arthurian

Celtic Lyrics
By Sarah Rooke, Archdruidess

Princess of Flowers

A king went out hunting, a hunting alone

One day in the springtime when the grass it was green

And found there a maiden who sat on a stone

With the flowers all around her so fair to be seen

 

Ah maiden, no one could be fairer said he

One day in the springtime when the grass it was green

Come now to my castle and dwell there with me

With the flowers all around you so fair to be seen

 

I am princess of flowers and may be no man’s bride

One day in the springtime when the grass it is green

But I’ll be your love if you’ll stay by my side

With the flowers all around you so fair to be seen

 

The kingdom lamented and counted him slain
One day in the springtime when the grass it was green

But the lovers alive in the greenwood remain

With the flowers all around them so fair to be seen


Lyrics:  Diana Passon. 

 

I Once Loved a Lad

I once loved a lad, and I loved him so well

That I hated all others that spake of him ill

But now he’s rewarded me well for my love,

For he’s gone to be wed to another

 

When I saw my love to the church go

With brides and bridesmaids they made a fine show

And I followed on with a heart full of woe

For he’s gone to be wed to another

 

When I saw my love sit down to dine

I sat down beside him and poured out the wine

And I drank to the laddie that should have been mine

Even though he was wed to another

The men of yon forest, they asked of me

How many strawberries grow in the salt sea?

And I answered back with a tear in my e’e

How many ships sail in the forest?

 

Oh dig me a grave and dig it so deep

Cover it over with flowers so sweet

Lay me down for to take a long sleep
And maybe in time I’ll forget him

Traditional Scottish. 

 

Tha Mi Sgith

Why should I sit and sigh
Pulling bracken, pulling bracken

Why should I sit and sigh

All alone and weary

 

Tha mi sgìth 's mi leam fhìn,
Buain na rainich, buain na rainich
Tha mi sgìth 's mi leam fhìn,
Buain na rainich daonn an
 
When I see the plover rising

Or the curlew wheeling

Then I know my mortal lover

Back to me is stealing


When the day wears away

Sad I look a down the valley

Ilka sound will astound

Set my heart a thrilling


When the moon begins her waning

I sit by the water

Where the one in silver starlight

Loved the fairy’s daughter


Ah but there is something wanting

Oh but I am weary

Come my blithe and bonny lad

Over the hill to cheer me

Traditional Scottish

 

Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes

Thrice tosse these oaken ashes in the ayre

Thrice sit thou mute in this enchanted chayre

And thrice three times tye up this true loves knot

And murmur soft she will, or she will not


Goe burn these poys nous weedes in yon blew fire

These Screech owles fethers and this prickling bryer

This cypress gathered at a dead mans grave

That all thy feares cares an end may have

 

Then come you fayries, dance with me around

Melt her hard heart with your melodious sound

In vaine are all the charms I can devise

She hath an arte to breake with her eyes

Thomas Campion, 17th Century. 

 

Bonny Portmore

O bonny Portmore, I am sorry to see
Such a woeful destruction of your ornament tree.
For it stood on your shore for many's the long day
Till the long boats from Antrim came to float it away.

O bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand.
And the more I think on you the more I think long
If I had you now as I had once before,
All the Lords in Old England would not purchase Portmore.

All the birds in the forest, they bitterly weep
Saying, "Where shall we shelter, where shall we sleep?"
For the Oak and the Ash tree are all cutten down,
And the walls of bonny Portmore are all down to the ground.

O bonny Portmore, you shine where you stand.
And the more I think on you the more I think long
If I had you now as I had once before
All the Lords of Old England would not purchase Portmore.

Traditional Irish

 

She Moved Through the Fair

My young love said to me

My Mother won’t mind

And my father won’t slight you

For your lack of kind

Then she stepped away from me

And this she did say

It will not be long love

Till our wedding day

 

She stepped away from me
And she moved through the fair

And fondly I watched her

Move here and move there

And she went her way homeward

With one star awake

As the swans in the evening
Swim over the lake

 

The people where saying
No two e’vr were wed

But one has a sorrow

That never was said
And she smiled as she passed me
With her goods and her gear
And that was the last that I saw of my dear

 

I dreamed it last night

That my true love came in
So softly she entered

Her feet made no din
She came close beside me

And this she did say

It will not be long love

Till our wedding day

Traditional English. 

