Hunter's Moon









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The Hunt is Up
English, 16th c.

The hunt is up, the hunt is up and it is well nigh day,
And Harry, our king, is gone hunting to bring his deer to bay.

The east is bright with morning light, and darkness it is fled,
And the merry horn wakes up the morn to leave his idle bed.

Behold! The skies with golden dyes are glowing all around.
The grass is green, and so are the treen, all laughing at the sound.

The sun is glad to see us clad all in our lusty green
And smiles in the sky as he riseth high to see and to be seen.

The horses snort to be at the sport, the dogs are running free,
The woods rejoice at the merry noise of hey, tantara tee ree!

Success to the Farmer
English folksong, melody adapted by Tania Opland

Let the wealthy and great live in splendor and state.
I envy them not, I declare it,
For I grow my own rams, my own ewes, my own lambs,
And I shear my own fleece and I wear it.

By plowing and sowing and reaping and mowing
All nature provides me with plenty-
With a cellar well stored and a plentiful board,
And my garden affords every dainty.

For here I am king. I can dance, drink and sing.
Let no one approach as a stranger.
I will hunt when it's quiet. Come on, let us try it!
Dull thinking drives anyone crazy.

I have lawns and bowers. I have fruits and flowers,
And the lark is my morning alarmer.
So you jolly boys now, here's godspeed the plow.
Long life and success to the farmer.

Otdavali molodu top of page
Russian folksong

Otdavali molodu na chuzhuyu storonu - Oi kalina, oi malina
A young woman was given away [married off] to a strange [unfamiliar] place - Oh snowball tree, oh raspberry

Na chuzhuyu storonu, vo chuzhuyu dyeryevu - Oi kalina, oi malina
To a strange place, to a strange village - Oh ...

Vo chuzhuyu dyeryevu, vo bol'shuyu cyemyu - Oi kalina, oi malina
To a strange village, to a large family

Kak vo izbu to vidut prigovarivayut - Oi kalina, oi malina
As soon as she arrived in the cottage, they began to condemn her

Kak svyekrovka govorit, "Nyerabotnitsu vidut" - Oi kalina, oi malina
So says the mother-in-law: "Here comes a lazy one"

Kak i svyokor govorit, "Nyeugodnitsu vidut" - Oi kalina, oi malina
So says the father-in-law: "Here comes a contrary one"

Kak i tyotki govoryat, "Nyeprovyednitsu vidut" - Oi kalina, oi malina
So say the aunties: "Here comes an ill-fated one"

Death and the Lady top of page
English traditional, adapted by Tania Opland

As I went out walking on a cold winter's day
I met with an old man along the way
His head, it was bald and his beard, it was grey
His clothing was made of cold ashes.

I said, "You old man, tell me who might you be?
What strange place or foreign land is your country?"
"My name it is Death - have you not heard of me?
All princes and kings bow before me.

"My name it is Death - have you not heard of me?
All lords, dukes and ladies bow down unto me,
And you, maid, are one of those frail branches three,
And now you must answer my summons."

"I'll pay you in silver and jewels so rare.
I'll see you have costly and fine robes to wear.
I'll give you the combs all out of my hair
If you'll let me live but one year longer."

"Fair Lady now lay your rich robes aside;
No long shall and wealth be your glory and pride,
And now, pretty maid, come and stand at my side.
Your time in this world it has ended."

That very same evening this fair maiden died
And on a grey tombstone these words were inscribed:
"Hereunder is buried an innocent maid.
By Death she so cruelly was taken."

Podolyanochka top of page
Ukrainian folksong

Des' tut bula podolyanochka, des' tut bula molodyesyen'ka
Tut vona sela, tut vono vpala, do zemle pripala, sem let ne vmivalas', bo vodi ne mala

Oi ustan', ustan' podolyanochka, oi ustan, ustan molodyesyen'ka
Vmii svoye lichko, lichko belyen'ke, bezhi do Dunayu, beri molodyen'ku, beri tu shcho skrayu

The Female Ramblin' Sailor top of page
English folksong

Well come all you maids, both near and far, and listen to my ditty.
'Twas near Gravesend, there lived a maid, she was both neat and pretty.
Her true love he was pressed away and drowned in some foreign spray,
Which caused this fair young maiden to say, "I'll be a ramblin' sailor!"

In jacket blue and trousers white, just like a sailor, neat and tight,
The great salt sea was the heart's delight of the female ramblin' sailor.
From stem to stern she freely goes, she braves all dangers, fears no foes.
Soon you will hear of the overthrow of the female ramblin' sailor.

No, never did her courage fail. 'Twas stormy seas and wint'ry gale
O'er which this fair young maiden did prevail - this female ramblin' sailor.
From stem to stern she freely went, where oft times she'd been many,
But her hand did slip - down she fell. She calmly bade this world farewell.

