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Songs for Jaimie

A birthday collection for Jaimie Legge

Bryng Us in Good Ale Down in Yon Forest East VirginiaFennario
Gypsy RoverJesse JamesLinnen HallOh, No, John 
Pastime with Good CompanyPat Works on the RailwaySpring SongSumer Is Icumen in
The Trees They Grow HighUnder Our Cottage WindowThe Vicar of BrayWiegenlied (Brahm's Lullaby)

The songs in this collection are intended for playing on the tenor recorder. Chords for guitar accompaniment and lyrics for singing have also been provided (if any exist). MIDI files for the songs are given with the song notes below to offer more indications of the timings and pitches, for people not confident in reading music.

Bryng Us in Good Ale

The lyrics given here for this drinking song are a combined set derived from more than one version. Sources were Songs and Carols Now First Printed, From a Manuscript of the Fifteenth Century by Thomas Wright, The Percy Society, 1847, and Early English Lute Songs and Folk Songs by John Runge, Hargrail Music Press, 1959–1966.

Listen to Bryng Us in Good Ale as a MIDI file.

Down in Yon Forest 

I learnt this song from Carla Morris. The tune also works with the lyrics of the early sixteenth century Corpus Christi Carol (Balliol College, Oxford, MS. 354), where 'Lully, lulley, lully, lulley,' and 'The faucon hath borne my make away' replace the two repeating lines. The first verse works best if one sings the two repeat lines together, then the rest of the verse 'He bare him up; he bare him down; he bare him to an orchard brown'.

Listen to Down in Yon Forest as a MIDI file.

East Virginia

This version, with the 'greenback dollar' reference appears to be from the 1930s, but the song itself is older. 

Listen to East Virginia as a MIDI file.


The origin of this song is Irish, but the one in my head is a mix of the Joan Baez and Simon and Garfunkel versions.

Listen to Fennario as a MIDI file.

Gypsy Rover

The Mudcat folk song forum has an excellent thread about the origins of this song. 
Listen to Gypsy Rover as a MIDI file.

Jesse James

'Mr Howard' was the name Jesse James was living under at the time of his death. 

Listen to Jesse James as a MIDI file.

Linnen Hall

This is an English country dance. To make it playable on the recorder, I've shifted a few of the bars down by one octave, to make the tune easier to play. This means the tune is somewhat different, but will still sound good if you're playing along with someone else using the traditional version. For that version, see The Fiddler's Companion.
Listen to Linnen Hall as a MIDI file.

Oh, No, John 

My mother sang this a lot when I was a child. I loved the joke being based on how one word could mean assent or dissent, depending on the question.
Listen to Oh, No, John as a MIDI file.

Pastime with Good Company

Unlike Greensleeves, there seems to be reasonable evidence that Henry VIII actually wrote this himself.

Listen to Pastime with Good Company as a MIDI file.

Pat Works on the Railway

There are many versions of the lyrics to this song (some fairly negative towards Biddy McGee!), and I put this one together because I like the idea of seven verses, finishing with the eleven children all fated to continue the work. My three-year-old daughter enjoys helping to make up new verses. 

Listen to Pat Works on the Railway as a MIDI file.

Spring Song

Nithart translates as something like 'dark-soul'. He was one of the more famous minnesingers in early Medieval Germany. I have not been able to find the original lyrics for this yet.
Listen to Spring Song as a MIDI file.

Sumer Is Icumen in

I first learnt this song in German, as Sumer ist ins Land gekommen.

Listen to Sumer Is Icumen in as a MIDI file.

The Trees They Grow High

I learnt this song from Carla Morris.

Listen to The Trees They Grow High as a MIDI file.

Under Our Cottage Window

This is a translation of a Bohemian folksong, collected from Margaret Smith in December 2005. More information about the song is available here. This version has been transposed down to C to make it easier to play.

Listen to Under Our Cottage Window as a MIDI file.

The Vicar of Bray

I just love this one.

Listen to The Vicar of Bray as a MIDI file.

Wiegenlied (Brahm's Lullaby)

The English translation of this is amazingly romanticised when one looks at the German.

Listen to Wiegenlied as a MIDI file.

This website is copyright Maire K. C. Smith 2006. All rights reserved. For all enquiries contact Maire K. C. Smith