crotchet)
Key: D
TimeSig: 6/8 36 8
Name: FLOWERS AND WEEDS
Text: S:MERVE DAVEY, HENEGAN
Start
0000 1 71 127 0119 0 71 000 0001 1 73 090 0119 0 73 000 0001 1 74 127 0239 0 74 000 0001 1 73 090 0239 0 73 000 0001 1 71 090 0239 0 71 000 0001 1 76 120 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 74 090 0239 0 74 000 0001 1 76 090 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 78 127 1199 0 78 000 0001 1 76 090 0119 0 76 000 0001 1 78 090 0119 0 78 000 0001 1 79 127 0239 0 79 000 0001 1 78 090 0239 0 78 000 0001 1 76 090 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 76 120 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 78 090 0239 0 78 000 0001 1 76 090 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 74 127 1199 0 74 000 0001 1 81 090 0119 0 81 000 0001 1 81 090 0119 0 81 000 0001 1 81 127 0359 0 81 000 0001 1 81 090 0119 0 81 000 0001 1 78 090 0239 0 78 000 0001 1 79 120 0479 0 79 000 0001 1 78 090 0119 0 78 000 0001 1 79 090 0119 0 79 000 0001 1 81 127 0239 0 81 000 0001 1 79 090 0239 0 79 000 0001 1 76 090 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 78 120 0479 0 78 000 0001 1 74 090 0119 0 74 000 0001 1 76 090 0119 0 76 000 0001 1 78 127 0479 0 78 000 0001 1 76 090 0119 0 76 000 0001 1 74 090 0119 0 74 000 0001 1 73 120 0479 0 73 000 0001 1 76 090 0119 0 76 000 0001 1 74 090 0119 0 74 000 0001 1 71 127 1199 0 71 000 0001 1 74 090 0119 0 74 000 0001 1 78 090 0119 0 78 000 0001 1 76 127 0239 0 76 000 0001 1 79 090 0239 0 79 000 0001 1 78 090 0239 0 78 000 0001 1 76 120 0479 0 76 000 0001 1 73 090 0119 0 73 000 0001 1 69 090 0119 0 69 000 0001 1 71 127 1439 0 71 000
End

This program is worth the effort of learning it.

To download the January 15 MIDItext 98 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X: 1
T:FLOWERS AND WEEDS
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:60
S:MERVE DAVEY, HENEGAN
K:D
B/2c/2|dcB ede|f3-f2e/2f/2|gfe efe|d3-d2a/2a/2|a3/2a/2fg2f/2g/2|
agef2d/2e/2|f2e/2d/2c2e/2d/2|B3-B2d/2f/2|egfe2c/2A/2|B3-B3||


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Subject: RE: ADD LYR Flowers and Weeds
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 06 Mar 98 - 09:35 PM

What language is that, Cornish? And does the thyme pun work in that language?


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Subject: RE: ADD LYR Flowers and Weeds
From: BAZ
Date: 08 Mar 98 - 07:13 PM

Yes. It's a version of the language called Unified Cornish. Great Minds are at this moment researching the tongue to provide us with a common version. But the numbers of us that can speak it are growing.
The pun works just the same it must be universal I reckon.
Baz


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Subject: RE: ADD LYR Flowers and Weeds
From: Bruce O.
Date: 09 Mar 98 - 03:35 PM

This is well known elsewhere by other names. I have little doubt that the Child ballad "The Gardener Lad", "The Seeds of Love", and "The Garden of Thyme" are all from a lost 17th century broadside ballad, probably called "The Maids Garden of Tyme". The sequel to it is "The Young-Mans Answer to the Maids Garden of Tyme", 1696, ZN1741, in my internet broadside index (in the links on this forum's home page as 17th century ballads).


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Subject: RE: ADD LYR Flowers and Weeds
From: Walter P.
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 09:26 AM

I'm still new to this forum. I would like to look at the sequel to "Garden of Tyme", which you mention, "The Young-Mans Answer", but I don't see links on the forum home page to ZN1741, "internet broadside index", or "17th century ballads" ... all I see are the current threads of the forum discussion. Odds are I'm not at the correct home page.....


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Subject: RE: ADD LYR Flowers and Weeds
From: Bruce O.
Date: 18 Mar 98 - 10:58 AM

I thought I posted it, but couldn't find what thread. It's now in a new thread, Gardner Lad


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 03:14 AM

We could probably spend some time exploring this family of songs. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

