Traditional Songs from England




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The Nightingales Sing

Now as I was a-walking one morning in May
I saw a sweet couple together at play
O the one was a fair maid and her beauty shone clear
And the other was a soldier and a brave grenadier.

But they kissed so sweet and comforting
as they pressed to each other
They went arming along the road like sister and like brother
They went arming along the road till they came to a spring
Then they both sat down together just to hear the nightingales sing.

Then out of his knapsack he drew a long fiddle
And he played to her such merry tunes that she ever did hear
And he played to her such merry tunes, caused the valley to ring
"Hark, hark," replied the fair maid, "how the nightingales sing."

"O come," said the soldier, "'tis time to give o'er."
"O no," says the fair maid, "please play one tune more.
I do like your playing and the touching of the long string
And to see the pretty flowers grow, hear the nightingales sing."

Now as I'm going to India for seven long years
Drinking wines and strong whiskey instead of strong beers
But if I ever return again, it will be in the spring
Then we'll both sit down together, love,
and hear the nightingales sing.

"Now," said the fair maid, "come, soldier, marry me!"
"O no," replied the soldier, "how ever can that be?
For I've a nice little wife at home in my own count-er-ie
And she is the smartest little woman that your eye's ever seen."


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