> Martin Carthy > Songs > The New-Mown Hay
> Cecil Sharp Centenary Collective > Songs > Among the New-Mown Hay

(Among) The New-Mown Hay

[ Roud 2941 ; Ballad Index K184 ; VWML CJS2/9/1160 , SBG/1/2/848 ; Mudcat 6177 ; trad.]

Cecil Sharp recorded Alfred Edgell of Chew Magna, Somerset, on 26 December 1907 singing Among the New-Mown Hay [VWML CJS2/9/1160] . This recording was included in 1998 on the EFDSS anthology A Century of Song.

Martin Carthy sang The New-Mown Hay on his and Dave Swarbrick’s 1992 album Skin and Bone. He noted:

Percy Grainger ought in fact to have opened something of a can of worms when he started using recording techniques in his song gathering, but others, after tinkering with the idea and making a few recordings, put the lid back on and the can back in the cupboard. Among the recordings that have survived is this version of The New-Mown Hay sung probably by Mr Alfred Edghill and recorded by Cecil Sharp. The rest of the verses are from here and there.

The Cecil Sharp Centenary Collective sang Among the New-Mown Hay in 2003 on their CD As I Cycled Out on a May Morning.

Kirsty Merryn sang New Mown Hay, as colleted from J. Dingle of Coryton on 3 April 1894 [VWML SBG/1/2/848] , in 2021 on her and Ben Walker’s EP Life and the Land. They noted:

This song is a Victorian pastoral vision of agricultural life, imagining that beautiful young women sit demurely among rolling fields while cute little lambs gambol around. There’s a typical post-industrial romanticisation of the hard work and drudgery of working the land. These types of song are very common in the revival era of folk songs, and we wanted to include it as it is an interesting example of its type and a nice counterpoint to the one that comes before it—the grass is always greener. It is also just a sweet and gentle tale with a pretty melody and it’s lovely to sing.


Martin Carthy sings The New-Mown Hay

As I strolled out one bright new morn
All under the new-mown hay-a
I there did espy a fair pretty maid
Under the new-mown hay-a
Under the new-mown hay-a

I asked of her to lay her down
All under the new-mown hay-a
But the answer that she gave to me
Was young man leave me alone-a
Young man leave me alone-a

For there is a dew that is on the grass
Will spoil my cambric gown-a
And it cost my father into his purse
Many a pound and crown-a
Many a pound and crown

He says there is a wind that blows from the north
Will blow the dew away-a
And I will lay my riding cloak
Under the new-mown hay-a
Under the new-mown hay-a

Oh if you come to my father’s garden
It is walled all around-a
There you can have my maidenhead
And thirty thousand pound-a
Thirty thousand pound-a

So he’s gone down to her father’s garden
It is walled all around-a
But she give him the slip and she skipped inside
She locked him out of door-a
Locked him out of door-a

Says there is a cock in my father’s garden
He never will tread the hen-a
He struts all day and he flaps his wings
And I think you’re just like him-a
I think you’re just like him-a

And there is a flower in my father’s garden
It’s called the merry girl-a
And if you are wanting when you can
You can want when you will-a
You can want when you will-a

For when you met me out on the road
You thought you’d met a fool-a
Go take your bible in your hand
Go a little more to school-a
Go a little more to school-a

Kirsty Merryn sings New Mown Hay

As I walked out one summer’s morn
Hard by a river’s side,
Where yellow cowslips did adorn
The blushing field with pride;
I spied a damsel on the grass,
More blooming than the May,
Her looks the Queen of Love surpass’d
Among the new mown hay.

I said, “Good morn, my pretty maid,
How came you here so soon?”
“To feed my father’s sheep,” she said,
“A thing that must be done;
While they are feeding ’mong the dew,
To pass the time away,
I sit me down to knit or sew
Among the new mown hay.”

Delighted with her simple tale,
I sat down by her side;
With vows of love I did prevail
On her to be my bride:
In strains of simple melody
She sang a rural lay,
The little lambs stood listening by
Among the new mown hay.

Then to the church they went with ease
And so were married there;
No more her ewes and lambs to feed,
For she’s a lady fair.
A lord he was that married her,
To town they came that day;
She’ll bless the day he met her there
Among the new mown hay.


Transcribed from the singing of Martin Carthy by Garry Gillard.