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In Yonder Old Oak / On Yonder Old Oak

[ Roud 371 ; trad.]

The Millen Family sang In Yonder Old Oak, a song related to Sweet Nightingale, as the title track of their 2001 CD Down Yonder Green Lane (see Rod Stradling's Musical Traditions review).

John Kirkpatrick sang On Yonder Old Oak on his 2007 Fledg'ling album Make No Bones. He commented in his sleeve notes on the Millen family and on this song:

The Millen family, from near Ashford in Kent, are singers with a lot in common with the Copper family from Sussex, including some of the same songs, sung in a similar “glee” style. The main difference is that although some elements of what both groups do must hark back hundreds of years, the Millens are virtually unknown on the folk scene while the Coppers are superstars! George Frampton met the family and persuaded them that what they had was of great interest and value, and in 2001 they recorded a CD for Open Productions—OPEN 003—called Down Yonder Green Lane, with notes by Mr Frampton.

This is the glorious opening track, previously noted in the 1940s [according to Roud on June 25, 1942 in Bethersden, Kent, as Come Come Pretty Maid] by Francis Collinson from the Batt Family, who were brothers-in-law to the Millens, and which whom they would sometimes song. And the moral of this story is—if you enjoy having a good old sing yourself, then one line per verse is more than enough to keep you going.

Sound Tradition sang In Yonder Old Oak in 2014 on their CD Blackbird. They commented in their liner notes:

We heard this sung by the Millen family from Kent. The Millens believe it to be a local version of The Nightingale; it's also called Come, Come My Pretty Maid.

The Dovetail Trio sang On Yonder Old Oak in 2014 on their eponymous EP, The Dovetail Trio. This video shows them backstage before their performance at Folk Rising, Derby, in April 2014:

Lyrics

John Kirkpatrick sings On Yonder Old Oak The Dovetail Trio sing On Yonder Old Oak

On yonder old oak there sits an old crow,
Around him sweet violets do grow.
On yonder old oak there sits an old crow,
Around him sweet violets do grow.
On yonder old oak there sits an old crow,
Around him sweet violets do grow,
Around him sweet violets do grow.

On yonder old oak there sits an old crow,
Around him sweet violets do grow.
On yonder old oak there sits an old crow,
Around him sweet violets do grow.
On yonder old oak there sits an old crow,
Around him sweet violets do grow,
Around him sweet violets do grow.

Down yonder green lane there lives a sweet maid
'T would charm you to hear how she sings.
Down yonder green lane there lives a sweet maid
'T would charm you to hear how she sings.
Down yonder green lane there lives a sweet maid
'T would charm you to hear how she sings,
'T would charm you to hear how she sings.

Down yonder green lane there lives a sweet maid
It would charm you to hear how she sings.
Down yonder green lane there lives a sweet maid
It would charm you to hear how she sings.
Down yonder green lane there lives a sweet maid
It would charm you to hear how she sings,
It would charm you to hear how she sings.

“Come come, my pretty maid, and be not afraid,
I mean you no mischief, I vow.
Come come, my pretty maid, and be not afraid,
I mean you no mischief, I vow.
Come come, my pretty maid, and be not afraid,
I mean you no mischief, I vow,
I mean you no mischief, I vow.”

“Come come, my pretty maid, and be not afraid,
I mean you no mischief, I vow.
Come come, my pretty maid, and be not afraid,
I mean you no mischief, I vow.
Come come, my pretty maid, and be not afraid,
I mean you no mischief, I vow,
I mean you no mischief, I vow.”

“I vow and protest, I never will be kissed
By no one such fellow as you.
I vow and protest, I never will be kissed
By no one such fellow as you.
I vow and protest, I never will be kissed
By no one such fellow as you,
By no one such fellow as you.”

“I vow and protest, I never will be kissed
By no such a fellow as you.
I vow and protest, I never will be kissed
By no such a fellow as you.
I vow and protest, I never will be kissed
By no such a fellow as you,
By no such a fellow as you.”

Bright Phoebe she shines, right over our heads
While little King Cupid keeps crying.
Bright Phoebe she shines, right over our heads
While little King Cupid keeps crying.
Bright Phoebe she shines, right over our heads
While little King Cupid he cries,
While little King Cupid he cries.

Bright Phoebe she shines, right over our heads
While little King Cupid keeps crying.
Bright Phoebe she shines, right over our heads
While little King Cupid keeps crying.
Bright Phoebe she shines, right over our heads
While little King Cupid he cries,
While little King Cupid he cries.