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The Rose of Allendale

[ Roud 1218 ; Ballad Index SWMS257 ; Bodleian Roud 1218 ; words Charles Jefferys, music Sidney Nelson]

Many regard this as a traditional song but in fact it is an English parlour song written by Charles Jefferys and set to music by Sidney Nelson in 1836. It is best known from the repertoire of the Copper Family, a “favourite song of Bob Copper's great-uncle Tom, and the family believe that he would have been singing it in the late 1830's.” They recorded it in 1971 for their 4 LP box set on the Leader label, A Song for Every Season, again in 2005 for Songlinks 2: A Celebration of English Traditional Songs and Their American Variants, and as the Young Coppers in 2007 for their CD Passing Out. According to Malcolm Douglas, all arrangements of the song recorded by revival performers “ are based upon [the Copper's] modification of it, which is a great deal more interesting, musically, than the original.”

Gale Huntington included The Rose of Allendale in the section “Parlor Songs That Went to Sea” of his book Songs the Whalemen Sang (Barre Publishing, 1964). His text is based on three very similar versions in the journals of the ships Cortes (1847), Euphrasia (1849), and Minervat Smythe (1852). Jeff Davis sang this as the American version of The Rose of Allendale on Songlinks 2.

Oak learned The Rose of Allendale from the singing of the Copper Family. They performed it on December 19, 1972 at their final gig which took place at the Down River Folk Club, King William IV, Walthamstow. This recording was included in 2003 on their Musical Traditions anthology Country Songs and Music.

Nic Jones sang The Rose of Allendale in a BBC Radio 1 John Peel Session recorded on April 19, 1977 and broadcast April 26, 1977, and in a BBC “Folk on  2” session recorded March 1, 1981. The latter recording was included in his CD In Search of Nic Jones. He also sang lead vocals on The Rose of Allandale—as it is spelled there—on his, Tony Rose and Pete and Chris Coe's LP Bandoggs. This recording was included in the Topic anthology, The Acoustic Folkbox.

The Rose of Allendale came to Home Service “from the Copper Family of Sussex, via Nic Jones of Essex.” They recorded it in 1986 for their album Alright Jack.

Fred Jordan sang The Rose of Allendale in a recording made by Ian Russell that was releases in 1991 on his EFDSS cassette In Course of Time and in 2003 on his Veteran anthology A Shropshire Lad. Rod Stradling noted in the booklet of the Oak anthology mentioned above:

Fred Jordan heard us do it, remembered a local choir singing it when he was a kid, and promptly added it to his repertoire.

Mick Bisiker sang The Rose of Allendale in 1991 on his Fellside CD Home Again, and Bram Taylor sang it in 2007 on his Fellside CD Song Singer.

Jon Boden, Paul Sartin and Sam Sweeney sang The Rose of Allendale as the June 15, 2011 entry of Jon's project A Folk Song a Day. He noted in his blog:

I first heard this from The Copper family, and it’s probably the song I come back to most when trying to think of a good chorus song to sing.

Andy Turner sang Rose of Allendale a the July 25, 2014 entry of his project A Folk Song a Week.

Lyrics

The Copper Family sing The Rose of Allendale on Songlinks 2

The morn was fair, the sky was clear, no breath came over the sea
When Mary left her highland cot and wandered forth with me.
Though flowers decked the mountain side and fragrance filled the vale,
By far the sweetest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
By far the sweetest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Where e'er I wandered east or west though fate began to lour,
A solace still was she to me in sorrow's lonely hour.
When tempests lashed my lonely barque and rent the quivering sail,
One maiden form withstood the storm, 'twas the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
One maiden form withstood the storm, 'twas the Rose of Allendale.

And when my fevered lips were parched on Africa's burning sands
She whispered hopes of happiness and tales of distant lands.
My life has been a wilderness, unblessed by fortune's gale,
Had fate not linked my lot to hers, the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
Had fate not linked my love to hers, the Rose of Allendale.

Nic Jones sings The Rose of Allendale on In Search of Nic Jones

Oh the morn was fair, the sky was clear, no breath came over the sea
When Mary left her highland home and wandered forth with me.
Though flowers decked the mountain side and fragrance filled the vale,
By far the sweetest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
By far the sweetest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Where e'er I wandered to the east or to the west and fate began to lour,
A solace still was she to me in sorrow's lonely hour.
Though tempests wrecked my lonely barque and they rent the quivering sails,
One maiden form withstood the storm, was the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
One maiden form withstood the storm was the Rose of Allendale.

And it's when my fever lips were parched on Africa's burning sands
She whispered hopes of happiness and tales of foreign lands.
My life had been a wilderness, unblessed by fortune's gale,
Had fate not linked my lot to her, sweet Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
Had fate not linked my love to her, sweet Rose of Allendale.

Bandoggs' The Rose of Allendale

Oh the sky was clear, the morn was fair, no breath came over the sea
When Mary left her highland home and wandered forth with me.
Though flowers decked the mountain side and fragrance filled the vale,
By far the sweetest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
By far the sweetest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Where e'er I wandered to the east and to the west and fate began to lour,
A solace still was she to me in sorrow's lonely hour.
Though Tempest wrecked my lonely barque and they rent the quivering sails,
One maiden form withstood the storm, was the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
One maiden form withstood the storm was the Rose of Allendale.

And when my fevered lips were parched on Africa's burning sands
She whispered hopes of happiness and tales of foreign lands.
My life has been a wilderness, unblessed by fortune's gale,
Had fate not linked my lot to her, sweet Rose of Allendale.

Chorus:
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale,
Had fate not linked my love to her, sweet Rose of Allendale.

Home Service's version on Alright Jack

The moon was fair, the sky was clear, not a breath came over the sea
When Mary left her highland home and wandered forth with me.
The flowers decked the mountain side and fragrance filled the vale,
By far the fairest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Sweet Rose of Allendale, sweet Rose of Allendale
By far the fairest flower there was the Rose of Allendale.

And where e'er I wandered to the east or to the west, though spirits began for to lower,
A solace still was she to me in life's most lonely hour.
When the tempest wrecked our gallant ship and rent our shivering sails
One maiden form that stood the storm was the Rose of Allendale.

And when my fevered lips were parched on Africa's burning sands,
She whispered hopes of happiness and tales of foreign lands.
My life had been a wilderness, unblessed by fortune's gale
Had fate not linked my love to her, sweet Rose of Allendale.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr/Tune Req: The Rose of Allendale / Allandale.