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The Bonny Hawthorn

[ Roud 9268 ; TYG 9 ; Bodleian Roud 9268 ; trad.]

Songs of the Ridings

Oak sang The Bonny Hawthorn live at the Cheltenham Folk Club on 24 October 1971. This recording was included in 2003 on their Musical Traditions anthology Country Songs and Music. Rod Stradling noted:

The only instance in Roud of this song in the oral tradition is the 1953 BBC recording by Peter Kennedy of Billy Pennock, of Goathland, Yorkshire, but it was first collected early 1900s from butcher George Williamson of Lealholm, near Danby, Cleveland. It was sung in harmony and was known locally as Lealholm's National Anthem. It came to us from Bob and Carole Pegg—Bob collected it in 1967, from Frank Wetherill of Lealholm. Frank, by then over 80, who was a cellist, and had been village musician before the 1914 war.

Johnny Collins sang Bonny Hawthorn in 1975 on his Traditional Sound album Johnny's Private Army. This track was also included in 1998 on his Fellside anthology The Best of the Early Years and in 2002 on the Fellside anthology of the calendar in traditional song, Seasons, Ceremonies & Rituals.

Pyewackett sang The Bonny Hawthorn on 1981 on their eponymous Dingle's album Pyewackett.

Mike Wilson sang The Bonny Hawthorn on his 2019 album Taking Shape. He noted:

Learnt from the singing of my dear friend Jim Wilkinson.

Lyrics

Oak sing The Bonny Hawthorn

One midsummer’s morn, when all nature looked gay,
I met a lovely creature a-taking the air.
Oh, I said, “My lovely dear, come tell me where you dwell?”
“Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale,
That blooms in the vale, that blooms in the vale,
Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.”

Then hark, bonny Bess, to the birds in yon grove,
How delightful they sing when invited to rove.
I said, “My lovely dear, come tell me where you dwell?”
“Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.”

I kissed her and said that my love was sincere.
Not one on that green Was so charming and fair.
I said, “My lovely dear, come tell me where you dwell?”
“Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.”

“Then, come, me pretty fair maid, how can you refuse?”
How sweet were those words and how charming those views.
Then I listened with pleasure to her kind and tender tale,
Beside the bonny hawthorn that blooms in the vale.