love song

I’ve had this old song in my head very often lately. I just love the words:

The water is wide I cannot get o'er,
And neither have I wings to fly.
Give me a boat that will carry two,
And both shall row, my love and I.

O, down in the meadows the other day,
A-gathering flowers both fine and gay,
A-gathering flowers both red and blue,
I little thought what love can do.

I leaned my back up against some oak
Thinking that he was a trusty tree;
But first he bended, and then he broke;
And so did my false love to me.

A ship there is, and she sails the sea,
She's loaded deep as deep can be,
But not so deep as the love I'm in:
I know not if I sink or swim.

O! love is handsome and love is fine,
And love's a jewel while it is new;
But when it is old, it groweth cold,
And fades away like morning dew.

I also love that the original title of the song was “O waly, waly”. This is a condensed version – and the one I grew up singing. You can find a full version of lyrics and a very cute rendition of the tune here. I’ve tried to find a good version on YouTube, but couldn’t find anything that hadn’t completely lost the vicious simplicity of the original.

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About anna cowan

I look around, and here I am - housewife and aspiring romance novelist. This seems unexpected.
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5 Responses to love song

  1. cheryl nekvapil says:

    I love this song especially with all the harmonies, and the extra verses draw out the beautiful longing and melancholy. Ah, a refrain of seasons long past. That’s romance!

  2. cheryl nekvapil says:

    The very next day I went to an event at the Botanical Gardens and there was a ‘band’ playing and as I took a brath at having arived where I should ahve been, I could ahrdly believe my ears — the lead woman singer was singing ….’she’s loaded deep as deep can be, But not so deep as the love I’m in ……………………’ Then I checked myself, of course, I haven’t heard teh words or music for years, and this is perfectly right to read them on Annii’s blog and then here they are being sung!

    • what amazing coincidence! The other night I was talking to Ken while the tv was on. I wasn’t really paying attention to the show until me and the girl onscreen said “workshop” at exactly the same time. Such a weird feeling!

  3. cheryl nekvapil says:

    And I must use spell check or reread what I’ve typed!

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