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Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest

20 Jun 03 - 10:05 AM (#969693)
Subject: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: red max

The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest

O! day-time is weary, an' dark o' dusk dreary
For t' lasses i' t' mistal, or rakin' ower t' hay;
When t' kye coom for strippin', or t' yowes for their clippin',
We think on our sowdiers now gone reet away.

The courtin'-gate's idle, nae lad flings his bridle
Ower t' yak-stoup, an' sleely cooms seekin' his may;
The trod by the river is green as a sliver,
For the Flowers o' the Forest have all stown away.

At Marti'mas hirin's, nae ribbins, nae tirin's,
When t' godspenny's addled, an' t' time's coom for play;
Nae Cheap-Jacks, nae dancin', wi' t' teamster' clogs prancin ,
The Flowers o' the Forest are all flown a way.

When at neet church is lowsin', an' t' owd ullet is rousin'
Hissel i' our laithe, wheer he's slummered all t' day,
Wae's t' heart! but we misses our lads' saftest kisses,
Now the Flowers o' the Forest are gone reet away.

Ploo-lads frae Pannal have crossed ower the Channel,
Shipperds frae Fewston have taen the King's pay,
Thackrays frae Dacre have sold ivery acre;
Thou'll finnd ne'er a delver frae Haverah to Bray.

When t' north wind is howlin', an' t' west wind is yowlin',
It's for t' farm lads at sea that us lasses mun pray;
Tassey-Will o' t' new biggin, keepin' watch i' his riggin ,
Lile Jock i' his fo'c'sle, torpedoed i' t' bay.

Mony a lass now is weepin' for her marrow that's sleepin',
Wi' nae bield for his corp but the cowd Flanthers clay;
He'll ne'er lift his limmers, he'll ne'er wean his gimmers:
Ay, there's Flowers o' the Forest are withered away


I believe this was adapted by F.W. Moorman from the well known original. Some Scots may shudder at the Yorkshire dialect, but if it was good enough for the Watersons then it's good enough for me. And it namechecks the village of Dacre where I grew up. Not a distinuished place, but a handy rhyme with "acre"!


20 Jun 03 - 11:00 AM (#969727)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: masato sakurai

Notes (arranged alphabetically)

Acre : a land measure (0.4 hectare)
Addled : earned
Bield : shelter
Cheap-Jacks : hawkers
Corp : corpse
Delver : quarryman (M)
Flanthers : Flanders
Gimmers : ewe lambs (M); poetic licence: a gimmer is an ewe between first and second shearing
Godspenny : earnest money (M); token payment made upon hiring
Kye : cows
Laithe : barn (M)
Limmers : wagon-shafts (M)
Lowsin' : loosing: letting out, emptying
Marrow : match, partner, betrothed (as marrow is to bone )
Marti'mas hirin' : the farm-hand hiring fair at Martinmas 11th November
May : maiden, girl (and her permission)
Mistal : cow shed (Lit. dung-stall )
Mun : must
New biggin : new house or farm (big, to build)
Ploo-lads : plough-men
Saftest : softest
Sliver : branch of a leafing tree (M)
Stown : stolen
Strippin' : milking
Teamster' clogs : wooden-soled boots of the wagon handlers
Thackrays : a family name among the trades; Moorman is teasing, here
Tirin's : attire, gay apparel, esp. head-wear
Trod : footpath
Ullet : owl
Wae's : woe is
Yak-stoup : oak-post (M)
Yowes : ewes, female sheep
(From HERE)

~Masato


10 Aug 20 - 11:31 PM (#4067954)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: Joe Offer

Is there a story behind this particular version - does this apply to England instead of Scotland. Is there a version that's more understandable to us Californians without being Scottish?

Here's the Norma Waterson performance: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lt_b9o45iE


11 Aug 20 - 02:20 AM (#4067961)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: Dave Hanson

Tht's wonderful Joe, I'm very familiar with many of the places mentioned in this fine song, I've fished at Fewston many times.

Dave H


11 Aug 20 - 08:50 AM (#4067983)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: Mo the caller

Well Joe, Knareborough is in Yorkshire and I think red max gave you the story (i.e.who adapted it) And the second post translates all the terms. What more could anyone want? It would rather lose it's point in BBC English.


11 Aug 20 - 01:32 PM (#4068005)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: leeneia

Joe, thanks for the link. I enjoyed listening to Norma while reading the lyrics here. There are quite a few differences.


11 Aug 20 - 02:27 PM (#4068019)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: MoorleyMan

As I mentioned after singing it at yesterday'z zoom, the story of the adaptation is not entirely clear (although red max makes a valiant attempt) - and there are still discrepancies between parts of the text and the potential or inferred chronology. Fascinating...


26 Mar 23 - 09:04 AM (#4168489)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Flowers of Knaresborough Forest
From: GUEST,Tom Patterson

I am sure I heard a recording of this song many years ago using a different tune but I can't remember who the performer was. Any ideas who it might have been?