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The Swallow

[ Roud 23618 ; Ballad Index CoMo003 ; Wiltshire 1038 ; trad.]

The Rosie Hood Band sang The Swallow on their 2023 album A Seed of Gold. Rosie noted:

Found in the story ‘The Saddle’ in Wiltshire Tales from 1853 written by John Yonge Akerman. It was written as The Zwallow in old Wiltshire dialect and include the notated tune too! The “doleful strain” is sung by the character Joe, and he says he learnt it at Highworth.


The Rosie Hood Band sings The Swallow

The swallow twitters on the barn,
The rook is cawing from the tree.
And in the wood the ringed dove coos
But my false love has fled from me.

Like tiny pipe of wheaten straw
The wren his little note does swell,
And every living thing that flies
Of his true love does fondly tell.

But I alone am left to pine
And sit beneath the willow tree,
For truth and honesty be gone
And my false love has fled from me.