Mudcat Café message #2580846 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #5717   Message #2580846
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
04-Mar-09 - 01:46 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: 'Twas on a Monday Morning, O
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Twas on a Monday Morning, O
I'm going to stick to one song at a time here; this thread has wandered off course (inevitable, with 'Monday Morning' in the title) right from the start. Indeed, most of the 'answers' have been random guesses; some modestly likely, some obviously wrong. Mudcat Disease, as I have come to think of it.

Though we never did find out what song 'Jim k' actually wanted, 'Artful Codger' has brought the discussion back to an interesting topic, so I'll go with that for now, starting with ''Twas on One April Morning'.

Google's references to the Journals are sometimes wrong or misleading, and that is the case here: the citation you found was to the Index to volume IV, so the date is out by four years. ''Twas on One April Morning' was printed in Journal of the Folk-Song Society vol IV part 2 (issue no 15) 1910, 94-96. It was noted from Mr R Bryant at Cowley near Exeter, Devon, by L Priscilla Wyatt-Edgell in March 1908. The words quoted in the DT as ON ONE APRIL MORNING , whether they were copied from recordings by Lou Killen or Tony Rose (the DT doesn't specify), don't differ greatly from what Mr Bryant sang; mostly, somebody has just added extra words and repetitions. Here is the text as originally printed:


'TWAS ON ONE APRIL MORNING

'Twas on one April morning,
Just as the sun was rising,
'Twas on one April morning,
I heard the small birds sing.
They were singing, lovely Nancy,
For love it is a fancy,
So sweet were the notes
That I heard the small birds sing.

Young men are false
And full of all deceiving;
Young men are false,
And seldom do prove true;
For they're roving and they're ranging,
And their minds are always changing,
And they're thinking for to find out
Some pretty girl that's new.

O if I had
But my own heart in keeping!
O if I had
But my own heart back again!
Close in my bosom
I would lock it up for ever,
And it should wander never
So far from me again.

Why would you spend
All your long time in courting?
Why would you spend
All your long time in vain?
For I don't intend to marry,
I'd rather longer tarry
So young man, don't you spend
All your long time in vain.


Sung by Mr R Bryant, Cowley nr Exeter, March 1908.

Noted by L Priscilla Wyatt-Edgell.

Journal of the Folk-Song Society vol IV part 2 (issue no 15) 1910, 94-96.


This is number 1546 in the Roud Folk Song Index. Only two examples are known from tradition; this one and a one-verse fragment, with tune, got by Cecil Sharp from Ellen Carter at Cheddar, Somerset, on 13 August 1908. The latter can be found in Roud, Upton & Taylor, Still Growing (London: EFDSS, 2003, 38) together with Mr Bryant's text for comparison. Lucy Broadwood thought it a product of the 18th century stage, and pointed out the melodic and thematic similarity to the enormously popular 'Early One Morning'.

I will add the tune later when I have a little more time.