 

Greensleeves

Alas my love you do me wrong

To cast me off discourteously

And I have loved you oh so long

Delighting in your company

 

Chorus:

Greensleeves was my delight

Greensleeves my heart of gold

Greensleeves was my heart of joy

And who but my Lady Greensleeves


I have been ready at your hand
To grant whatever thou would’st crave

I have waged both life and land

Your love and goodwill to have

 

Thy petticoat of sendle white

With gold embroidered gorgeously
Thy petticoat of silk and white

And these I bought thee gladly

Traditional English (Lyrics by Henry VIII)

Celtic Lyrics Part Two
By Sarah Rooke, Archdruidess

Fhir a’ Bhata (the Boatman)

 

I’ve often haunted the highest hilltops

I scan the ocean thy sail to see

Will come tonight love, will come tomorrow

Or ever come love, to comfort me?

 Chorus:

 Fhir a’ bhata, na horo eile

Fhir a’ bhata, na horo eile

Fhir a’ bhata, na horo eile

Oh fare well love, wherever thou be

 

They call thee fickle, they call thee false one

And seek to change me, but all in vain

No, thou art my dream yet through the dark night

And every morn I watch the main

 

Chorus


There’s not a hamlet, too well I know it

Where you go wandering or stay awhile

But all its old folk you win with talking

And charm its maidens with song and smile


Chorus

 

Dost thou remember, the promise made me
The tartan plaidie, the silken gown?

The ring of gold with thy hair and portrait

That gown and ring I will never own


Chrous

 Traditional Scottish

 

Tara by Moya Brennan

I know where to go tomorrow
Where tears will not find me
And I'll give you this song
When autumn rays come down
Ring out the bells on Tara
My destiny in your hands

Chorus:

I'm waiting at the crossroads, waiting for you
With the blossoms around us, promising true
Dreaming on the high wind, dream it for you
And return to our lost ocean blue

I want to believe forever
Sleep softly beside me
And I'll give you this heart
When morning dew falls down
Stood by the hill of Tara
Feel the love in the land

Chorus

Éist fuaim an chláirseach (Listen to the sound of the harp)
Ar bharr Teamhair (On the Hill of Tara)
Seo chugaibh an tArd rĂ­ (The High Kings have arrived)
Ar bharr Teamhair (On the Hill of Tara)

Chorus

 

The Rosebuds In June

 Here are the rosebuds in June and the violets are blowing

The small birds are singing in every green bough

Here’s the pink and the lily and the daffy down dilly


Chorus:

 

To adorn and perfume those sweet meadows in June

If it weren’t for the plough, the fat ox would go slow

And the lads and the bonny lasses

To the sheep shearing go


Our shepherds rejoice in their fine heavy fleeces

And frisky young lambs, which their flocks do increase

Each lad takes his lass all on the green grass

 

Chorus

 Our fine milking pails, they are filled with good ale

On the table there’s plenty of cheer to be found

We’ll whistle and sing, we’ll dance in a ring


Chorus


Now the sheep shearing’s over, and harvest draws nigh

We’ll prepare for the fields, our strength for to try

We’ll plough and we’ll mow, we’ll reap and we’ll sow


Chorus

Traditional English

 

Of This Land by Clannad


How gentle was the breeze that surrounded the way
How loud the sea's roar on the four winds everyday
Sharing love, wounded gifts from ancient long ago
Together they closed in the circles we know

Will we treasure all the secrets with life's changing scenes?
Where our hearts were warm with love, so much love
Will the flowers grow again as I open out my hand?
Precious time, time for healing the beauty of this land
(Repeat)

How soulful those words that confuses the way
How wild the mountains' stare as they guard our every day
Take for granted noble hearts in the golden age that's flown
Between us, recall on a strong road we've known

Will we treasure all the secrets with life's changing scenes?
Where our hearts were warm with love, so much love
Will the flowers grow again as I open out my hand?
Precious time, time for healing the beauty of this land

 

Down by the SallyGardens


It was down by the SallyGardens, my love and I did meet

She passed by the SallyGardens, with little snow white feet

She bid me to take love easy, as the leaves grow on the trees

But I was young and foolish, and with her did not agree

 

