The Bitter Willow

The Bitter Willow
It happened to be on a day holiday,
When a voice from Heaven called,
Was our dear Christ to his dearest mother,
“It is might I play a ball?”.
From the singing of Alice Webb (Brazil), Gloucester at Christmas 1968. Collected by Peter Shepheard (Springthyme 69.1.27 & 50).

First recording 69.1.27

It happened to be on a day holiday,
When a voice from Heaven called,
Was our dear Christ to his dearest mother,
“It is might I play a ball?”

“A ball, a ball, dear son,” she said,
It is time that you were gone,
And don’t let me hear of a none o’ your games,
Tonight when you comes home.”

Christ built a bridge with the beams of the sun,
An’ across the sea went he,
And these three jolly fellas followed after him,
And they all got drownded three.

“Oh Mary Mild call in your child,
For he now just drownded three,
And with the handfull o’ small willow twigs,
For they gave him a lashin three.

“Oh the willow, the bitter, bitter willow,
It did cause my back to smart,
But the willow it shall be on the very next tree,
It shall die and perish to his heart.”
Second recording 69.1.50

It happened to be on a day holiday,
When a voice from Heaven called,
Was our dear Christ to his dearest mother,
“It is might I play a ball?”

“A ball, a ball, dear son,” she said,
It is time that you was gone,
And don’t let me hear none of your wicked ways,
Tonight when you come home.”

Christ built a bridge with the beams of the sun,
An’ across the sea went he,
These three jolly sons followed after him,
And they all got drownded three.

“Oh Mary Mild call in your child,
For he now just drownded three,
With the handfull o’ small willow twigs,
She gave him a lashin three.

“Oh the willow, the bitter, bitter willow,
It caused my back to smart,
For the willow it shall be on the very next tree,
It shall die and perish to its heart.”




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