The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

May Day Carol

Lucy E. Broadwood and J. A. Fuller Maitland, English Country Songs. London: The Leadenhall Press, 1893.

1. I've been a-rambling all this night,
    And some time of this day;
And now returning back again
    I brought you a garland gay.

2. A garland gay I have brought you here,
    And at your door I stand,
'Tis nothing but a sprout, but 'tis well budded out,
    The work of Our Lord's Hand.

3. So dear, so dear, as Christ loved us,
    And for our sins was slain,
Christ bids us turn from wickedness,
    And turn to the Lord again.

4. Why don't you do as we have done,
    The very first day of May,
And from my parents I have come,
    And would no longer stay.

Sheet Music


Words and tune from a printed version, edited by J. F. Frye, Saffron Walden; it was sung by the children of Debden, in 1857. The two forms of the tune, here set to verses 1 and 2 respectively, are alternative versions; the extra two bars, "And turn to the Lord again," belong only to verse 3).

Compare the Hertfordshire "May-Day Carol," [The Moon Shines Bright - Version 3] of which this is evidently an incomplete portion.

Editor's Note

See also  May Day At Hitchin from William Hone, The Every Day Book, 2 Vols. London: William Tegg, 1825, 1827 (Volume 1, May 1).

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