Flowers o' the Forest, The

DESCRIPTION: Based on a pipe tune lamenting the battle of Flodden: "I've heard them lilting, At the yowes milking, Lasses a-lilting... Noo they are moanin On ilka green loaning. The flowers o' the forest are a' wede away." The song grieves for the men lost
AUTHOR: Words: Jane [Jean] Elliot (1727-1805)/Music: Traditional
EARLIEST DATE: 1803 (tune probably dates to the sixteenth century)
KEYWORDS: battle death mourning separation Scotland
Sep 9, 1513 - Battle of Flodden. James IV and the pride of Scotland's chivalry die in battle with the Earl of Surrey's English army
REFERENCES (5 citations):
ADDITIONAL: _Sing Out_ magazine, Volume 22, #3 (1973), p, 1, "The Flowers of the Forest" (1 text, 1 tune, the Norman Kennedy version, supplied with extremely inaccurate notes)
ADDITIONAL: William & Susan Platt, _Folktales of the Scottish Border_, published 1919 as _Stories of the Scottish Border_, republished by Senate Press, 1999, pp.119-120, "The Flowers of the Forest" (1 text)
Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #197, "The Flowers of the Forest" (1 text)
Michael Brander, _Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads_, 1975 (page references to the 1993 Barnes & Noble edition), pp. 70-71, "The Flowers of the Forest" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #3812
Helen Blain, "Flowers o' the Forest" (Pathe 20017, 1916)
cf. "Flodden Field [Child 168]" (subject)
Lament for Flodden
NOTES [34 words]: According to Isobel E. Williams, Scottish Folklore, W. & R. Chambers, 1991, p. 52, there is a legend that playing this song always results in a death, so some performers will play it only at funerals. - RBW
Last updated in version 3.3
File: BdFlOTF

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