Seeds of Love, The

DESCRIPTION: The singer "sowed the seeds of love to bloom all in the spring." She asks the gardener to choose flowers for her; she does not like his offers, but chooses the rose. This in turn brings her to the willow tree
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1689 (cited in Sharp; first full text from Campbell, 1816)
KEYWORDS: gardening seduction
FOUND IN: US(MW) Britain(England(Lond,South),Scotland(Aber)) Australia
REFERENCES (20 citations):
Eddy-BalladsAndSongsFromOhio 28, "Once I Had Plenty of Thyme" (2 texts, 1 tune, both texts being mixed with "In My Garden Grew Plenty of Thyme")
Sharp-OneHundredEnglishFolksongs 33, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Wells-TheBalladTree, pp. 271-272, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-FolkSongsOfTheUpperThames, pp. 86-87, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text) (also Williams-Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 372.1)
Dixon-AncientPoemsBalladsSongsOfThePeasantryOfEngland, Song #30, pp. 222-223, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text)
Palmer-EnglishCountrySongbook, #84, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland, pp. 440-441, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text)
Karpeles-TheCrystalSpring 37, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Reeves/Sharp-TheIdiomOfThePeople 91, "The Seeds of Love" (6 texts)
Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 116B and 116C, "The Seeds of Love"; Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 116E, "Dead Maid's Land"; Reeves-TheEverlastingCircle 116 note, "The Maid's Lament for the Loss of Her Maiden-head" (4 texts)
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, p. 59, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 3 tunes)
Hamer-GarnersGay, p. 14, "Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Roud/Bishop-NewPenguinBookOfEnglishFolkSongs #52, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig-FolkSongInBuchan-FolkSongOfTheNorthEast #67, p. 2, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text)
Greig/Duncan6 1180, "The Seeds of Love" (2 texts)
Kennedy-FolksongsOfBritainAndIreland 167, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
Meredith/Anderson-FolkSongsOfAustralia, pp. 162-163, "The Red Rose Top" (1 text, 1 tune, linked by the authors to this tune, although it's so short it might be part of "In My Garden Grew Plenty of Thyme")
Meredith/Covell/Brown-FolkSongsOfAustraliaVol2, pp. 55, "The Seeds of Love" (1 fragmentary text, 1 tune, with some words similar to "The Seeds of Love" though the only surviving verse looks more like a courting song)
MacColl/Seeger-TravellersSongsFromEnglandAndScotland 54, "The Seeds of Love" (1 text, 1 tune)
DT, (THYMTH2) (RUETHYME*)

ST K167 (Partial)
Roud #3
RECORDINGS:
George Maynard, "The Seeds of Love" (on Maynard1, Voice10, FSBFTX15)
BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(1657), "I Sowed the Seeds of Love ("I sowed the seeds of love it was all in the spring"), J. Pitts (London), 1819-1844; also Harding B 11(3855)[many lines illegible; title damaged], "I Sow[ed the] Seeds [of love]"; Firth c.18(98), 2806 c.17(381), "Seeds of Love"
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "In My Garden Grew Plenty of Thyme" (plot, lyrics)
cf. "The Gowans Are Gay"
cf. "The Wanton Seed" (theme)
NOTES [110 words]: In flower symbolism, the rose stood for love and the willow for weeping. For a catalog of some of the sundry flower symbols, see the notes to "The Broken-Hearted Gardener."
Bell-Combined-EarlyBallads-CustomsBalladsSongsPeasantryEngland reports that "the author of the song was Mrs. Fleetwood Habergham, of Habergham, in the county of Lancaster," but offers no date or supporting evidence.
Steve Roud lumps this with the mass of thyme songs, e.g. "Garners Gay (Rue; The Sprig of Thyme)." I understand why he doesn't want to try to split the (very similar) thyme songs, but this strikes me as truly distinct. - RBW
The Voice10 recording is as by Pop Maynard. - BS
Last updated in version 5.0
File: K167

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