In My Garden Grew Plenty of Thyme

DESCRIPTION: The singer laments the loss of her thyme. She had spent her life making herself fair, only to find her thyme stolen by a sailor. Now "I gaze on the willow tree," and "I would I were clasped in my lover's arms fast, for 'tis he who has stolen my thyme"
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1891 (Reeves-Circle)
KEYWORDS: loneliness sailor seduction virginity gardening
FOUND IN: US(Ap,MW,So) Britain(England(Lond,South)) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (15 citations):
Williams-Thames, pp. 85-86, "I Once Had Plenty of Thyme" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 451)
Reeves-Circle 116D, "Flowers and Weeds" (1 text)
VaughanWilliams/Palmer, #86, "The Red Running Rue" (1 text, 1 tune, although since Vaughan Williams took down only the first and last verses, it's not absolutely clear that the tune goes with this song)
Randolph 90, "Keep Your Garden Clean" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph/Cohen, pp. 122-124, "Keep Your Garden Clean" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 90)
Wells, pp. 272-273, "Keep Your Garden Clean" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy 28, "Once I Had Plenty of Thyme" (2 texts, 1 tune, although both texts are largely derived from "The Seeds of Love")
Sharp-100E 34, "The Sprig of Thyme" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 138, "The Green Willow Tree: or, Once I Had Plenty of Thyme" (1 text)
Burton/Manning1, p. 90, "A Warning Song" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-1ed, pp. 196-197, "Come All You Pretty Fair Maids" (1 text, 1 tune)
Owens-2ed, p. 52, "Come All You Pretty Fair Maids" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 26, "When I Was in My Prime" (1 text, 1 tune, more like this than the other thyme songs, though it's long and has probably picked up some outside elements)
Pottie/Ellis, pp. 98-99, "When I Was In My Prime" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, THYMEGAR THYMSEED (THYMTH2)

Roud #3
RECORDINGS:
Cyril Poacher, "Plenty of Thyme" (on Voice12)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(2793), "Sprig of Thyme," J.O. Bebbington (Manchester), 1855-1858
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Seeds of Love"
cf. "Thyme, It Is a Precious Thing"
cf. "The Gowans are Gay"
cf. "Garners Gay (Rue; The Sprig of Thyme)"
NOTES [256 words]: In flower symbolism, thyme stood for virginity. For a catalog of some of the sundry flower symbols, see the notes to "The Broken-Hearted Gardener."
Thyme songs are almost impossible to tell apart, because of course the plot (someone seduces the girl) and the burden (let no man steal your thyme) are always identical. For the same reasons, verses float freely between them. So fragmentary versions are almost impossible to classify. Steve Roud seems to lump all of them.
The Digital Tradition has a version, "Rue and Thyme," which seems to have almost all the common elements. Whether it is the ancestor of the various thyme songs, or a gathering together of separate pieces, is not clear to me.
The first line here, "In my garden grew plenty of thyme," is diagnostic but sometimes absent. The thrust of the song is how hard the woman worked to make herself beautiful, only to spoil it by losing her virginity.
To show how difficult it is to classify all this, Randolph and Ritchie have texts of this called "Keep Your Garden Clean" which are pretty much the same except for the first verse. On the basis of that distinction, I filed Randolph' with "In My Garden Grew Plenty of Thyme" and Ritchie's with "Garners Gay (Rue; The Sprig of Thyme)."
Many, including Randolph, Ritchie, and Roud, simply lump the whole business as versions of "The Seeds of Love."
Child prints a text (additions and corrections to "The Gardener", p. 258 in Volume V of the Dover edition) which conflates this song, or something similar, with that ballad. - RBW
Last updated in version 5.1
File: R090

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2020 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 11:01 AM

Hi Joe
Yes this mostly lyric piece has always presented difficulties of classification. Whilst it is possible to separate out 2 main streams, one epitomised by 'Seeds of Love' variants and the other by 'Sprig of Thyme' variants, I can sympathise with those like Steve who lump the whole lot together. Even after studying the whole corpus comparatively, particularly the 18th century versions it is still difficult to separate the two, as they do have stanzas in common. Somebody with the patience of Bob Waltz might be able to separate them out.

The pieces are obviously at least as old as the early 18th century and they have been rewritten for the broadside press many times, the appeal being the mildly clever allegories involved.

The 'Seeds of Love' variants could be said to make up a more autonomous collection as their sets of stanzas are more stable, the longest probably being the Pitts version, whereas 'Sprig of Thyme' variants of the late 18th century vary enormously. Check out 'The Encouraging Gardener' on the Bodl site (c1770). Odd stanzas turn up in all sorts of combinations of the same period.

If I think 2 ballads need separate Roud numbers I normally fight my corner very strongly (e.g. The Died for Love' separations) but on this one I'm happy for now to leave them as collectively Roud 3.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 25 Jun 20 - 05:36 PM

FWIW
I personally think the Baring Gould Child piece is a concoction by BG, another rewrite on the theme.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 26 Jun 20 - 02:54 PM

One friend of mine (but I've forgotten who) used to lump the whole lot together as "Let no gardener steal your wanton seeds of thyme".

I have a recording of the late (I believe) Val Watmough singing four versions straight off without mixing them up, which I regard as a tour to force. I can put it on line if people would like to hear it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: cnd
Date: 27 Jun 20 - 09:48 AM

Richard, I think that would be interesting to hear!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 28 Jun 20 - 06:47 AM

B---y typo! "tour to force" should of course be "tour de force".

My recording of Val is now here. Recorded at her house in Blackbird Leys, 30-11-1967.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Flowers and Weeds / Plenty of Thyme
From: cnd
Date: 28 Jun 20 - 10:51 AM

Thanks for sharing, Richard, that's quite impressive!


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