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Old Mother Eve

[probably by Ruth Tongue]

Emily Portman sang Old Mother Eve in 2012 on her CD Hatchling. She commented in her liner notes:

A subversive retelling of the myth of Adam and Eve in the form of a Somerset Wassail, found in Ruth Tongue's [The Chime Child, or, Somerset Singers (Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968)]. Tongue attributed it to a William Webber of Taunton in 1906, but many academics are sceptical of Chime Child, believing she made everything up. I am suspending any disbelief, for she evidently had a talent for spinning a good yarn, regardless of whether any of it were true.

Lyrics

Old Mother Eve in The Chime Child Emily Portman sings Old Mother Eve

The apple three stood in the garden
Its blossoms as white as the snow, the snow,
And there in the cool of the evening,
Or dear Lord God He did go, He did go.

The apple three stood in the garden
Its blossoms as white as the snow,
And there in the cool of the evening,
Adam and Eve they did go.

Chorus (after each verse):
But Old Mother Eve she liked apples
And Adam he liked 'en too,
He liked 'en too, he liked 'en too.
Chorus (after each verse):
For Old Mother Eve she liked apples
And Adam he liked them too,
He liked them too, he liked them too.

The Serpent he hid in the garden
A-twined about the tree, the tree.
“Yew never did eat of such wonderful meat
And so honey sweet,” said he, he, he.

The Serpent he hid in the garden
A-twined all about the tree.
“You never did eat of such wonderful meat
And honey so sweet,” said he.

They turned 'en both out of the garden
Shut out with a fiery key, key, key,
But Old Man Adam he rolled up his sleeves
And planted an apple-tree, tree, tree.

They turned them both out of the garden
Turned out with a fiery key,
But Adam and Eve they rolled up their sleeves
And planted an apple-tree, planted an apple-tree.

There are apple-trees down in the garden
There are orchets in valley below, below,
In autumn and spring the apple is king
And we bless it wherever we go, go, go.

There are apple-trees out in the garden
And orchards in valleys below,
In autumn and spring the apple is king
And we bless it wherever we go.