Says the Old Man to the Oak Tree
DESCRIPTION: "Says t'auld man t' the (old/oak) tree, Young and lusty was I when I kenn'd thee; I was young and lusty, I was fair and clear, Young and lusty was I mony a lang year, But sair fail'd am I, sair fail'd now, Sair fail'd am I sen I kenn'd thou."
EARLIEST DATE: 1785 (Gammer Gurton's Garland)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #71, p. 80, "(Says t'auld man tit oak tree)"
cf. "Sair Fyel'd, Hinny"
The Old Man and the Oak. A North Country Son (Ritson's title)
NOTES: Several versions of "Sair Fyel'd, Hinny" include this lyric essentially intact -- and in Northumbrian dialect. But I don't know if this split off and became a Mother Goose rhyme on its own, or if that song swallowed it. My decision to split them was very tentative. - RBW
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The Ballad Index Copyright 2017 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.