When her lilly-white breast in sight it came it appeared to be a female's frame.
Rebecca Young was the name of the female ramblin' sailor.
May the willows wave all around her grave, and 'round the laurels planted.
Roses sweet grow at the feet of the one who was undaunted.

So come all you maids both near and far and listen to my story.
Her body is anchored in the ground; let's hope her soul is in glory.
On the River Thames she's known right well - no sailor there could her excel.
Shed one tear in a last farewell to the female ramblin' sailor.

When I was in my Prime top of page
English folksong

When I was in my prime, I flourished like a vine.
There came along a false young man, come stole this heart of mine.

The gard'ner, standing by, three offers he made to me:
The pink, the violet and red rose, which I refused all three.

The pink's no flower at all, for it fades away too soon,
And the violet is too pale a hue. I think that I'll wait 'til June.

In June the red rose comes - that's not the flower for me,
For it's then I'll pluck the red rose down and plant a willow tree.

And the willow tree shall weep, and the willow leaves shall twine.
I wish I were in the young man's arms that stole this heart of mine.

If I'm spared for one year more and God should grant me grace,
I'll weep a bowl of crystal tears to wash his deceitful face.

The Rantin' Laddie
top of page
Scottish folksong (Child #240), adapted by Tania Opland

"Oft times I've played at the cards and the dice with my bonny rantin' laddie.
Now I'm sittin' in my father's hall singing 'ba' to my bastard baby.
Well If I'd been wise and taken advice and done what my bonny lad told me
I'd have been married this year or more to my bonny rantin laddie.

"Oh my father dear, he knows me not. My mother she ignores me.
Friends and relations slight me all, and the servants, they quite hate me.

"Well if I had a horse at my command, as oft times I've had many,
I'd ride away to the gates of Aboyne, to my bonny rantin laddie."

Then up and spake a ketchie boy, saying "Though I'm but a caddie,
It's I will run to the gates of Aboyne with a letter to your rantin' laddie."
As he ran on through Buchanshire, Buchan shone so bonny,
It's there he's met with the Earl of Aboyne that they call the rantin' laddie.

And when he's looked the letter on, oh but he was merry,
But when he's read it to the end, oh but he was sorry.
"They've been cruel and fell unkind to my bonny rantin' lassie."

"Oh my father dear, he knows me not. My mother she ignores me.
Friends and relations slight me all, and the servants, they quite hate me."

"Then get ye out five hundred men, see that they ride so bonny.
We'll bring the lassie back to Aboyne, our bonny rantin' lassie."

And she got up behind his back all wrapped in his hieland plaidie.
The birds in the trees sang never so sweet as the bonny rantin' lassie
As they rode on through Buchanshire. Buchan shone so bonny.
"Rejoice, rejoice, you young maids all, and see that you be not sorry

For if you lay your love on a lowland lad be sure that he'll betray ye,
Ah but lay your love on a hieland lad - he'll do all that he can to raise ye."

Chì mi na Mórbheanna top of page
(I See the Great Mountains)

Iain Camshron, 1856

O chì, chì mi na mórbheanna, o chì, chì mi na còrrbheanna,
O chì, chì mi na coireachan, chì mi na sgoran fo cheò

Chì mi gun dàil am t-àite 'san d'rugadh mi cuirear orm fáilte 'sa chà naima thuigeas mi
Theibh mi anmaoidh agus gràdh nuar ruigeam nach reicinm air thunnaichean òir

Chì mi anm coilltean, chì mi anm doireachan, chì mi anm maghan bàna is toraiche
Chì mi na féidh air làr nam coireachan falaicht' an trusgan de cheò

Beanntaichan àrda is àillidh leacainnean sluag ann an còmhnaidh is còire cleachdainnean
'S aotrom mo cheum a'leum 'gam faicinm is fanaidh mi tacan le deòin

Tom a Bedlam top of page
English, 17th c., adapted by Tania Opland

From the hag and hungry goblin that into rags would rend ye
And the spirit that stands by the naked man in the book of moons defend ye.

That of your five sound senses you never be forsaken
Nor wander from yourselves with Tom abroad to beg your bacon.

While I do sing "Any food, any feeding, feeding drink or clothing-
Come dame or maid, be not afraid, poor Tom will injure nothing!"

Of thirty bare years have I twice twenty been enraged,
And of fourty been three times fifteen in durance soundly caged.

On the lordly lofts of Bedlam with stubble soft and dainty
Brave bracelets strong, sweet whips ding-dong and wholesome hunger plenty.

By the Queen of Air and Darkness I summoned am to tourney.
Three leagues beyond the wide world's end, methinks it is no journey.

The spirits, white as lightning, would on me travels guide me.
The moon would shake and the stars would quake whenever they espied me.