North Country Maid, A

DESCRIPTION: "A north country maid to London had strayed Although with her nature it did not agree." She laments the home she has left behind, its trees, its fields, its people. She hopes soon to be able to return home
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1893 (Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs)
LONG DESCRIPTION: A maid from northern England (Westmoreland), who has strayed to London, wishes she were home; she sings the praises of the north country and its ways; she vows that she'll not marry until she returns, preferring to wed a north country man. She hopes to return in less than a year. Chorus: "The oak and the ash and the bonny ivy tree/They flourish at home in my own country"
KEYWORDS: homesickness rambling
FOUND IN: Britain(England(North),Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (10 citations):
Broadwood/Maitland-EnglishCountySongs, p. 18, "A North-Country Maid" (1 text, 1 tune)
Stokoe/Reay-SongsAndBalladsOfNorthernEngland, pp. 14-15, "O the Oak, and the Ash, and the Bonny Ivy Tree" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greig/Duncan5 1058, "My Ain Countrie" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 62, "The Oak And The Ash" (1 text)
Wells-TheBalladTree, p. 277, "The Oak and the Ash"; "Goddesses" (2 tunes, with the latter being claimed as the source for the former)
Chappell-PopularMusicOfTheOldenTime, pp. 456-458, "I Would I Were i My Own Country" (1 text, 1 tune)
Chappell/Wooldridge-OldEnglishPopularMusic I, pp. 276-277, "Quodling's Delight" (1 tune, which appears from the index and notes to be intended as the melody for this piece)
GirlScouts-SingTogether, pp. 54-55, "The Oak and the Ash" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Reginald Nettel, _Seven Centuries of Popular Song_, Phoenix House, 1956, pp. 77-78, "(no title)" (1 text)

Roud #1367
NOTES [146 words]: This looks like the source for the "oak and the ash" lines that appear in the choruses of many versions of "Rosemary Lane," "Ambletown," "Bell-Bottom Trousers," and other members of that most tangled of song families, typically with no relevance to those songs' plots. If I had my guess, I'd say the recombinant chorus was grafted onto those songs' common ancestor at some point early in its evolution. - PJS
For the complex relationship between this song, "Ambletown," and "Rosemary Lane" [Laws K43], see the notes to the latter song. - PJS, RBW
This song does not seem to have any "plot relationship" to the other two traditional songs; the common element is simply the chorus ("Oh the oak and the ash and the bonny ivy tree They flourish at home in my own country"). The language of this piece, however, hints at literary origin; indeed, it looks like a typical pastoral. - RBW
Last updated in version 6.3
File: LK43B

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