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Origins: Tumbling Through the Hay

07 Jun 20 - 02:00 AM (#4057806)
Subject: Origins: Tumbling Through the Hay
From: Joe Offer

Another song sung by David Ingerson

It being in the month of July in the rosy time of the year,
Down by yon flowery meadows where the water does run clear,
Where the lambs and little fishes they do merrily sport and play,
And the lads and the lasses they go tumbling through the hay.

La de dee die de tol da lee
La de dee die la de die
La de dee die de tol da lee.

Then up comes lovely Johnny with a pitchfork and a rake,
And up comes lovely Molly the hay then for to make,
They timed their notes so merrily as the nightingale did sing,
From morning until evening they were at their hay making.


Then up comes the mowers the hay for to cut down,
With their scythes upon their shoulders and their hair a lovely brown,
Then up comes the labourers the hay for to shake out,
And when they had it all cut down they tossed it all about.


It was coming up to Saturday and all would get their pay,
Aye, and all these jolly hay makers were feeling blithe and gay,
The number of these hay makers as near as I can say
Were five and twenty boys and girls a-tumbling through the hay.


When nine short months were over and all was passed and gone,
There were five and twenty boys and girls a-making their sad moan,
Hush-la ba-baby these fair maids did say,
And many a time they wished they ne'er had tossed among the hay.


07 Jun 20 - 03:38 AM (#4057815)
Subject: RE: Origins: Tumbling Through the Hay
From: Reinhard

Very similar lyrics are in Sam Henry's Songs of the People (H697, dated 3 April 1937). It also was sung by Joe Holmes on his and Len Graham's 1976 Free Reed album Chaste Muses, Bards and Sages. The liner notes say he got it from his mother.

But of course it's best known as the Copper Family's The Pleasant Month of May.