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Songs

Nightingale

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     Along with contemporary and original folk and gospel, Nightingale specializes in traditional English and Celtic folk songs.  A background in traditional vocal music, coupled with many years of performing at  folk and Renaissance Festivals have left Ruth and Michaele with a love for  songs that  define and illustrate the great musical traditions of Ireland, England and Scotland.  These songs represent  a wealth of music that blends storytelling with a rich heritage of history, folklore, culture and tradition.  On this page we will share the lyrics to some of the  ballads and songs we perform, and we encourage you to continue to explore what is  truly a rich treasury of wonderful and often overlooked music.

Red is the Rose

(Tune, traditional, lyricsTommy Makem)

Come over the hill, my handsome Irish Lad,

come over the hill to your darlin',

you chose the road, love, and I'll make the vow,

and I'll be your true love forever.

(Chorus:)

Red is the Rose that in yonder garden grows,

fair is the Lily of the valley,

clear is the water that flows from the Boyne,

but my love is fairer than any.

It's down by Killarney's green woods we did stray,

where the moon and the stars they were shining,

the moon shone it's rays on his locks of golden hair,

and he swore he'd be my love forever.

(Chorus)

It's not for the parting that my sister pains,

it's not for the grief of my Mother,

it's all for the loss  of my handsome Irish lad,

that my heart is broken forever.

(Chorus)

 

Rose Red

(tune, traditional, lyrics traditional, adapted by Ruth Keyes)

Rose Rose Rose Red 

Will I ever see thee wed

I will wed my own true love,

my own true love

Rose Rose Rose Red

Will I ever see thee wed

here upon my wedding day

my own true love...

Rose Rose Rose Red

Will I ever see thee wed

by my hand and by my heart

my own true love....

Rose Rose Rose Red

Will I ever see thee wed

I will wed my own true love,

my own true love...

Wild Mountain Thyme
(Jimmy McPeake)
Oh, the summer time is coming,
And the trees are sweetly blooming,
And the wild mountain thyme
grows around the blooming heather.
Will you go, lassie, go?

CH: And we'll all go together
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather,
Will you go lassie, go?

I will build my love a bower
By yon clear and crystal fountain,
And on it I will pile
All the flowers of the mountain....

will you go Lassie go...

If my true love, he were gone,
I would never find another
To pull wild mountain thyme
All around the blooming heather.

will you go Lassie go...

 

Cockles and Mussels

(traditional)

In Dublins fair city

where the girls are so pretty

I first laid my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,

as she wheeled her wheelbarrow

through streets broad and narrow,

crying cockles and Mussels alive, alive, O!

alive, alive, Oh, alive, alive, Oh,

crying cockles and Mussels,

alive, alive Oh.

She was a fish Monger, and sure t'was no wonder,

for so were her Father and mother, before,

and they each wheeled their barrow

through streets broad and narrow,

crying cockles and Mussels, alive, alive Oh,

alive, alive, Oh, alive, alive, Oh,

crying cockles and Mussels,

alive, alive Oh.

She died of a fever,

and no one could save her,

and that was the end of sweet Molly Malone,

now her ghosts wheels her barrow,

through streets broad and narrow,

crying cockles and Mussels, alive, alive, Oh.

alive, alive, Oh, alive, alive, Oh,

crying cockles and Mussels,

alive, alive Oh.

Gypsy Rover
(Leo Maguire)
1. The gypsy rover came over the hill
Down through the valley so shady,
He whistled and he sang 'til the greenwoods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.
Chorus:
Ah-de-do, ah-de-do-da-day,
Ah-de-do, ah-de-da-ay
He whistled and he sang 'til the greenwoods rang,
And he won the heart of a lady.
2. She left her father's castle gates
She left her own fine lover
She left her servants and her state
To follow the gypsy rover.
3. Her father saddled up his fastest steed
And roamed the valleys all over
Sought his daughter at great speed
And the whistling gypsy rover.
4. He came at last to a mansion fine,
Down by the river Claydee
And there was music and there was wine,
For the gypsy and his lady.
5. "He is no gypsy, my father" she said
"But lord of these lands all over,
And I shall stay 'til my dying day
With my whistling gypsy rover."

Associated musical groups include the following....

Keyestone

Sorrows Away