In a field down by the river, my love and I did meet

And on my leaning shoulder, she laid her snow white hand

She bid me to take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs

But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears

 

It was down by the SallyGardens, my love and I did meet

She passed by the SallyGardens, with little snow white feet

She bid me to take love easy, as the leaves grow on the trees

But I being young and foolish, with her did not agree
William Butler Yeats/Traditional Irish

Dulaman

 Rising with the morning me boat and I go sailing
May the sea be blessed and her bounty never failing

 

Chorus:

 

Seaweed from the yellow cliff

Dulaman from our land

Seaweed from beneath the sea

The best in all in Ireland

Dulaman, Dulaman, Dulaman a gela

 

Long flowing forests of brown, green and golden

Fresh is the harvest from our Mother ocean


Chorus

 

Sea dogs a playing among the rolling water

Sea gulls a soaring, what more could really matter


Chorus


I go to market me harvest there to barter

Blessed by the bounty of life from the water


Chorus


Sun setting splashes the clouds full of colour

Time to return to the arms of my lover


Chorus
Christy Martin/Traditional Irish

 

Hal-An-Tow (The Helston Fury)

 

Oh, we were up as soon as day

For to fetch the summer home-a

Oh, the summer is a coming on

And winter is a gone-a

With hal-an-tow, sing merry-o

Sing hal-an-tow, sing merry

With hal-an-tow, sing merry-o

Sing hal-an-tow, sing merry


Oh, we’ve been a rambling half the night

And almost all the day-a

And now returning back again

We’ve brought you a branch of May-a

With hal-an-tow, sing merry-o

Sing hal-an-tow, sing merry

With hal-an-tow, sing merry-o

Sing hal-an-tow, sing merry

 

Oh, Robin Hood and Little John

They’ve both gone to the fair-a

And we will to the merry greenwood
For to hunt the buck and hare-a

With hal-an-tow, sing merry-o

Sing hal-an-tow, sing merry
With hal-an-tow, sing merry-o

Sing hal-an-tow, sing merry
Traditional Cornish.


Na Laetha Geal M’Oige by Enya

 

Ag amharc tre m’oige

Is me bhi samh

Gan erlas marbh

Bhi me og san am

Anois, t’aim buartha

‘S fad ar shuil an la

Ochon ‘s ochon o

 

Na laetha geal m’oige

Bhi siad lan de dhochas

An bealach mor a bhi Romhan anonn

Bhi se i ndan domh gombeinn, slan, slan

 

Anois, t’aim buartha

‘S fad ar shuil an la

Ochon ‘s ochon o

 

Na laetha geal m’oige

Bhi siad lan de dhochas

An bealach mor a bhi Romhan anonn

Bhi se i ndan domh gombeinn, slan, slan

 

Anois, t’aim buartha

‘S fad ar shuil an la

Ochon ‘s ochon o

 Roma Ryan 

Medieval Lyrics Part Two
By Sarah Rooke, Archdruidess


Oh Death, Rock Me Asleep
Oh Death, rock me asleep,
Bring me to quiet rest,
Let pass my weary guiltless ghost
Out of my careful breast.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my death tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy.

My pains who can express?
Alas, they are so strong;
My dolour will not suffer strength
My life for to prolong.
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my death tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy.

Alone in prison strong
I wait my destiny.
Woe worth this cruel hap that I
Should taste this misery!
Toll on, thou passing bell;
Ring out my doleful knell;
Let thy sound my death tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy.

Farewell, my pleasures past,
Welcome, my present pain!
I feel my torments so increase
That life cannot remain.
Cease now, thou passing bell;
Rung is my doleful knell;
For the sound my death doth tell.
Death doth draw nigh;
There is no remedy. 
Poem attributed to Queen Anne Boleyn

Words to the Virgin Queen – Say Its Not So

I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
I seem stark mute but inwardly to prate.
I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned.
Since from myself another self I turned.

My care is like my shadow in the sun,
Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
No means I find to rid him from my breast,
Till by the end of things it be supprest.

Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
For I am soft and made of melting snow;
Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
Or let me live with some more sweet content,
Or die and so forget what love ere meant.
Queen Elizabeth I

Edi Beo Thu, Hevene Quene

Edi Beo thu, Hevene Quene
Folkes frovre and engles blis
Moder unwemmed and maiden clene
Swich in world non other nis
On the hit is weleth sene
Of alle wimmen thu havest thet pris
Mi swete levedi, her mi bene
And reu of me yif thi wille is

Thu asteye so the daiy rewe
The deleth from the deorke nicht
Of thee sprong an leomme newe
That all this world havest iliyt
Nis non maide of thine heowe
Swo fair, so sschene so rudi, swo bricht
Mi swete levedi of me thu reowe
And have merci of thin knicht

Tho Godes sune aliyte worlde
On eorthe, al for ure sake
Here teyen he him nolde
Thene that maide to beon his make
Betere ne miyte he thaiy he wolde
Ne swetture thing on eorthe take
Mi levedi, bring us to thine bolde
And sschild us from helle wake
13th Century English

Reis Glorios

Reis Glorios, verais lums e clartatz
Deus poderos, Senher, si a vos platz
Al meu companh siatz fizels ajuda
Qu’eu no lo vi, pos la nochs fo venguda
Et ades sera l’alba!

Bel companho, si dormetz o velhatz
No dormatz plus, suau vos ressidatz
Qu’en orien vei l’estela creguda
C’amena-l jorn, qu’eu l’ai ben conoguda
Et ades sera l’alba! 

Bel dos companh, tan soi en ric sojorn
Qu’eu  no volgra mais fos alba ni jorn
Car la gensar que anc nasques de maire
Tenc e abras, per qu’eu non prezi gaire
Lo fol gelos ni l’alba

Giraut de Bornelh, 12th Century

Alle Psallite

Alle, psallite cum luya
Alle, concrepando psallite cum luya
Alle, corde voto Deo toto psallite cum luya
Alleluja
Medieval English, 13th Century

Now Is the Month of Maying

Now is the Month of Maying
When merry lads are playing
Fa la la la la la la la la, fa la la la la la la
Each with his bonny lass
A-dancing on the grass
Fa la la la la la la la la, fa la la la la la la

The spring, clad in all its gladness
Doth laugh at winters sadness
Fa la la la la la la la la, fa la la la la la la
And to the bagpipes sound
The nymphs tread out the ground
Fa la la la la la la la la, fa la la la la la la
Thomas Morley, 16th Century

Lay of Nimrodel

An elven maid there was of old
A shining star by day
Her mantle white was hemmed with gold
Her shoes of silver grey

A star was bound above her brows
A light was on her hair
As sun upon the golden boughs
In Lorien the fair

Her hair was long, her limbs were white
And fair she was and free
And in the wind she went as light
As leaf of linden tree

Beside the falls of Nimrodel
By water clear and cool
Her voice of failing silver fell
Into the shining pool

Where now she wonders none can tell
In sunlight or in shade
For lost of yore was Nimrodel
And in the mountains strayed

The elven ship in haven grey
Beneath the mountain lee
Awaited her for many a day
Beside the roaring sea

A wind by night in northern lands
Arose and loud it cried
And drove the ship from elven strands
Across the streaming tide

When dawn came dim the land was lost
The mountains sinking grey
Beneath the heaving waves that tossed
Their plumes of blinding spray

Amroth beheld the fading shore
Now low beyond the swell
And cursed the faithless ship that bore
Him far from Nimrodel

Amroth was an elven king
A lord of tree and glen
When golden were the boughs in spring
In fair LothLorien

From helm to sea they saw him leap
As arrow from the string
And dive into the water deep
As mew upon the wing

But from the west has come no word
And on the hither shore
No tidings elven folk have heard
Of Armoth ever more
J R R Tolkien, from the Lord of the Rings

Sumer is Icumen In

Sing cuccu, sing cuccu!
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu!
Sumer is icumen In
Llude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wde mu
Sing cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb
Lhouth after calve cu
Bulluc sterteth, bucke verteth
Murie sing cuccu!

Cuccu, cuccu wel singes thu, cuccu
Ne swik thu naver nu
Sumer is icumen in
Llude sing cuccu!
Groweth sed and bloweth med
And springth the wde nu
Sing cuccu nu, sing cuccu
Sing cuccu, sing cuccu nu!

Sumer is icumen in
Llude sing cuccu!
13th Century English