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The Jovial Man of Kent / When Autumn Skies Were Blue

[Charles Dibdin]

Tundra sang the The Jovial Man of Kent in 1978 on their Sweet Folk and Country album A Kentish Garland. They noted:

Despite being so near to Gallic influences, Kentish people have always maintained the supremacy of the hop over the grape and never more so than in this particular song. Attributed to Charles Dibdin the Elder, it first appeared in Chappell's Old English Ditties under the title When Autumn Skies Were Blue.

Andy Turner learned When Autumn Skies Were Blue from Tundra's album and sang it as the September 23, 2012 entry of his project A Folk Song a Week.

Lyrics

Tundra sing the The Jovial Man of Kent

Away with all Wine-drinkers,
And such new-fangled thinkers,
And may they still be shrinkers
From all good men and true.
Thus said the Jovial Man of Kent,
As through his golden hops he went.
With sturdy limbs and brow unbent,
When Autumn’s skies were blue above,
When Autumn’s skies were blue.

The hop that swings so lightly,
The hop that glows so brightly,
Will sure be honoured rightly
By all good men and true.
Let Frenchmen boast their straggling vine.
Which gives them draughts of meagre wine;
It cannot match this plant of mine,
When Autumn’s skies are blue above,
When Autumn’s skies are blue.

When winter snows are falling,
And winter winds are brawling,
For nut-brown ale are calling
All honest men and true.
And when the merry song is sung,
And logs upon the fire are flung,
They think upon the hop that swung
When Autumn skies were blue above,
When Autumn skies were blue.