Return to Song Index

Still Growing

England and Scotland.
Tune: 1792 or earlier.
Words: pre 1800.
Child marriages, particularly among the aristocracy, did not occur only in third world countries.

    The trees they do grow high,
    and the leaves they do grow green
    The days are passed and gone, my love,
    that you and I have seen.
    It's a cold winter's night, and
    I must lie alone,
    For my pretty lad is long, long a-growing.

    O father, dear father,
    you to me much harm have done
    You've married me unto a boy,
    you know he is too young.
    O daughter, dear daughter,
    and if you'll wait awhile,
    A lady you shall be while he's growing.

    We'll send your lad to college
    For one year or two,
    And in that time perhaps, my love,
    He then may do for you.
    And all about his waist
    we will tie a ribbon blue
    For to let the ladies know that he's married.

    She listened in the garden,
    She looked o'er the wall.
    Of four and twenty scholars there
    Her love exceeded all.
    They would not let her through,
    for her true love she did call,
    Because he was a young man growing.

    It happened on a day,
    and a sunshiny day
    They went into the greenwood
    for to sport and for to play.
    O what did there befall,
    I tell not unto thee,
    But she never more complained on his growing.

    At the age of sixteen,
    O he was a married man,
    At the age of seventeen
    She brought him forth a son.
    At the age of eighteen
    O the grass was growing green
    O'er my bonny lad so long, long a-growing.

    I made my love a shroud of
    the holland o so fine,
    And every stitch she put in it
    the tears run down the twine,
    Saying, "Once I had a sweetheart,
    but now I have got none,
    for he was to me my own true love for ever."

    O now my love is dead
    and in the grave does lie.
    The green grass it grows over
    him so very high.
    There I may sit and mourn
    until the day I die,
    But I'll watch o'er his child while he's growing.

<bgsound src="stilgrow.mid" width=2 height=0 loop=infinite>