> Maddy Prior > Songs > Linden Lea

Linden Lea

[ RoudBS B104645 ; words William Barnes (1801-1886), music Ralph Vaughan Williams]

Colin Thompson sang Linden Lea in 1980 on his Fellside album Three Knights.

Maggie Boyle sang Linden Lea in 1996 on her and Steve Tilston's CD All Under the Sun and in 2012 on her CD Won't You Come Away. She commented in the latter's liner notes:

These exquisite words were written by 19th century poet, William Barnes, in his beloved Dorset dialect, and set to music by Ralph Vaughan Williams. I recorded this song many years ago, and am pleased to have done so again—I will never tire of singing it.

Dave Webber and Anni Fentiman sang Linden Lea in 1998 on their CD Constant Lovers.

Maddy Prior sang Linden Lea in 2010 on her CD with the Carnival Band, Vaughan Williams: Carols, Songs & Hymns.

Fay Hield sang Linden Lea in 2013 on The Full English's eponymous Topic album, The Full English.

Ollie King sang Linden Lea in 2017 on his CD Diffractions. He commented in his liner notes:

I learnt the melody of this song from my good friend Owen Woods (it appears as an instrumental on his incredible album In Any Weather), and first heard the song proper from The Full English. It is a setting of William Barnes' 1859 poem My Orcha'd in Linden Lea, and was originally written in Barnes's native Dorset dialect. It's a song that has comfortably entered the folk canon, and as such at times has suffered from the rigours of the folk process. I've gone back to Vaughan Williams's original, and attempted to use his original scoring as much as possible.


Maggie Boyle sings Linden Lea

Within the woodland, flow'ry gladed,
By the oak trees' mossy moot;
The shining grass blade timber-shaded
Now do quiver underfoot;
And birds do whistle overhead,
And water's bubbling in its bed;
And there for me the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.

When leaves, that lately were a-springing,
Now do fade within the copse,
And painted birds do hush their singing,
High upon the timber tops;
And brown-leaved fruit's a-turning red,
In cloudless sunshine overhead,
With fruit for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.

Let other folk make money faster;
In the air of dark-room'd towns;
I don't dread a peevish master,
Though no man may heed my frowns.
I be free to go abroad,
Or take again my homeward road
To where, for me, the apple tree
Do lean down low in Linden Lea.


See also the Mudcat Café threads Lyr Add: Linden Lea and Lyr Add: My Orchet in Linden Lea (William Barnes) .