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A Rose in April

[Kate Rusby]

Kate Rusby sang her own song A Rose in April in 1997 on her album Hourglass. She commented in her liner notes:

This is a song written by me on a common theme in traditional music. The parents of a courting couple try to separate them with tragic repercussions.

Jon Boden sang A Rose in April as the 2 April 2011 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day. He commented in his blog:

I’m a big fan of Kate Rusby’s first album Hourglass—this is one of the few non-trad tracks on it and it’s a pretty convincing ‘fake folk song’, I reckon. Sophie Polhill (from Magpie Lane) sings this unaccompanied and it’s one of those songs that shouldn’t really work as a chorus song, but really, really does.


Kate Rusby sings A Rose in April

“Oh can I go to my love’s side, oh let me go this day,
Please let me go to my love’s side, oh mother, don’t make me stay.
I was a rose in April and still a rose in June
I fear that come the winter, I shall no longer bloom.”

“Oh daughter, daughter you cannot go, oh you cannot go this day.
Your father, he forbade you, and at home you must remain.
You were a rose in April, and still a rose in June,
But God can send five winters and I know my rose will bloom.”

“Mother, mother, I must away unto my true love’s side.
Bring to me my white horse, and away to him I’ll ride.”
She’s rode through fields of barley, and she’s rode through fields of corn,
She’s come unto her true love one hour before the dawn.

Her father, being awakened, heard of his daughter’s flight.
He’s taken up his dagger and he’s rode into the night.
He’s rode through fields of barley and he’s sped through fields of corn.
He’s come unto her true love’s house just before the dawn.

He’s found his daughter sleeping in her true lover’s arms.
He’s taken up his dagger and it’s deep into their hearts.
“Oh father, cruel father, you’ve killed my love, killed me,
But now I’ll rest beside him, locked in his arms I’ll be,
Locked in his arms I’ll be.”