Henry's Songbook

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Let No Man Steal Your Thyme #1

  • (Trad)

    Come all you fair and tender girls
    That flourish in your prime, prime
    Beware, beware if your garden's fair
    Let no man steal your thyme, thyme
    Let no man steal your thyme

    For when your thyme it is past and gone
    He'll care no more for you, you
    And every place where your thyme was raised
    Shall spread all o'er with rue, rue
    Spread all o'er with rue

    For woman is a branchy tree
    And man a singing wine, wine
    And from her branches carelessly
    He takes what he can find
    Takes what he can find

    Repeat 1

    (as sung by Ann Briggs)

  • [Bunch Bf Thyme] #2

            For thyme it is a precious thing
            And thyme brings all things tae your mind
            Time wi' its labours alang wi' all its joys
            Oh time brings a' things tae an end

    Come all ye maidens young and fine
    All ye that are bloomin' in your prime
    It's aye be aware and keep your gardens square
    Let no man steal awa' your bunch of thyme

    Oh once I had a bunch of thyme
    I thought it never would decay
    Until a saucy sailor he chanced to pass my way
    And he stole awa' my bonnie bunch of thyme

    This sailor gie'd tae me a rose
    A rose that never would decay
    He gie'd me the rose tae keep me well minded
    O' the nicht he stole awa' my bunch of thyme

    Repeat 1

    (as sung by Cilla Fisher & Artie Trezise)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1975:] The first song Cecil Sharp ever collected, from a gardener called John England(!), was a variant of this song, in which flower symbolism is used in a manner reminiscent of Ophelia's mad speeches in 'Hamlet'. (Shakespeare probably knew the song, since it is a good deal older than Sharp; it was first noted in 1689.) (Karl Dallas, notes 'The Electric Muse' 12)

  • [1979:] [Bunch of Thyme] Versions may be found in Ireland and Britain. It is closely connected with another song using symbols, The Seeds of Love. Thyme stands for hope and/or virginity. (Loesberg III, 76)

  • [1984:] I learned this from Muriel Graves from the Lake District in England in a folk club in 1967. Little did I think that by bringing it back to Ireland I was going to write a page in the annals of folk history and launch Foster and Allen to stardom. (CMSB44)

  • [1984:] [Bunch of Thyme] This is perhaps one of the finest of all songs heard in the seventies. The words are reminiscent of those in Schubert's Heidenröslein [sic!] - yet they say more, especially the chorus. James Reeves in his chapter on "The Lingua Franca" in 'The Everlasting Circle' deals with the relation between specific flowers and human qualities. He defines thyme as virginity (though clearly it means far more than this in the above song), the rose as wanton passion, etc. It is difficult to know whether to write "thyme" or "time" at several places where either word would make sense, for there is a very subtle overlap between the two words. [...] The song is not one of the most popular but is still well known and is heard fairly regularly. It is related to the English song The seeds of love (Reeves). (Munro, Revival 163)

  • [1989:] I hate to admit it - but in the case of this song the best version is the English one. (Intro Hamish Imlach)


Quelle: #1 England / #2 Scotland

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