Henry's Songbook

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What's The Life Of A Man

  • (Trad)

    What's the life of a man any more than a leaf
    Man has his seasons so why should he grieve
    Though all through this life we appear fine and gay
    Like a leaf we must wither and soon fade away

    As I was a-walking one morning at ease
    A-viewing the leaves as they fell from the trees
    All in full motion appearing to be
    The leaves that are withered they fall from the tree

    If you had seen those leaves just a few days ago
    How fine and how green they all did seem to grow
    A frost came upon them and withered them all
    A storm came upon them and down they did fall

    If you look in that graveyard there you will find
    Those that have withered and fallen to the ground
    When age and afflictions upon us do call
    Like a leaf we must wither and down we will fall

    (as sung by Alex Campbell)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1979:] Memento mori: the feeling here is poignant, and reminiscent of the expression of the transitory nature of human life found in a number of seasonal songs, and in some epitaphs. The song appeared on broadsides in the nineteenth century under the title of The Fall of the Leaf, though it was considerably improved by the refining and polishing action of oral circulation. Oral versions remain popular with country singers, the most recent recording having been made by Harry Holman of Copthorne, Sussex, who completes his performance with the toast: 'Time like an ever-flowing stream rolls on / And could we judge the time aright / We would split an arrow in its flight / And we should be as one'. (Palmer, Country 216)

Quelle: England

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 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 5.06.2002