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Come All You Little Streamers

[ Roud 18820 ; trad.]

Ashley Hutchings noted in his songbook A Little Music:

This strange song comes from Ned Spooner of Midhurst, Sussex, (although other, similar, versions exist). It was printed in the Journal of the Folk-Song Society, No. 17, 1913, together with exhaustive notes on its possible origin. In short, it is suggested that there is a religious mystical allegory in its background. I would refer those who would like to know more to the article.

Shirley Collins sang Come All You Little Streamers on her 1974 Topic album, Adieu to Old England. She also sang it with the Etchingham Steam Band. A live recording from the Norwich Folk Festival in 1974 was published in 1995 on the CD The Etchingham Steam Band.

Lyrics

Shirley Collins sings Come All You Little Streamers

Oh, come all you little streamers wherever you may be
These are the finest flowers that ever my eyes did see.
Fine flowery hills and fishing dells and hunting also
At the top all of this mountain where fine flowers grow.

At the top all of the mountain where my love's castle stands
It's over-decked with ivory to the bottom of the strand.
There's arches and there's parches and a diamond stone so bright;
It's a beacon for a sailor on a dark, stormy night.

At the bottom of this mountain there runs a river clear.
A ship from the Indies did once anchor there,
With her red flags a-flying and the beating of a drum,
Sweet instruments of music and the firing of her gun.

So come all you little streamers that walks the meadows gay
And write unto my own true love wherever he may be
For his sweet lips entice me, but his tongue it tells me “No!”
And an angel might direct us and it's where shall we go?

From Ashley Hutchings' songbook A Little Music

Oh, come all you little streamers wherever you may be
These are the finest flowers that ever my eyes did see.
Fine flowery hills and fishing dells and hunting also
At the top of yonder mountain where fine flowers grow.

At the top all of the mountains where my love's castle stands
It's over-decked with ivory to the bottom of the strand.
There's arches and there's parches and a diamond stone so bright;
It's a beacon for a sailor on a dark, stormy night.

At the bottom of the mountain there runs a river clear.
A ship from the Indies did once anchor there,
With her red flags a-flying and the beating of a drum
Sweet instruments of music and the firing of her gun.

So come all you little streamers that walks the meadows gay
And write unto my own true love wherever he may be
For his sweet lips entice me, but his tongue it tells me “No!”
And an angel might direct us and it's where shall we go?

Acknowledgements

The lyrics were copied from the Ashley Hutchings songbook A Little Music.