Blackbirds and Thrushes

Collected and arranged by Cecil J. Sharp

As I was a-walking for my recreation,
A-down by the gardens I silently stray'd,
I heard a fair maid making great lamentation,
Crying, Jimmy will be slain in the wars I'm afraid.

The blackbirds and thrushes sang in the green bushes;
The wood doves and larks seem'd to mourn for the maid;
And this song that she sang was concerning her lover:
O Jimmy will be slain in the wars I'm afraid.

Her cheeks blushed like roses, her arms full of posies,
She stray'd in the meadows and, weeping, she said:
My heart it is aching, my poor heart is breaking,
For Jimmy will be slain in the wars I'm afraid.

When Jimmy return’d with his heart full of burning,
He found his dear Nancy all dead in her grave
He cried: I'm forsaken, my poor heart is breaking,
O would that I never had left this fair maid!


(Click to play)

Music courtesy of Lesley Nelson-Burns. Please visit Lesley’s Folk Music Site for a wonderful collection of English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and American folk music.