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The Winter It Is Past / Curragh of Kildare

[ Roud 583 ; Master title: The Winter It Is Past ; G/D 6.1104 ; Ballad Index DTcurrki ; Bodleian Roud 583 ; GlosTrad Roud 583 ; Wiltshire 170 ; Mudcat 11870 ; trad.]

Lucy E. Broadwood, J.A. Fuller Maitland: English County Songs Frank Purslow: The Foggy Dew

The Ripley Wayfarers sang Curragh of Kildare in 1972 on their Traditional Sound album Five Wells.

Spriguns of Tolgus sang Curragh of Kildare on their 1975 album Jack With a Feather.

Jean Redpath sang The Winter It Is Past in 1976 on her Philo album The Songs of Robert Burns Volume 1.

Isla St Clair sang The Curragh of Kildare in 1981 on her BBC television series soundtrack The Song and the Story.

Archie Fisher sang The Winter It Is Past on his 1986 album with Garnet Rogers, Off the Map. He also recorded it in the 1970s for an album for Tommy Makem and Liam Clacy’s Blackbird label which never saw the light of day. This recording was finally released in 2008 on the “Missing Master” bonus CD of his album Windward Away.

Billy Ross sang The Winter It Is Past in 1996 on the Linn anthology The Complete Songs of Robert Burns Volume 1.

George Deacon sang The Winter It Is Past in 2002 on his CD of song written and collected by John Clare, Dream Not of Love.

Eddi Reader sang The Winter It Is Past on her 2003 CD The Songs of Robert Burns.

Susan McKeown sang The Winter It Is Past on her 2004 CD Sweet Liberty.

Vic Gammon sang The Winter It Is Past at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival, Collessie, Fife in May 2007. This recording was released in the following year on the festival anthology Nick-Knack on the Waa (Old Songs & Bothy Ballads Volume 4). The album’s booklet commented:

A song that is still popular in Ireland and has also been collected from tradition in Newfoundland. The song certainly dates back to the mid 1700s and was quite common on 19th century broadsheets usually under the title Cold Winter. The song was known to Robert Burns (1759-1796) who published his own version in The Scots Musical Museum in 1788. The races on the plain of Kildare were a great gathering-place for people from all over Ireland. Vic got the song from the Lucy Broadwood Manuscript, the source being A.J. Hipkins of London.


Vic Gammon sings The Winter It Is Past

Now the winter’s gone and past, pleasant summer’s come at last,
And the small birds sing on every green tree;
Oh it’s many’s the heart is glad, oh but my poor heart is sad,
Since my true love’s gone absent from me.

Oh I would not think it strange the whole wide world for to range,
In the hope all for to find my heart’s delight;
Though here in Cupid’s chains oh I am obliged to remain,
And in sorrow for to spend my whole life.

I will dress meself in black, put a fringe around my neck,
And gold rings on every finger I shall wear;
Then it’s straight way I’ll repair to the County of Kildare,
And some tidings I’ll have of my dear.

For my love is like the sun in the pleasant month of June,
That do always prove constant and true;
But ’tis hers is like the moon that do wander up and down,
And in every new month it is new.

All you that are in love and cannot it remove,
Well I pity the pain that you endure;
For experience makes me know that your heart is full of woe,
It’s a woe that no mortal can bear.