The Fairy King's Courtship
|TYPE||3 - Complex Melody|
|VERSE STRUCTURE||9v 4l|
|TEXT SOURCE||P.W. Joyce, Ancient Irish Music (Dublin: McGlashan and Gill, 1873) pp.2-3|
|TUNE SOURCE||as above|
|FIRST LINE||On the first day of May at the close of the day|
|Joyce writes that he learned this song from his father in childhood.|
The Fairy King's CourtshipOn the first day of May at the close of the day,As I stood in the shade of a green-spreading tree,A young lover a-courting a maiden I spied;I drew very nigh them to hear and see.The dress that he wore was a velvet so green,All trimmed with gold lace, and as bright as the sea;And he said, "Love, I'll make you my own fairy queen,If you are but willing to go with me.Lisses and forts shall be at you command,Mountains and valleys, the land and the sea,And the billows that roar along the sea shore,If you are but willing to go with me.”“To make me a queen my birth is too mean,And you will get ladies of higher degree;I know not your name nor from whence you came,So I am not willing to go with thee.""I will tell you my name and I love you the sameAs if you were a lady of high degree;John Macananty's my name, and from Scraba I came,And the queen of that county my love shall be.""If I were to go with one I didn't know,My parents and friends would be angry with me;They would bring me back again with shame and disdain,So I am not willing to go with thee.""From your friends we will sail in a ship that won't fail,With silken top-sail and a wonderful flight;From this to Coleraine, to France and to Spain,And home back again in one short night.There is not a fort from this to the northBut we'll dance around it and sing merrilie;And the lads of queen Anne shall be at your command,And they shall all stand in great dread of thee.Many a mile I have roamed in my time,By sea and by land a-looking for thee,And I never could find rest or peace for my mind,Until fortune proved kind and sent you to me!"