The Winter it is Past

Vic Gammon: On Autumn Harvest ah006: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: Nick-knack on the Waa. Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2007.

A song that is still popular in Ireland and has also been collected from tradition in Newfoundland. The song certainly dates back to the mid 1700s and was quite common on 19th century broadsheets usually under the title 'Cold Winter'. The song was known to Robert Burns (1759-1796) who published his own version in The Scots Musical Museum in 1788. The races on the plain of Kildare were a great gathering-place for people from all over Ireland. Vic got the song from the Lucy Broadwood Manuscript, the source being AJ Hipkins of London.

1: Now the winter's gone and past, pleasant summer's come at last,
And the small birds sing on every green tree;
Oh it's many's the heart is glad, oh but my poor heart is sad,
Since my true love's gone absent from me.

2: Oh I would not think it strange the whole wide world for to range,
In the hope all for to find my heart's delight;
Though here in Cupid's chains oh I am obliged to remain,
And in sorrow for to spend my whole life.

3: I will dress meself in black, put a fringe around my neck,
And gold rings on every finger I shall wear;
Then it's straight way I'll repair to the County of Kildare,
And some tidings I'll have of my dear.

4: For my love is like the sun in the pleasant month of June,
That do always prove constant and true;
But 'tis hers is like the moon that do wander up and down,
And in every new month it is new.

5: All you that are in love and cannot it remove,
Well I pity the pain that you endure;
For experience makes me know that your heart is full of woe,
It's a woe that no mortal can bear.

c p 2008 Autumn Harvest :