> Folk Music > Songs > Let Union Be in All Our Hearts / Come My Lads

Let Union Be in All Our Hearts / Come My Lads

[ Roud 1238 , 17141 ; Ballad Index WT055 ; Wiltshire 565 , 773 ; trad.]

This drinking song is known either by its chorus as Let Union Be in All Our Hearts or by its first line as Come My Lads. It was collected in Wiltshire by Alfred Williams and published in Folk-Songs of the Upper Thames in 1923. Williams wasn't very impressed, describing it as a “second-rate drinking song”. The Mudcat Café has lyrics “given by Maddy De Leon and Mark Gilston, who learned it from Jim Mageean”, and states that it was originally a Grange song with the chorus:

Let union be in all our farms,
Let all our farms be joined as one.

Folly Bridge (Ian Giles, Graham Metcalfe and Claire Lloyd) learned Come Me Lads from the singing of Jim Mageean too and recorded it in 1992 for their second WildGoose cassette, Unabridged.

The Stanchester Quire, directed by Eddie Upton, sang Come My Lads in 2002 on the Folk South West CD Fanfare for the South West. The sleeve notes said that Dave Lowry collected it from Mrs F. Lowry, South Brent, Devon.

Mawkin:Causley and Lauren McCormick sang Come My Lads to a tune written by Jim Causley on their 2008 EP Cold Ruin, and Mawkin:Causley sang it at Folk in the Bran in the Whitstable Playhouse on Valentine's Day 2010:

This video shows the harmony trio Alchemy singing Let Union Be at The Star, St Mary's in the Marsh, on April 17, 2010:

Jon Boden and Fay Hield sang Let Union Be in All Our Hearts as the June 5, 2011 entry of Jon's project A Folk Song a Day. He noted in the blog:

Ian Giles recorded this with the fabulous Folly Bridge (now reissued on WildGoose I believe). Ian was supposed to be singing it at the Christening of our God-daughter but was called away at the last minute so we learnt this in the car on the way. Mighty chorus, particularly in a church.

Alex Cumming and Nicola Beazley sang Come Me Lads on their 2016 CD Across the Water. They commented:

A great west-country version of the song Let Union Be. Our rendition is based on a version collected from Florence Lowry by her grandson Dave Lowry in South Brent, Devon. Dave Lowry is a fine traditional singer and currently performs with harmony group The Claque.

Lyrics

Folly Bridge sing Come Me Lads Jon Boden and Fay Hield sing
Let Union Be in All Our Hearts

Come my lads, let us be jolly
Drive away dull melancholy,
For to grieve it is a folly
When we're met together.

Come my lads, let us be jolly
Drive away dull melancholy,
For to grieve it is a folly
When we're met together.

Chorus (after each verse):
Let union be in all our hearts,
Let all our hearts be joined as one.
We'll end the day as we began,
We'll end it all in pleasure.
Whack-folla-rolla-rye, too-ra-lie-doe (3x)
When we're met together.

Chorus (after each verse):
Let union be in all our hearts,
Let all our hearts be joined as one.
We'll end the day as we began,
We'll end it all in pleasure.
Whack-folla-rolla-rye, too-ra-lie-doe (3x)
When we're met together.

Solomon in all his glory
Told us all another story,
In our cups we'll sing him glory
When we're met together.

Solomon in all his glory
Told each wife a different story,
In our cups we'll sing him glory
When we're met together.

Eating and drinking there's a charm in,
Smoking and piping there's no harm in.
All these things we'll take delight in
When we're met together.

Eating and drinking are quite charming,
Smoking and piping there's no harm in.
All these things we'll delight in
When we're met together.

Grab the bottle as it passes,
Do not fail to fill your glasses.
Water drinkers are dull asses
When we're met together.

Grab the bottle as it passes,
Do not fail to fill your glasses.
Water drinkers are dull asses
When we're met together.

Cease from quarreling and fighting,
Evil-speaking and backbiting.
All these things take no delight in
When we're met together.

Cease your quarreling and fighting,
Evil-speaking and backbiting.
All these things take no delight in
When we're met together.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Origins: Let Union Be In All Our Hearts - Grange?